Focusing on career habits has many benefits: you can increase productivity, improve job performance, and get more from each day to positively impact other areas of your life.

Most habits in this section focus on productivity, which is simply a measure of your work efficiency during any given day. I’ve also included a number of small actions that will streamline your professional life. If you add any of the following to a stack, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in both the quantity and the quality of your workday efforts.

Let’s get to it.

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#1. Schedule Your Day

Type: Keystone habit

Best time to complete: Morning

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Without a schedule, it’s frighteningly easy to get to the end of the day and realize you’ve achieved nothing of importance. At the very least, you should make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish during the day and decide where your priorities lie.

This small habit is perfect for someone who has to work on many tasks and can’t narrow down this list to the three most important tasks (which we’ll talk about next).

Description: Make a list of the tasks you want to complete by the end of the day. Try to be realistic about your efficiency instead of creating a lengthy list of tasks that will be impossible to complete.

Use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to rate the importance of each task: 1 (important and urgent), 2 (important, but not urgent), 3 (not important, but urgent), or 4 (not important, not urgent).

Structure your day so you work on the first-quadrant tasks, then the second, then the third, and finally only work on the fourth if you have time (or if you want to goof off by completing a mindless task).

Schedule each task at a specific time, and be sure to include breaks. If you feel restricted by a tight schedule, then you can split your tasks into morning and afternoon sessions instead. The crucial thing here is to make sure that your day is focused on the activities that bring the most value to your job or business.

#2. Identify Your Three Most Important Tasks (MITs)

Type: Keystone habit

Best time to complete: Morning

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Another way to structure your day is to focus on your most important tasks (MITs) before anything else. This eliminates the problem of scheduling too many activities, and the feeling of failure when you don’t accomplish them all.

Identifying three MITs ahead of time keeps you focused on priority activities. In fact, if you only complete the MITs, then you can still consider it a productive day.

Description: If you keep a list of your projects in an app (like Todoist or Evernote), then it’s easy to identify your next tasks. From this list, pick the three tasks that have the highest priority or are considered both urgent and important. Don’t work on anything else until you have completed these MITs.

#3. Review Your Goals

Type: Keystone habit

Best time to complete: Mornings

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Everybody has goals. Sadly, the hustle and bustle of life often derails us from what we’d like to accomplish. That’s why it’s important to review goals daily, so you can create a plan of what you need to do that day to make progress on these outcomes.

Goals can be set for the day, week, month, quarter, or year. My rule of thumb is to create five to seven goals per quarter (i.e., every three months), and I recommend you do the same. Quarterly goals are far enough away so that you can achieve significant outcomes. But it’s also a short enough period that you can adjust if your long-term plans change.

Description: Keep your goals in an easy-to-access place. This could be in a binder or an app like Evernote. Then, once or twice a day, take five minutes to review these goals.

During this review, read each goal aloud and think about the tasks you have scheduled for that day. For each item, ask yourself, “How does this action bring me closer to one of my goals?” If you can’t come up with a good answer, then perhaps it’s a task that you should be skipped or delegated.

#4. Do the Hardest Task First

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: When you look at your list of tasks, it’s tempting to choose the smaller, easier tasks to do first. If you have a big project that fills you with dread, you’re much more likely to procrastinate and put it off until later. However, if you do that task first, you’ll feel energized knowing that the toughest item has been crossed off your list. The result is that all other tasks will feel like a breeze in comparison.

A study of elite musicians found that rather than practicing more than their peers, they were instead engaging in more deliberate practice, focusing on their hardest tasks and being more productive during their practice sessions. If you look at the hardest task on your list, you’ll probably find that it is also the task that will give you the most benefit.

Description: Look at your list of MITs and underline the one that you know you’d put off indefinitely if you had the chance. Get started on this task before you have a chance to think about it. Don’t work on your other tasks until it’s finished.

#5. Chunk Down a Project (or Task) into Manageable Steps

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Morning

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Sometimes a project is so overwhelming that you simply don’t know where to get started. This leads to procrastination and unnecessary stress. But if you set aside time during a stack to create a step-by-step plan, you can improve your productivity because you’ll know where to get started.

Description: For each of your major projects, take a few minutes to chunk it down into simple-to-complete steps. For instance, if one of your tasks is “write an article for my website,” you could break it down like this:

1.      Write the title, so you know what will be discussed.
2.      Conduct research to find quality resources and good quotes.
3.      Map out the subheadings and major talking points.
4.      Write the first draft.
5.      Write the second draft and tighten the copy.
6.      Review with the third draft, checking spelling and grammar.
7.      Format the post for your website.
8.      Source and resize images.
9.      Insert images.
10.      Upload and schedule the article.

