We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Where you are today is the result of the habits you’ve developed. Those habits are either enhancing your life experience and success, or detracting from it.

Choose to develop habits that enhance.

The success of a man or woman can be traced back to the habits they’ve developed. Our successful entrepreneurs have taken the time to share some of the most important habits in their life, and we want to share them with you. Let’s get started.

The Habits

One structure that I’ve put in place is dedicating a two-hour time frame — usually from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. — to crank out my top priorities for the day. I’ve found that getting those done first gives me a clearer head throughout the rest of the day. Ryan Vaughn – Co-founder of Varsity News Network

The first is commitment to exercise. The stresses of being entrepreneurial require mental fortitude and physical conditioning. Good exercise properly situates me for achieving mental and physical success. I still get stressed, but my body deals with it better. Also, the conditioning translates into mental stamina for those long office days. The second habit is being fearless. I avoid being afraid to ask for something that may seem unreasonable. Worst case is a “no.” While a “yes” is great, the common result is usually an open dialogue that gets me close to what I want. Saleh Stevens – CEO of Continental Clinical Solutions

I have the habit of writing journal every day. I always carry a book to read and a notebook to write whenever I get ideas. M.S. Rao – Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants

I constantly ask myself “so what?” when I am looking at a solution. This habit helps me critically look at the importance of something and prioritize accordingly. Antoinette Forth – Co-founder of Walkabout Collaborative

Writing, especially patents. This is an extraordinary process that forces you into finding the best words or phrasing, thus making your ideas sharper. I am sure even Albert Einstein (not that I would compare to him at all!), took great advantage of being a patent expert. Jacques Lepine – Founder of Slow Control

Frequent, short breaks are very important to maintaining a productive workflow. Steve Coffey – Co-founder of Bearbone Studios

Try to learn something new each day. Danis Fickewirth – CoFounder of AroundWire

I get up early and go to bed early. John Stevenson – Founder of John Stevenson Real Estate

You have to have a habit of cultivating a positive inner voice and staying calm through the ups and downs, otherwise negative thoughts can kill productivity. Adam Riggs-Zeigen – Co-founder of Rock My World

I meditate every day. Taking a few moments to find balance and to develop a sense of centeredness and presence is entirely worthwhile. David Kravitz – Software Engineer at Snapchat

I take several “think breaks” throughout the day. This is when I stop typing, web browsing, and so on and sit and think about upcoming tasks, strategies, and potential campaigns. I give each think break about five to 10 minutes and sit back in my chair and stare at the ceiling. It’s amazing how stopping to think about priorities, tasks, and strategies refines my efforts throughout the day and enables me to come up with more developed, engaging campaigns. Tony Rindsberg – Co-founder and CMO of SOC

My curiosity. As Einstein said: “I am passionately curious.” I am fascinated with people and the entire human experience. I love to learn what the “other’s” journey is like. I have not lost my sense of wonder, amazement, or the ability to be surprised; and I am passionate about my mission. I go where I am invited without judgment, but with a child-like curiosity, and that has made all the difference. That mindset has become a habit and I now unconsciously take that perspective into every conversation, meeting, and everywhere I go. I am eager and unashamed to say “I don’t know, please teach me.” Kit Cummings – Founder of Power of Peace Project

Work out. Don’t know how? Invest in a trainer. It’ll be the best money you’ll ever spend. Can’t afford it? How much do you spend a month eating out and drinking with your friends? Dieter Marlovics – Founder and CEO of ReallyColor

Setting micro and macro level goals and taking the time to reflect against those goals periodically. It’s incredibly easy to get swept up in the day-to-day, so having checkpoints has been vital in making sure we’re being productive towards the right direction. Hao Jiang – Co-founder of CookieCutterKingdom

I am a voracious reader – I consume very large amounts of news of all kinds throughout the day. I can’t tell you how many times this has helped me in business discussions, etc. Being “in the know” is of paramount importance. Dan Goman – Founder and CEO of Ownzones

Running. It clears my head and allows me to think strategically. Matt Peterson – President and CEO of eFileCabinet

One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is balancing the desire to do as much as possible, without trying to do too much. As a business, we make sure to prioritize projects based on the potential benefit vs. the time involved. This is a good strategy for one’s own time. Ross Cohen – Co-founder and COO of BeenVerified.com

You may hear this in other answers of mine also but I can’t stress enough how important living in the moment is to your quality of work and how productive you are, you and I get more done when our mind is not wandering off to the future or the past but is focused in the here and now. So the one habit would have to be staying present in the moment. Kyle Holsey – Owner of Socialbiz.org

I try to spend an hour each evening collecting my thoughts, reviewing the pros and cons from that day and writing down action steps for the next. Michael O’Hara – COO of Leadnomics

