Success habit #1 seize the day

seize the day
We all have ambitions for success, whether personal or professional. We all have things that we’d like to have happen in our lives. The good news is that all of those goals, ambitions and positive occurrences are possible.

All we have to do to achieve them is start doing the work that needs to be done in order to make them real.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “carpe diem”. That’s Latin for “seize the day”. If you want to move your life in a different direction, one that produces positive changes, then make carpe diem your motto.

You need to begin seizing the day and using your time productively so that you begin building the future that you want to live in.

The leadership guru John Maxwell once said that “You’ll never change your life until you change something that you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

This article is all about helping you to establish success habits in your daily routine that will allow you to crank your productivity to eleven. Adopting some or all of these habits and incorporating them into your day-to-day schedule will crank you into overdrive.

You’ll not only begin reaching your goals, you’ll also begin reaching them sooner than you ever thought possible.


Get up and go 

When you get up earlier than normal two things happen. First, you have more time in you day to get more things done. Productivity is all about accomplishing tasks. The more hours that you have to play with, them more likely it becomes that you’re going to initiate and complete projects.

Second, let’s talk about energy. Now, maybe you’re already are a morning person, in which case, you already know what I’m talking about. However, if you’re not naturally a morning person, it may be time to think about becoming one.

Study after study has shown that the most personally productive hours in the day occur before noon. It all has to do with natural body rhythms and cycles. So, when you get up earlier you not only have more time to get stuff done, you also have more energy. It’s a productivity win/win.



Ok, you should have a schedule of what you want to accomplish on any given day. (If you don’t, then start using one.) In order to make the schedule as effective as possible, you need to be places, take phone calls and generally do things on time, as you scheduled them.

When you’re not on time, you begin to fall behind on what your schedule. That means that you have to start rushing to catch up, and rushing usually means that you aren’t doing your best work.

Make an effort to be punctual. Get to appointments, meeting and phone calls on time. The more punctual you are, the more you’ll get done.


Sleep and exercise

Besides food and water, your body only has two other absolute needs  – sleep and exercise. When you don’t get enough rest, you cannot maintain the mental energy levels that are required for you to be optimally productive.

Likewise, when you don’t get enough exercise you don’t have the stamina it takes to remain productive over the course of a long day. Make sure that you put enough time aside for adequate amounts of both sleep and exercise.

If you do, you’ll find that you have more energy and more energy equals greater productivity.


Develop keystone routines 

Positive behavior is little more than habit forming routine. When we perform a positive action over and over it becomes habitual. We continue making the positive action without even thinking about it.

In addition, one positive routine will lead to other positive behaviors which, over time, will also become habitual. That’s why developing keystone routines, or habits, are so important to increased productivity.

Keystone habits are nothing more than simple acts that we routinely perform throughout our day. For example, I make my bed every morning after I get up. I layer this, making it a habit, to rinse and stack my breakfast dishes. I do other chores. It pleases me when finish a busy day that my relaxation time isn’t impeded by the need to clean up. 

It’s a simple illustration but my point is that when we routinely do what needs to be done, we start to develop a habit of treating everything we do in a similar way. It becomes second nature and the net result is that productivity soars.



One of the major drains on productivity is simply not knowing where to direct our attention.

Let’s face it, each day we are faced with information overload. We get phone calls, e-mails, text messages and more. We use apps that are supposedly designed to make our lives easier, but instead start to compete for our attention by adding their reminders to the mix of information that is already bombarding us.

What can happen is that we spend our time and energy dealing with situations that do not promote our goals and best interests.

The thing about a plan is that with any new task, questions are asked. “What is this?”, “Why am I doing it” and “What do I want to get out of it?” Simply posing these questions to ourselves prior to doing anything will allow us to begin to prioritize what truly needs to be done and eliminate what truly is a time waster. 


Power down

You must have noticed the tendency to want to remain plugged in and on top of all communications, simply because we can? However, to do so is a major mistake. One of the key ways to remain optimally productive is to know when to take it easy and not be productive at all.

We need to give ourselves enough time to recharge and rejuvenate. Nobody can be fully productive when their batteries are drained and there is nothing left to give. My routine is to walk away from all of my tasks on a regular basis. This means no checking my phone for messages, no answering e-mails, and no quick phone calls. Time away is sacred. It is key to you being truly effective and should be treated as such.


Ridding distractions

In today’s, always connected world, maintaining focus can be quite a challenge. Many people wrestle with a basic question – how to get more done in less time.

Typically, we are only able to concentrate on a given task for three to five minutes before being distracted by social media, e-mails or other things that interfere with concentration. Obviously, we are not going to be very productive and task oriented following a pattern of behavior like that!

The secret to keeping focused on what you’re doing is by removing the sources of those distractions. Because social media is one of the biggest culprits, it’s important to install safeguards that allow you to resist the allure of checking for updates on social media sites again.

There are now apps that will completely block your ability to access certain sites for specific periods of time. I’m not so keen on these. If I really need to network as a part of what I’m doing I don’t want some app frustrating my progress. I build in a degree of flexibility, but I do use a specific space for focus.


Workspace atmosphere 

I spend a great deal of time in the space where I work. Your space might be a physical office at a remote location, or it might be a room or corner in your residence that has been reserved for that purpose. No matter where our workspace is located, it needs to be inviting, comfortable and welcoming. I believe it has to reflect our personality and our style.

There’s absolutely no reason for a workspace to be spartan, cold or off-putting. We are not galley slaves, chained to the oars. Work should be rewarding, not a punishment and our workspace should reflect that fact.

I now work for myself. I’m fortunate in that my workspace is large enough for a desk & chair, bookshelves, and comfortable seat for reading. I have plants, some art on the wall, and I painted the walls in colors I found appealing.

The lighting is a combination of ceiling lights and lamps which I vary according to what I’m doing and the ambience I wish to create. I’ve worked in all sorts of different environments, but this is my space, that I planned and put together, and it makes all the difference.


If you’ve found this article useful, check out our success fundamentals course for even more in-depth insights, tips and action points.


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