I am a big believer that if you create good habits, it builds a solid foundation for a profitable life. If you can adopt as many good habits as possible in different areas of your life, you will, in time, be more successful and make more money.
If you are looking to make money outside your normal 9-5 job, you will need to ensure you always make the most of your time. Being organized and not wasting time is important, especially when you’re trying to make money from a side hustle.
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Why you need to create good habits
If you have too many bad habits, your time will be wasted, and out goes your productivity.
I look at habits like this:
- Good Habits = Productive use of my time
- Bad Habits = Waste of my time
And if your goal is to make more money, there’s no better way to achieve this goal than to create good habits.
Good habits can be easy to introduce into our lives, but how can we make them stick so we can really make the most of our time?
You need to believe that you are truly making the most of your available time in your day, every single day.
The best way to start a good habit and make it stick is by using certain techniques. These are simple but effective “tricks” that we can play on the mind to help us start a task or a project.
So, what techniques can we use to create good habits in our lives to enable a more productive day?
7 must-have techniques for creating good habits
Everyone wants to make more money, right? But you need to create good habits first. How do you go about doing that? Simple, by following these 7 must-have tips.
1. Try the “Five-Minute Technique”
It can be difficult to fill your life with new habits, especially when you’re so full of bad habits. But there’s a way to mitigate that difficulty.
Choose something new and do it for just 5 minutes, every day. 5 minutes is easy. Anybody can do it. You can do it.
Here are some good habits you can create that can only take 5 minutes of your day.
- You could meditate for 5 minutes per day. Use a meditation app on your smartphone.
- How about going for a quick 5 minute walk around the block every day.
- Drink a full glass of water at a pre-determined time every single day.
These habits are easy, and I’m sure you do them from time to time. But if you want to make it into a real habit, you must do them daily. The easiest way of incorporating these good habits is by dedicated 5 minutes per day at the same time daily.
It is said that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Is the 21-day habit rule a myth? Well, an actual study on how long it takes to form a new habit found it takes 66 days (source). Either way, when you force yourself to try something new and keep at it, before you know it, these tasks will become a part of your daily routine.
2. Make time to create good habits
Are you looking to bring various habits into your life, but you keep putting them off? Perhaps they seem to be far too time-consuming?
Well, good habits are worth your time – especially when they replace bad ones.
A good way to decide if a new habit is worth the time and effort is to time yourself.
Let’s say you want to start eating healthy snacks but worry it’ll take up too much of your time.
Well, then get your timer on your smartphone out and start timing yourself. Wash and cut up some fruits and veggies and put them into 7 individual containers to be consumed during the week.
Let’s say this whole process took you 15 minutes. See, that’s not so bad! Literally, you just changed your entire week in just 15 minutes.
Each day, you get a good healthy snack at your fingertips that take literally no time to make (since you already made them, of course). The result is you eat better, feel better, and you’ll have no excuses not to eat healthily.
3. Use the “Solar Flare Technique”
This technique is based on how a solar flare acts. Basically, a solar flare starts very small, and then over time, it grows into something huge. Can you put a similar thought pattern into making your good habits stick?
Perhaps commit a few minutes to a task in the first week and commit more time as the month continues if you’re getting good results.
Start small and build up blocks is the idea. For instance, if you feel like you would like to take up walking to introduce some exercise into your life, then start by just walking around the block at first. Then, build up the distance over time, and before you know it, by the end of the month, you could be walking for a few miles each session.
Success stories aren’t made overnight. Marathon runners didn’t start by running marathons. They started by taking small steps and working their way up over time.
Which reminds me of a quote by Usain Bolt: “I trained 4 years to run 9 seconds and people give up when they don’t see results in 2 months.”.
4. Use the classic “Pomodoro Technique”
The Pomodoro Technique can be great for seeing tasks right through to the end and really making habits stick. With this technique, you work on your task for a set amount of time and give yourself a break for an allotted amount of time.
The most commonly suggested way of using this technique is by working on something for 25 minutes and then stopping for 5 minutes. This allows you a break, so your brain doesn’t get overloaded.
This YouTube video breaks down the Pomodoro technique much better than I can here:
Knowing you have a dedicated time slot coming up makes it far easier to put a big burst of energy into the habit or task you’re doing.
5. Figure out why you lack good habits
This is a great technique to try to understand more about yourself. What is stopping you from actually starting on tasks or developing good habits?
Sometimes, you just have to stop and think to come up with a solution to your situation. Yeah, this requires you to look inward and find out the root cause of the problem.
These reasons you give yourself are excuses, whether valid or not. But the real question is how you plan to overcome these excuses.
If you don’t look at your bad habits (or your lack of good habits) realistically, you won’t be able to move mountains, as they say, and become productive.
6. Use a free accountability app (like Momentum)
Momentum is an iOS app that not only serves as a reminder about what you should be doing but also confirms how much you’ve actually achieved.
There are other goal tracking apps such as Strides, Productive for iOS, and Streaks. Apps can be great to use to help track your progress, keep you on your toes, and ensure that you make the habit stick.
An alternative to using a smartphone app is using a physical calendar. Purchase a calendar and a marker pen, then simply go to a date in the future and put an X on it using the marker. This can signify a date you wish to look at to ensure you’ve accomplished a specific goal.
With an accountability tool, you’re setting a target to reach by a chosen date. A deadline can put pressure on us, but at the same time, we tend to act better if we know that we have to complete a task by a certain day.
Isn’t that how many of us were in school? We just procrastinate, and then when the project is due, we work our butts off to complete it in time. Now that we’re adults, we don’t set deadlines for our goals, so they never seem to get accomplished.
7. Use a free habit tracking app (like HabitBull)
Another app that claims it can easily break bad habits such as smoking, drinking, or nail-biting. Additionally, it can do it while helping you build positive habits like fitness, meditation, or reading.
That would be the Habit Bull app. Here’s how to do this step by step.
- After you’ve created an account, you then enter in the name of the habit that you wish to start.
- Once created, you log in each day to record your progress and confirm you’ve completed the task for that particular date.
- A circle is then placed around the date of completion.
Seeing a run of dates that I have completed on my smartphone really helps keep me motivated and keeps my mind focused. Seeing a streak gives me a lot of encouragement to continue for as many dates as possible.
You can also use the Habit Bull app to track how long you’ve stopped a bad habit as well. So it’s useful in different ways.
After 21 consecutive days of either stopping a bad habit or starting a good one, you can move on to another.
Creating good habits: The bottom line
Ready to create good habits and make more money? These 7 tips don’t work unless you do.
Hopefully, the tips in this post have helped you take one step forward in your journey to becoming a more productive, money-earning side hustler!