By breaking a task into specific actions, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to be done and how to schedule the work into your day.

#6. Remove Distractions before Working

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Morning

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Most people find it’s impossible to ignore their email and social media notifications when trying to work. This means that if you’re interrupted every few minutes by a ping, push notification, or text alert, then your productivity will be greatly reduced.

Yes, these social activities are pleasurable—they give our brains a little hit of dopamine, otherwise known as the happy hormone. In other words, social media can be addictive. A quick five minutes on Facebook can easily turn into an hour, as many of us can attest to.

Rather than struggling against your brain’s natural inclination to procrastinate, save yourself a lot of time and hassle by simply closing your email tab and banning social media during work time.

Description: If you have strong willpower, then simply close out any app or website that might be distracting before a work session. However, if you’re someone who can’t rely on willpower alone, then there are a wide range of tools that can block your access to the most tempting distractions.

Here are a few apps and websites you can use:

•      Rescue Time: Understand how you spend your time so you can focus and increase your productivity.
•      StayFocusd: Limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites by installing StayFocusd on your computer.
•      Cold Turkey: Similar to StayFocusd, Cold Turkey temporarily blocks distracting websites so you can focus on work.
•      SelfControl: Block out distracting websites for a set amount of time.
•      Freedom: Schedule blocking social websites, apps, and even the Internet on all your devices.
•      FocusBooster: Uses the Pomodoro Technique so you can focus on single tasks for twenty-five minutes apiece.

We live in a world where distractions are all around us. You shouldn’t feel bad if you occasionally indulge in them. Instead, you should recognize that you’re not perfect and proactively use the above apps to prevent distractions whenever you need to laser-focus on a task.

#7. Create an Interruption-Free Environment

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: We’ve already talked about the importance of removing distractions before you sit down to the work, but there are a few additional measures you can take to remove distractions before starting a high-value task. What I recommend is to create a mini-stack that you’ll complete prior to any activity that requires 100% concentration.

Description: First, you need to set aside thirty minutes (one time) to create a simple routine where you identify all the distractions in your life. Then you’ll map out a simple process for how you’ll remove each one.

Next, you will complete a five-minute habit before starting an important task. My recommendation is to have it as the last small action in a stack, which can act as a bridge between the routine and your first MIT.

Here are a few things you can add to this stack:

•      Put your cellphone on airplane mode.
•      Turn off your wireless router (if you’re working on a deep work task that doesn’t require the Internet).
•      Play music or white noise that you feel helps you stay focused (see small action #9).
•      Wear a pair of headphones if you work in an office (do this even if you don’t listen to music, so you’ll have a barrier around the people who like to interrupt you).
•      Tell coworkers (and family members) that you shouldn’t be disturbed during this time unless it’s an emergency.
•      Use any of the tools mentioned in small action #6 to block the distractions on your computer.
•      Set a timer where you work at a priority task without taking a break. (My preference is the Pomodoro Technique, which I’ll talk about in a bit.)

Yes, I’ll admit many of these ideas are extreme. But if you’re having trouble focusing on priority tasks, then you need to take an aggressive approach to controlling those interruptions that prevent you from doing great work. If you implement any of these ideas, you’ll set up an environment that’s completely free from distractions.

#8. Declutter Your Desktop

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Morning or evening

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: It’s difficult to stay focused when surrounded by chaos. Spending five minutes clearing your work area at the start (or end) of each day will help to mentally prepare you for being productive. A cluttered desk can also be highly distracting, constantly reminding you of all the other things you need to do. Remove these physical distractions and you’ll see an improvement in your concentration.

It’s not just your physical environment that needs organization. A cluttered computer not only can be distracting, but also leads to wasted time that you’ll spend looking for the files you need. Get organized and you’ll be instantly more productive.

Description: Clear all paperwork off your desk except what you will need that day. Put everything else into physical folders, file boxes, and drawers—out of sight, out of mind.

Clear your computer desktop by deleting temporary files and downloads you don’t need anymore. File everything else in the appropriate folders.

#9. Improve Focus by Playing Music

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Science has shown that certain types of sounds and music can improve concentration or focus. Calming music, ambient nature sounds like rain or ocean waves, and simple background noise like a fan or the babble of conversation in a coffee shop may help you to concentrate and stay focused on your tasks.

If your career requires deep work where focus is crucial (like writing, finance, art, and computer programming), then you should consider playing a certain type of music during the blocks of time when you need full attention on a task.

For instance, I use the focus@will app whenever I write or simply need to focus on an important task. This tool has a mix of up-tempo, acoustic, and ambient sounds that block out all distractions and allow me to singularly concentrate on the writing task. In fact, since I’ve started using this tool, my writing productivity has gone through the roof.

