Business owners tend to have a lot on their plate. Most entrepreneurs start feeling the impact of stress from when they get out of bed in the morning. Part of this may be due to actions and expectations that trigger anxiety. Yet, a specific subset of that feeling comes from oneself. Stress is something that every professional experiences in their career, whether they’re artisans or business owners.
Developing habits that can offset this latent stress is something every business owner should look into doing as stress left unhandled can have a severe negative effect on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Here, 13 entrepreneurs from Forbes Business Council discuss the morning habits they have developed to ensure their days have less stress.
Forbes Business Council members share what morning habits can help decrease stress levels.
1. Create A To-Do List
Create a “things to do” list with the time of day you wish to be finished with each task. Add exercise and rewards to the list so there are incentives to get through the day. Sometimes doing one thing you don’t want to do first is also best to get it over with and check it off the list for the day. – Sari Cicurel, Sari M. Cicurel
2. Start With Goal-Related Tasks
Before I dig into the hands-on business matters of the day, in the early morning over a cup of coffee, I spend time thinking on the important things to solve that would bring our company toward its goals and aligned with the set strategy. I also try to figure out if we have some needs to consider or needs that will challenge our course. Stay dynamic! – Mika Tienhaara, ROCSOLE
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3. Schedule Blocks Of Time
I take a look at the day’s tasks in order to prioritize ruthlessly, and then schedule blocks of time. As I am usually on client calls all day, flexibility is important, but going in with a game plan helps me focus. I also start most mornings off with a vigorous Peloton ride, which energizes me to tackle my day. – Sindhu Kutty, Kuroshio Consulting
4. Organize Tasks By Direct Reports
I organize my to-dos and goals by each direct report and their department. Every morning, I review each area and decide the three most important things I must accomplish that day. I write those three things on my whiteboard and start by working on those tasks. Some days are hectic, but I always get at least one to two hours to spend on my highest priorities each day. – Jordan Smith, Jet Dental
5. Carve Out Time For Yourself
Leading a multi-billion dollar company can be demanding, so I make sure to carve out time for myself every morning by getting up early at 5 a.m. to enjoy the quiet of the morning. I meditate, work out, read the papers and then start my day. – Joana McKenna, Walker Edison
6. Write Out Your Goals
Every morning, I write out my one-, three- and five-year goals. This helps me a few different ways by motivating and exciting me for the future, providing clarity of purpose and providing focus as the tasks for the day should align with driving toward those goals. All this ultimately leads to less stress and increased productivity. – Marcus Chan, Venli Consulting Group
7. Focus On Health
I clear my mind by exercising with a side of music, podcast or an audiobook. I followed this by a quick gratitude meditation, and then set my goals and intentions for the day and/or week. This is the antidote to “monkey mind” and sets me up for a positive and focused mindset. These daily habits also contribute to my larger goals of health, growth and gratitude, which is one amazing trifecta. – Angela Delmedico, Elev8 Consulting Group
8. Switch Your Phone Off
I switch my phone off for a good two hours to exercise and meditate. No matter what’s on my plate for the day, I do this religiously without fail and I have seen a stark difference in the way my day pans out. – Somdutta Singh, Assiduus Global
9. Practice Mindfulness
Be here now—this is the mantra I repeat to myself in the morning and throughout the day when I deviate from mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness in the morning allows you to unshackle yourself from the past and fully be in the present. Being here now allows deeper critical thinking that facilitates solving complex problems, understanding what is truly important and planning for long-term growth. – Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC
10. Go On A Run
I’m a mom of three, so I run five days a week while listening to podcasts before my kids wake up. This doubles both as “me” time and “exercise” time, and it always makes me feel accomplished before even waking up the kiddos! – Missy Narula, Exhale Parent
11. Go For A Walk
Every morning, I go for a walk with my husband and dog, Nala. It’s a great time to enjoy some physical activity, talk about our goals for the day and make plans for the week ahead. – Jessica Kline, Backwoods Promotions Inc.
12. Solve Difficult Tasks Early On
I have actually taken a page from Dolly Parton’s book and have started getting up at 3 a.m. to knock out the day’s most difficult problems while it’s quiet. My brain is fresh and I don’t have interruptions, so I’m able to completely focus on the task at hand. – Joe Pascaretta, Dun & Bradstreet
13. Do Sun Salutations
I have been doing 108 sun salutations every morning seven days a week for many years. It allows my body, my mind and my heart to be ready for anything that arises during the day. Why 108? This number is sacred in many world religions, mathematics, geometry and spiritual traditions. For me, 108 represents a fresh new beginning every day irrespective of the past. It’s about celebrating life! – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5
Forbes Business Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.