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Who hasn’t read Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? Anyone? Published in 1989, it revolutionized the business world with its approach to productivity and effectiveness in business leaders. Twenty-seven years later, it’s still a go-to for many business owners looking develop productive business skills and be highly effective people.

But there’s more to being a highly effective person than learning how to be pro-active and thinking win-win. Being highly effective isn’t simply how much work you get done in a day or what your bottom line looks at the end of the year. It’s about how you lead, how you innovate, and how you think.

Being a highly effective person is a lifestyle. This means what you do away from your business is just as important as what you do when you’re there. Simple, every day, non-business-related habits are impactful. They influence your mood, your creativity, your ability to problem-solve, your productivity, your happiness… you get the idea.

As a small business owner whose norm includes wearing multiple hats and nonstop multitasking, we know you need to be as highly effective as possible. You need to squeeze every ounce of effectiveness out of every minute in your day. It’s possible to do this without a lot of fanfare or complicated techniques. Sometimes being effective means keeping it simple.

We’ve found seven simple habits you can use to not only improve your quality of life, but also improve your business. Take a look.

1. MAKE YOUR BED EVERY MORNING

Not only will this make your mother happy, it also starts your day with a positive accomplishment. It’s a habit that’s shown to correlate to increased happiness , an increased sense of well-being, and a stepping stone to increased productivity. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, calls it a “keystone habit” in that it leads to a pattern of other good behaviors. Taking a few minutes to put your bed in order in the morning, sets you up for a day chock-full of positive accomplishments

2. READ

Want to get ahead? Read. This is the most common habit among ultra-successful, highly effective people. Warren Buffett is said to read 500 pages a day. You may not have time to read that much, but picking up a book can definitely set you apart and help you get ahead. Be it fiction or non-fiction, entertainment or education, reading helps reduce stress, teaches empathy, and stimulates creativity. It’s also a big happiness booster.

3. DRINK MORE WATER

You can’t be highly effective if you’re running on fumes. This applies to hydration as well as nutrition. Dehydration has huge ramifications. Whether you work outside or inside, it can adversely affect decision-making, induce fatigue, lead to poor nutrition, and bring out grumpiness. It’s been shown to result in more sick days and slower mental processing.  In short, dehydration is a death knell for productivity and effectiveness. So drink up!

4. TIDY UP

Mess equals stress. This applies to your desk, your car, your bedroom, or your boardroom. Clutter is distraction. It keeps you from focusing, processing information, and making good decisions. This is not to say your environment needs to be sterile. Studies show some clutter can be good. It can promote creativity and fresh insights. The trick is knowing when clutter can benefit your effectiveness and when it hinders it.

5. GET A COLORING BOOK

To be highly effective you need down time. For many people, this means meditating, yoga, or exercise. However, these don’t resonate with everyone. The recent craze for adult coloring books is proving to be a good substitute. Its simple motor movements and repetitive motions work similarly to yoga and meditation in that they slow your heartbeat and relax your mind. This in turn reduces stress, promotes creativity and increases mindfulness.  Stashing colored pencils and coloring books in your desk drawer may seem childish, but pulling them out when you need a break is a great way to re-energize, relax, and maintain your effectiveness.

6. CARRY A NOTEBOOK

This is another habit ultra-successful people adopt. It has multiple effectiveness/productivity benefits:

  • A notebook keeps notes, bids, ideas, phone numbers, etc. in one easily accessible location.
  • It doesn’t have to be charged, connected, or compatible.
  • It frees up brain space; you don’t have to remember everything.
  • The physical act of writing improves your learning, retention and memory.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy notebook. A regular, college-ruled pad will do. The key is to keep it handy and pull it out.

7. BE GRATEFUL

Expressing gratitude is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business.  From creating a positive environment to focusing on goals to improving patience to maintaining health to staying engaged, gratitude not only boosts your effectiveness, but also improves the effectiveness (and lives) of those around you. Here are 14 scientifically proven effects of gratitude compliments of Inc. Magazine. It takes less than a minute to say “thank you” or “I really appreciate your efforts.” Given its benefits, you can’t afford to not make it part of your world.

Steven Covey’s habits for highly effective people are more technical, business-y, grandiose. But if you’re crunched for time or haven’t made it through his book yet (it’s on your reading list, right?), using these small behaviors can get you heading in the right direction right now.

Becoming a highly effective person is decision. It doesn’t just happen. As Mr. Covey says in his book, “it comes from within.”

Are you leading your small business so effectively it’s booming? Do you need financing for technology, equipment, or office space? Or do you need to beef up your current staff? We can help! United Capitol Source specializes in helping small and medium-sized business procure traditional and non-traditional funding. Our financing experts are on hand to help you find the perfect plan for your business. They can be reached via phone at 855-933-8638 or you can use our Live Chat feature on our website. We look forward to helping you.

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