Description: Now, you don’t need focus@will to improve your concentration. It costs $10 per month, which you might feel is a needless expenditure. However, I do recommend that you experiment with different types of music/sounds to see which one helps you focus the best.

I find that the best music for concentration is usually classical, ambient, or instrumental, without lyrics. You also could try a fan or air conditioner, nature sounds, or a website like Coffitivity that simulates the background noise of a busy coffee shop. There are also several white noise apps for iPhone and Android that offer a selection of different background noises.

Finally, you can find productivity playlists compiled by other users on YouTube and Spotify. Once you’ve found your ideal work soundtrack, play it whenever you’re ready to get down to work.

#10. Update Your Accountability PartnerType: Support habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily or weekly

Benefit: As we’ve discussed, when you’re only accountable to yourself, you’re likely to procrastinate on a task. That’s why you should work with an accountability partner where you send a quick update about your work-related tasks.

Description: There are many ways to send a quick update. You could have a short Skype or phone call. You might jot down your results and send them via email, text, or instant messenger. Finally, if you don’t have an accountability partner, you could use Coach.me, which combines a habit-building interface with a social aspect where members encourage one another as they hit important milestones.

#11. Reward Yourself for Completing a Task

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: If your day is all work and no play, you’ll eventually burn out. To keep your motivation high, try to add small rewards to your workday. These treats not only act as a break to replenish depleted levels of concentration, but they also work like a carrot on a stick—you’ll work faster and with more enthusiasm when you have something to look forward to after completing a difficult activity.

Description: For each major, important task on your daily list, plan a suitable reward you’ll look forward to. These treats don’t have to be anything fancy as long as they feel like a treat to you—a cup of coffee, goofing off on the Internet, a five-minute yoga session, or sitting down with a magazine is just fine. The key here is to keep these rewards as small as possible, so they don’t take up too much of your free time.

If you get stuck, we have a large list of rewards you can use to motivate yourself on our free companion website.

#12. Track Time for Your Activities

Type: Keystone habit

Best time to complete: Anytime + evenings

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Have you ever finished a workday knowing you’ve worked hard but don’t feel like you’ve accomplished anything? Why does this happen? Well, this often occurs when you overestimate time spent on work tasks and underestimate time spent on disruptive activities like talking to coworkers, checking Facebook, or browsing the Internet. A quick fix to this is to track your work time.

The benefit of tracking your time is it gives you true perspective on what you’re accomplishing, where you’re spending the most time, and what activities are a waste of effort.

Description: The simplest way to track your time is to use software or an app. I recommend one of these two options:

The first is RescueTime, which tracks your time on specific programs and websites. This is the perfect solution for anyone who knows they waste time but needs more information about their “problem areas.”

Rescue Time runs in the background and sends you a report at the end of each week so you’ll know exactly how much time you’re spending on different software applications and websites.

The second option is to manually track your time using an app. (I recommend aTimeLogger, which is a tool I use daily.) The idea here is to create “buckets” for each aspect of your job and then start/stop the timer whenever you’re working on a task related to one of these categories.

I’ll admit using aTimeLogger can be a bit obsessive. But it’s perfect for anyone who wants to maximize their productivity by spending the optimal amount of time on the important things related to their job or business.

As an example, I currently have fifteen categories of tasks for my business. But my monthly goal is to make sure that at least 30% of my time is spent writing and 10% is spent on book marketing. Since both are an integral part of my business, I use aTimeLogger to track my tasks and verify that the bulk of my time is focused on these two categories.

As part of my daily productivity stack, I review aTimeLogger. The goal here is to make sure that I’m hitting the percentages that are important for my business. If I’m not, then I make an adjustment for the next day to make sure I do more of these two activities. (If you’d like to learn more about how I manage my time through this app, then be sure to check out the step-by-step tutorial that I’ve provided through the free companion website.)

In regard to habit stacking, you should track each work-related activity (if you’re using an app like aTimeLogger), but you should also review the time logs at the end of the day during an evening routine. This will give you a true understanding of where you spend the most time and where you can minimize (or eliminate) certain activities.

#13. Work in Pomodoro Blocks

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Smart workers use time to their advantage by knowing how to ignore distractions while they’re on the clock. If you’re someone who has trouble focusing, then try condensing your efforts into short sprints and tracking them with a timer. A system for doing this is called the Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time-blocking system created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo that has been embraced by entrepreneurs and work efficiency experts.

Cirillo recognized that humans can focus only for a limited amount of time before becoming distracted. He found that it’s better to create a system where people focus for a condensed period and then proactively take a rest break before beginning the next sprint.