Taking time to focus on my personal life — diet, exercise, and relationships — is huge. You can’t work seven days a week for 12 hours a day and be at your best. Ash Rust – CEO and Co-founder of SendHub

I constantly reinforce our company’s values in every conversation I have with my team and clients. You can’t reinforce your values enough. They should make up the lens through which all communication is filtered. Chris Kelly – Co-founder and President of Convene

Managing my emotional health. People like me who work long hours alone for many months experience huge emotional ups and downs which you might not feel if you completed something in a couple months. You go from thinking you have a fantastic idea to a dreadful idea, multiple times. It takes a lot of energy to keep at it and to consciously push back thoughts like “this is really stupid, I should be doing something more practical, my spouse is really getting tired of this, nobody’s going to like it,” etc. It’s hard to stay connected with that initial sense of vision and enthusiasm over a long haul. So I try to be very aware of when those feelings are coming over me and change things up to give the right side of my brain a playday – I’ll doodle on my notepads some more, or do online research (i.e., randomly surfing) for some much-later phase. Tim Johnson – Creator of ScriptLadder

I tend to track where my time is going so I can honestly evaluate if my intentions and what I am actually doing match up. For example, I may set a high priority on hiring for a 2 week sprint, but then find myself spending a lot of time on marketing and PR. I make it a point to be mindful so if I am deviating from my focus, I can recognize it and act on it. Ryan Rogowski – Creator and CEO of Waygo

Exercise and reading. The former gives me physical energy and confidence, the latter gives me perspective and a better understanding of the world. Asier Galdos – CEO and Co-founder of Greenius

I work out 3-4 mornings per week. By starting the day with a workout I clear my head, and sometimes even creatively solve problems, all while gearing up for the busy day ahead. Heidi Zak – Creator of ThirdLove

I ask myself two questions every day, and long ago, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t leave the house until I answered them honestly. The first question is “Why do I do what I do?” The second question is “Who do I do it for?” Once I discovered that the answer was the same for both questions, it changed my life. Michael S. Tyrrell – Founder of Wholetone

I spend as many breakfasts and dinners as possible with my wife and three beautiful daughters. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to forget the important things in life, but my family reminds me why I’m an entrepreneur and makes me consistently productive. Sam Bahreini – Co-founder of VoloForce

Always take time to reflect on the day or what’s to come. Some call it meditating or praying. However you label it, it’s during these quiet times that you can really meld vision and purpose. Charles Cantu – Founder of Huddled Masses

Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed or even paralyzed, when self-doubt creeps in. Taking time out to ground myself, to try and slow my thoughts is something I find useful that makes me more productive overall. Enjoying what I do helps a lot and waking up and setting my motivation for the day is an important ritual that keeps me focussed. Alexei Levene – Co-founder of Innovation eXperience

My days start the night before. I outline everything that needs to be done in a small notebook. My day consists of getting calls done in the first half of the day and taking care of all the general housekeeping tasks in the evening. Most of my day entails attempting to put a drop in each of the following buckets: investors, legal, marketing, product development, sales, accounting, and strategy. Eric Schaumburg – CEO of Eventr.io

I organize my days in lists. Less due to the obsessivecompulsive nature of it and more because it allows me to define targets and mantel reward myself for accomplishing them on time. Since work is never really over it lets me finish my day with a smile rather than stress over the things I have to do tomorrow. Yali Saar – CEO of TailorBrands

Doing some work every day. Moving projects forward slowly. There is a great saying: “How do you eat an elephant?” and the answer is one bite at a time. I think success comes down to a couple of things. Firstly goals and then habits and persistence, combining all of those things and you are sure to succeed. Jock Purtle – CEO of digitalexits.com

I write everyone’s goals for the week down on a piece of paper at a Monday agile meeting and revisit them on Friday to evaluate everyone’s progress. Jordan Metzner – CEO of Washio

I try to block out two or three hours of what’s listed as “GSD” (get shit done) in my calendar, which is when I get about 80 percent of my work done, and the team knows to leave me alone. That focused time is key for me. Robert Glazer – Founder of Acceleration Partners

We end every meeting with a hard ask. This can be anything from asking them to introduce us to another investor, setting up a second meeting, or a commitment to try our product. This wasn’t easy at first, but after a few times, it became apparent that most people genuinely want to help out when they see a good product and a good team. But, you can’t make them do the work of thinking how to help you. You have to be specific with your request. Eric Graham and Kevin Loos – Founders of CrowdComfort

I touch things once. I open the mail, schedule the bill payment and file it. You won’t see heaps of paper on my desk or a full inbox of unanswered emails from me. I value time and efficiency and this is how I honor that. Kerrie Kelly – Founder of Kerrie Kelly Design

