Startup Tip 47: Implement simple routines that create powerful change

This guest post by Laurent Vigneron is the last in a series on how to develop persistence. 

We have discussed already about the importance of your motivation and your environment in order to be at your best every single day.

These are two of the three keys of Persistence, which will enable you to move forward whatever the circumstances. Persistence is critical to succeed in this tough and very challenging stage of your business.

Today let’s put the focus on the third key of Persistence: your habits.

Habits (or routines) are patterns of actions that you can repeat effortlessly and often without thinking about it. When you create powerful and supportive habits, your business will not only seem less challenging, but you will be able to replicate the positive behaviors that makes it grow.

Simple routines can create radical change

Here are some great ones you can try:

Create a super-focused to-do list

At the end of each daycreate a list of 6 tasks that you want to achieve the next day. Rank them in order of importance. Then the next day, first thing when you arrive in your office, start working on the first task until it is completed.

Don’t open any email, do not talk to a colleague about an ongoing project. Do the first task fully.The more focused and uninterrupted your work will be, the better. Then move to task number 2 and complete it. If you are interrupted, handle the interruption, and then come back immediately to your list, until all six are completed.

This routine alone can make your business succeed. Ensure that most of your tasks are about high value activities (high ROI) or have a direct impact on improving the bottom-line. Delegate all the rest.

Create a Morning Ritual that you will follow every day.

What are the activities that you will go through each morning from the moment you wake up? In what order are your going to perform them? Choose tasks purposefully that will give you energy and make you feel great at the start of the day.

This is like writing the script of an auto-pilot system. And more importantly, once done, apply it and follow that routine each and every day. The more often you do it without any exception, the faster it will become a true habit, and you won’t have to think about it anymore. If something doesn’t work very well, just adjust your routine.

All the best business people on this planet have their own morning routine. Do you really think this is a coincidence?

Make it a habit to quickly implement any new knowledge that you acquire.

Knowledge is not power anymore, nowadays it is the applied knowledge that brings power. More knowledge is not going to make any difference for you or your business. It is what you do with that knowledge that counts, and speed of implementation is key.

Note that I’m not asking you to apply blindly anything that goes your way. Instead, when you find an idea that makes sense to you, and you start thinking “this is a great idea!”, then don’t just think about it, and implement it as quickly as possible!

Never complain, blame or justify.

By taking full responsibility and focusing on finding a solution rather than someone to blame, you will be happier, more productive and way more successful than if you play the role of a victim. Catch yourself when you blame, complain or justify, and put $1 in a jar. This one dollar is not a punishment. It is to celebrate the fact that you are moving in the right direction.

Exercise each day.

What you do during the day generates stress and probably mostly uses your mind. Unless you purposely take care of your body, you will not be able to sustain your current level of energy, and you will soon see consequences in your business.

Ensure you exercise a little every day. It is better to do it in the morning: you are less tired, so less prone to skip it; It will help you to wake your body and your mind, and you may get some very precious ideas during the session; Add it to your morning routine!


Read through the tips above and make a note of any that resonate.  Implement one of them today. Schedule the rest into your diary for later in the week.

Further reading:

  • The power of full engagement, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. The best book I’ve found so far on Energy Management and the power of routines in achieving Peak Performance.
  • Secrets of the millionaire mind, by T. Harv Eker. Some very powerful messages about creating wealth, taking responsibility and building a winning mindset.
  • The Art Of Persistence, by Laurent Vigneron. This no B.S. action-oriented 90-day program will give you all the resources, the tools and the techniques you can use to become truly unstoppable. A must have and use for any entrepreneur.

Join the conversation:

What habits or routines do you use that help you to keep persisting with the goals that are important to you? Share with us in the comments.

Or use them to create a little bit of extra motivation and accountability to get your action task for today done.
And I would love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter.

Image used courtesy of Krissy Venosdale under Creative Commons license.

Laurent Vigneron is the founder of Origami-Asia and writes about living a meaningful and adventurous life in his blog A Life Worth Living, focusing particularly on the human potential and peak performance. He is the proof that you can run a business, invest time with your wife and children, and still do many other things to live an amazing life. He wrote books endorsed by Brian Tracy and two World Champions, played in a movie, lived in Paris, Hong-Kong, Shanghai, drove the fastest cars, jumped from an airplane, learned Chinese, traveled around the world, and many other things to make each day a daring adventure. He is also the author of “The Art Of Persistence“, a system that can teach anyone how to become unstoppable and reach the finish line of their projects.


  1. I’d suggest you check out The Pomodoro Technique – it’s a really great time management system that requires a daily-routine as mentioned. You have to plan out your next day’s tasks and actually complete them… Or else (by or else, I basically mean a vague threat that never actually happens – but mindset is key, right? 😛 ). It’s a great tool that will really help you get through that routine without giving up. Great article 🙂

    • Thanks for mentioning the Pomodoro Technique Joe. I’m sure that will resonate with some readers. I think time management is a lot about common sense and finding something that works for you. There are a lot of great tools out there.

    • I gotta weigh in and say that the Pomodoro technique is AWESOME. It’s enough of a bite-size bit of work that it doesn’t put you off… not a daunting task at all. But the rewards are amazing. I have managed to write thousands of words on my blog and TWO BOOKS doing the Pomodoro technique. Two thumbs way, way up for this time management technique. Thanks for your comment, Joe of the Boyles. 😉

      Keep Stepping,


  2. Thanks Susan and Laurent for a really interesting post. I’m glad you mentioned exercise, it seems so obvious – but I see many startup founders getting into the (bad) habit of feeling that they have to be at their office every waking hour. I’m confident this leads to less productivity.

    I’m actually currently writing a post about how our startup uses Airbnb to fund company travel. We’ve spent a month on an Italian island and are in the middle of 2 months in San Francisco – all funded by renting our apartments on Airbnb. Have you heard of other startups doing this? Or of other startups travelling as a company in general?


  3. Susan,

    Thanks for this refresher. I had seen the “write six things” technique before and think it goes way, waaaaaay back to Ivy Lee. Lee reportedly was paid $25,000 by Charles Schwab for this valuable piece of productivity advice, and he got it at a bargain 🙂

    The takeaway that I’d like to thank you for most is the “implement quickly any new knowledge” tip.

    I have a tendency to sit and ruminate over new info or even decisions, big or small, for too long before actually TAKING ACTION.

    Implementation is without a doubt where the rubber meets the road, and a lesson we all need to learn, then re-learn.

    Thanks again Susan for the actionable tips!

    Keep Stepping,


    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment Kurt.

      I can relate to the ruminating over new decisions/info thing. 🙂 i do it too. Infact the number one regret I’ve heard from experienced entrepreneurs is they wish they’d taken action faster.


  1. […] really inspired – it’s tough to stick to new behaviours. What sucks is that when we fail to reach a goal, regardless of the effort with put in, we are often left feeling disappointed and […]

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