For many, habits can be seen as bad things — biting your nails, perpetually running late, procrastinating. But what about the ones that help you be the best version of yourself? If you're wondering what these might be, look no further than the habits of some of the successful women in your life.
Yes, if you look closely (or just ask) some of the boss ladies you know, you'll discover at least one habitual task they swear by to keep them on their A-game. Whether it's meditation, a to-do list, or just sleep, there's definitely some simple magic at work there. In fact, this habit could be something one doesn't do. I have learned that what I give energy to is what I give life to," says Randi Christiansen, Cofounder of Nécessaire. "As a result, the most powerful tool is saying no. My time has become my most valuable asset and I am incredibly conscious, aware, and deliberate of what I give it to."
To give you some more insight (and inspiration) on the various habits of successful women, ahead, female founders, CEOs, and executives sound off on the ones to which they've committed. Get ready to take all the notes.
Rachel Roff, Founder Of Urban Skin Rx
"I drink coffee every morning and eat a large breakfast so that I have the energy needed to conquer the business day. To keep endorphins going, I do spinning classes two to three days a week. I also try to put my phone down and watch Netflix for 30 to 60 minutes every night to turn my brain off and give it a rest. My brain is definitely overworked and burnt out at times because, as an entrepreneur, you have so much pressure and responsibility. It’s really important for me to rest my brain with things like TV shows and a good seven to eight hours of sleep at night."
Brooke Matthias, Wine Director At Winc
"Over the past year, meditation has become an important part of my routine. My job requires a lot of juggling and I find myself leveraging different parts of my brain throughout the day. I'm frequently transitioning between managing production numbers and dealing with spreadsheets, to advising on creative brand development and storytelling. Once I began making an effort to meditate multiple times per week, I strengthened my time management skills and felt better equipped to handle day-to-day stress.
For a lot of women, there is a constant pressure to do it all, which makes it really difficult to set aside time to properly unplug and reset. I've found that meditation (even if it's only for 10 minutes a day), makes me a better problem solver, and therefore, a stronger leader. Meditation is a stabilizer — it prevents excessive highs and lows. When I'm active in my meditation routine, I can face a problem head on and focus on crafting a solution, rather than feeling overwhelmed and stuck."
Zoë Foster Blake, Founder Of Go-To
"When I need to switch off, I go for a lap around the block or go meditate. It’s 20 to 30 minutes, and then I’m civilized and productive again. I’m still learning, though. I tend to get to a breaking point, before I realize I need to put the phone down.
Life can’t be give, give, up, up all the time. Downtime and accepting help are equally important. When I prioritize looking after myself, all the facets of life improve and I'm more efficient and creative professionally.”
Linda Wells, Founder Of Flesh and Founding Editor Of Allure Magazine
"It isn’t really a habit, but it’s something I had to develop over the years. I’ve learned to make clear, quick decisions and to explain those decisions to my team. The first part of that is crucial to progress, especially if you’re starting a business or creating something new. But I also learned that if I didn’t communicate the reasoning behind my decisions to my team, then they wouldn’t be empowered to make their own decisions along the way.
In the early stages of my career, I wasn’t in a position to make decisions. But I watched leaders struggle with this, conducting meetings that dragged on for hours into the night, and then returning the next day to reverse course. It created chaos and insecurity that affected all of us at every level. When I started Allure and Flesh, I learned that a big part of the work was to make a lot of small decisions quickly so that we could keep moving forward."
Sarah Gibson Tuttle, CEO And Founder Of Olive & June
"Sleep! I used to think that getting the bare minimum was the key to get everything done during the day. Less sleep equals more work hours, but it was a myth! I now know that the more sleep I get, the more efficient I am.
Having an off switch makes you a better worker and happier human. It is so important to have a healthy balance between personal and professional, and I believe in modeling this for my team."
Randi Christiansen, Co-Founder Of Nécessaire And Former Estée Lauder Companies Executive
"First, I try to connect with nature in deeper way at least twice a week. A sunrise walk. A sunset hike. It brings me back to what matters.
[...] I try to live by the motto: Be a lot to a few, instead of nothing to many. At the end of the day, having deep and meaningful relationships is what life is about to me. Those relationships demand time, adventure and love. Being clear on priorities is where it starts for me."
Donni Rae Edmonson, Founder Of Privilege Clothing, PIPERWEST Watches, And PrivTalks Podcast
"Scheduling. It’s the most important thing I have learned through the past decade of being an entrepreneur. Without having a work (and personal) schedule, I would hold myself accountable to work 24/7, and that’s just not the recipe for success. It is important to have a work/life balance, especially being a mom of three little kids.
Every Sunday I set my schedule for the week, to try to allow for focus during tasks. Being present is difficult when my mind can be very busy thinking about business tasks for multiple brands, family activities, and possibly maintaining a social life. I share my schedule with my team at our Monday meetings, and it helps for the team to schedule their needs from me accordingly."
Colleen Winter, Cofounder Of Lulus
"I am militant about getting a good night’s sleep. I also wake up very early to make each day as productive as possible.
This routine of early to bed and early to rise keeps me sane. With a business, marriage, and children, I need as many hours in the day as I can get."