Master Monday. I think Mondays are the most important day of the week, so I rarely schedule meetings then because I don’t want the interruption. I try to work 12 hours or more removing all the to-dos from my list and spend the rest of the week on what’s most important for the company or moneymaking activities. If Monday goes well, the rest of the week is a breeze. It’s my favorite day of the week. I loathe the “it’s Monday” attitude. Clay Bethune – Co-founder of 9thandElm

Every morning, I set 5 goals for the day, 2 main and 3 secondary – and usually I do not finish before having completed at least the two main ones. I also try to take maximum of distance from the flood of emails and optimize free time. I prefer reach people by phone in a car to save time or read books’ summaries for example. David Proulx – President of OUI Marketing

I obsessively capture ideas, suggestions and possible approaches to overcome current and future challenges. I’ve found that the best thoughts often come at unexpected times and from unexpected places. Most of them aren’t useful immediately, but many can help down the road. By capturing and filing them, I don’t forget them. I am able to periodically review them and I can use them for inspiration and problem solving later. Tony Lopresti – CEO of Intellinote

I call this habit, “Move to the pain.” What it means is that when I observe myself putting off a task because I’m avoiding it, that very task is the thing I most need to do. If it is uncomfortable, risky, or creates anxiety, I need to tackle it right away. If I continue to avoid it, it will only grow. That’s the habit: move to the pain and deal with those uncomfortable tasks as quickly as possible. David Dye – Founder of Trailblaze

“JFDI” is my philosophy. At Greatist, we’re firm believers in just getting things done. That means prioritizing the toughest tasks first and knocking them out when you’re fresh. When it’s something creative, I literally build “be creative” blocks into my schedule every week. It may be a little weird to schedule creativity, but I find that creativity is often best borne from constraints. Derek Flanzraich – Founder of Greatist

Keep things super simple. Even things that seem simple have a way of becoming complex. If you start with something complex, it will overwhelm you. As long as you have simple action oriented steps, you will continue to move the business forward. The second you don’t know what to do next, you’re in big trouble. Better get back to the drawing board and simplify. Paul Hammond – Co-founder of Startup Rounds

Limiting my email exposure. I set aside about an hour everyday to send/respond to emails. I find that by doing this, I’m more focused on what is actually important for my business during the day. Remember, if you spend your entire day answering emails, you’re working on other people’s todo list. Arian Radmand – Co-Founder of CoachUp

I strongly support taking time away from technology to be alone and think in the morning and surrounding yourself with friends and family in the evening and on weekends. Family and friends are central to success for me, as they’re always there to pick me up when I fall, and they’re quick to tell me to stop talking about business when I should be relaxing, clearing my mind, and having fun. Kuty Shalev – Founder of Clevertech

We remember to be grateful. People don’t have to buy our products and the people who work for us don’t have to work so hard, but they all do. We love to do something a little extra special for them, whether it is making our products a little better without raising the price, throwing a luncheon for our employees, having an Easter egg hunt at work, or serving Guinness on St. Paddy’s Day. Kelly McConnell – Co-owner of Prince Lionheart

Sleep. Exercise. Meditate. I admit that I don’t always do them regularly, but when I keep up with these my ability to do what needs to be done is like night and day. When I get enough sleep, take care of my body, and center my mind, I am so much more productive and creative at my desk. I produce so many better outcomes. High performance comes at a cost. You can’t add more and more to your plate and think that you are just going to power through. It eventually takes its toll. Without rest and self-care we all quickly become ineffective. David Hassell – Founder of 15Five.com

Because I’ve been working under my own steam for such a long time, I’ve developed the ability to step back when I need to. There are times when I’m working on something but feeling like I’m not getting anywhere, and I’ve found that the best thing for me to do when this happens is take myself off for a walk. Usually when I return I can attack the issue with fresh vigor, and get through it. Tom Starley – CEO of emble

Get a good night’s sleep! It’s such an easy concept, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. It’s an absolute must if you are running a business – especially if you have a family on top of that. You never know what the next day will hold, so you have to be rested and ready, both mentally and physically, to meet all challenges. Rob Bellenfant – CEO of TechnologyAdvice

As simple as this may sound, when possible I take a 15 to 20 minute cat nap, which makes the remainder of the day much more productive. Steve Blumkin – President of Outrageous Rugs

Every day I play 1 hard level Sudoku not just for brain training but when solving a Sudoku you get to a stage that require looking 4-5 step ahead. Once you overcome that stage the rest is a smooth glide to the end – it reminds me every day that whenever I’m stuck trying to overcome an obstacle there has to be a way. David Zelniker – Creator of Magnox Sport

At the end of the day, I remind myself of 3 awesome accomplishments or events that day. It could be finishing a proposal, receiving a phone call, nailing a press interview or accomplishing a specific goal. If more than 3 awesome accomplishments come to mind, I know it has been a productive day. If I struggle to find 3 things, I will examine why and make course corrections for tomorrow. Kevin Shaw – CEO of Zagga Entertainment