Ever wonder how some of the world’s most successful women balance their work and life—their interpersonal relationships with their professional obligations. It can be argued that everyone has his or her own hardships to overcome, but women in particular also have to deal with gender discrimination, unfair laws, and outdated stereotypes and prejudices. Over the years, we’ve noticed that most successful women have several habits in common. We’ve listed them below so that you, too, can “slay all day” and become a “Bill Gates in the making” or become a music and fashion industry star like “The Queen” herself, Beyoncé…. so as she says “Ladies, get in formation”:
They wake up early.
For many women, the biggest challenge of the day is getting it started. We know the struggle is real; sometimes it’s difficult to convince yourself to get out of bed when you feel so comfy and cosy. However, becoming an early bird has its undeniable benefits, and some of the world’s most successful women are up and at it long before the sun even is. Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass wakes up at 4:30 and goes running. Former Avon CEO Andrea Jung wakes up at 5 to go to the gym before work starts at 8. Vogue’s Anna Wintour goes to tennis at 6. Multi-awarded journalist Ann Curry slips out of bed at 3:45. Getting up early is metal.
But it’s not about getting up early so much as it is about making productive use of the hours one has in a day. You could get up at 5 in the morning every day, sure, but spending 3 hours scrolling on your phone before work, does not qualify as productive use of that time. Successful women wake up early to get a head start on the things they hope to accomplish, thus getting more done in a single day than the average person.
They practice mindfulness.
In a psychological context, mindfulness is the process of purposely focusing one’s attention to what is happening in the present moment. Think of all the things you do in a day that you’re often unaware of: how many times have you been jolted in the middle of a commute with the realisation that you may have forgotten to close the garage door or unplug your iron? These things happen because we stop being mindful about these actions, and it can lead to inefficiency and wasted time. Being mindful means recognising the seemingly infinitesimal action of locking your apartment door behind you as you leave, getting yourself to work calmly and on time—instead of rushing back home because you aren’t sure, only to find that you did and your home is safe.
Being mindful is also not just about preventing yourself from wasting time; it’s also about being aware of one’s environment and the people around you. It helps you make better decisions and enhances your emotional intelligence. A few minutes of mindful meditation each day can lower your stress levels and improve your ability to deal with crises. Most of all, mindfulness can bring peace and help you appreciate the little things more, making you a happier and more compassionate woman.
They invest in themselves.
You may have noticed this already, but most successful female entrepreneurs do not live sedentary lives. They eat well, exercise, and get adequate amounts of sleep. They understand that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health and that the latter feeds the former. Girl bosses don’t skip breakfast; they don’t overindulge in coffee or liquor. They eat healthily and don’t pack their fridges with processed food or leftover takeout boxes. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is one of the best examples of this: she grows vegetables in her garden and uses plenty of it in her meals. She even goes as far as to take her own avocadoes with her on trips because she doesn’t like to pay for them!
While enriching their bodies, they also feed their minds. Girl bosses arm themselves with knowledge and are always hungry for more. They keep abreast of current events and pay attention to the news. They read books. Again, Oprah Winfrey is an excellent example of this. She’s a voracious reader who loves sharing the habit with others through her very own book club.
Perhaps the most important way that successful women invest in themselves is that they know when to take a break—and how. Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post sleeps for an average of 8 hours each night and meditates for a half-hour after waking. Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, and Halle Berry all insist on getting at least 8 hours of shuteye, too. Ellen DeGeneres practices transcendental meditation and claims that it has helped her manage her anxiety.
As women, one of the most powerful qualities we possess is being in touch with our emotions. We aren’t shy about expressing how we feel, which gives us the openness to communicate effectively and bond with others. Successful female entrepreneurs take it a step further by making the first move, taking the initiative to grasp opportunities in both their professional and personal lives. They don’t underestimate the power of saying “hello” first when it comes to networking and building connections.
Becoming a successful woman entrepreneur is as much about your attitude as it is about your business. Cultivating good habits can be the first step towards winning in your professional life, or they can help you manage the stresses of running your own company, leading to a happier, healthier you. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one!