He named his technique after a popular kitchen timer that looks like a tomato (hence the name pomodoro, which is Italian for tomato). The timer was used like any old kitchen timer, but Cirillo experimented with time blocking until he discovered the most effective usage of time blocks (for efficiency in work production).

Description: When using the Pomodoro Technique, you:

1.      Choose a task (e.g., writing).
2.      Set a timer for twenty-five minutes.
3.      Work for twenty-five minutes without succumbing to any distractions.
4.      Take a five-minute break by getting up and walking around.
5.      Go back to work for another twenty-five minutes.
6.      After every four time blocks, take a fifteen- to thirty-minute break.

So, to put it all together, if you set aside 120 minutes for writing with the Pomorodo Technique every day, you would write for a total of 100 minutes, with three five-minute breaks between the sessions.

You might assume that this technique is not as effective as working without breaks. But think back to those times when you tried to do a task for an extended period of time. In all likelihood, you were energized at first, and then you reached a point when your concentration dropped off. Finally, you probably felt the urge to do anything besides your current task.

The Pomodoro Technique prevents these distractions because it keeps your mind fresh and focused. With the scheduled rest breaks, you have an opportunity to take a few minutes off to relax. So even though you’re working for less time, the quality of the content will be better than what’s normally created at the tail end of a marathon session.

If you’re interested in the Pomodoro Technique, you might want to download one of the following programs:

•      Team Viz (a program that syncs between your computer and mobile phone)
•      Rapid Rabbit (iPhone and iPad apps)
•      Flowkeeper (PC users)
•      Pomodoro (Mac users)
•      Pomodoro (Android users)

When it comes to time blocking, the amount of time you choose really depends on your personal preference. I like the Pomodoro Technique because it has a nice symmetry. The twenty-five minutes on and five minutes off adds up to thirty minutes. You can schedule these thirty-minute blocks throughout the day and use the time-tracking techniques that you just learned to make sure you’re working on priority activities.

#14. Write a “Done List”

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Evenings

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Many people struggle with to-do lists because they can make you feel demotivated if you plan too many activities. So another option is to create a “done list” where you jot down all the tasks you achieved for the day. This will help create motivation about what you’ll work on the next morning.

Description: Make a note of tasks as you complete them, or reflect at the end of the day and write down a list of everything you achieved. You can do this on paper or in an app like iDoneThis.

#15. Identify One Task to Delegate or Outsource

Type: Elephant habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Most careers have some tasks that are critical to the job and other tasks that are a waste of time. You can improve your job performance by maximizing the amount of time you spend on these high-value activities.

For instance, a salesman should increase his number of sales calls. A writer should write more. A lawyer should increase her billable hours. You get the picture.

The more time spent on these high-value tasks means an increase in your job performance and salary. So one simple way to have more time for important tasks is to identify (and delegate) any activity that gets in the way of maximizing your job efficiency.

If you have an employee, then delegate those time-consuming tasks. Or, if you’re willing to spend money, you can hire somebody to take care of them. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to remove those pain-in-the-butt tasks from your life and have somebody else worry about them.

Description: You can outsource anything these days. My advice is to keep a running list of chores and tasks you’d like to eliminate. Create the habit where you add one item to this list daily. The simplest way to do this is to pause for a few seconds before an activity and think to yourself, “Am I the only one who can complete the task?” If the answer is no, then jot it down on your list.

Once you have a little time—perhaps after a month—open this list and use the following resources to permanently eliminate this habit from your life:

•      Virtual Staff Finder: Increase your productivity by hiring a dedicated and experience Filipino virtual assistant.
•      Upwork: Hire from a large pool of freelance web developers, writers, graphic designers, and virtual assistants.
•      Fiverr: Pay $5 to get tasks done—anything from graphics and design, to digital marketing, to writing and translation, to video and animation, to music and audio, and advertising.
•      Taskrabbit: Post an ad to hire a Tasker to help you pack your boxes, build your furniture, or run your errands.
•      Angie’s List: Hire a fully vetted contractor to take care of that home improvement project you’ve been dreading.
•      Care.com: Sign up to search for pet, child, or senior “caregivers” and house sitters within your area.
•      MyLaundryOnline: An online laundry pickup and delivery service.
•      Shoedazzle: Take a quick style quiz and get a “personalized showroom” of high-fashion accessories and shoes to choose from.
•      Virtual Dating Assistants: Helps you write dating profiles, send messages to matches, and set up dates.
•      Fresh Direct: Get “groceries delivered to your door.”
•      Seamless: Order from your favorite restaurants and have them delivered to your door via your iPhone or Android.

It’s amazing what can be delegated or outsourced these days. All you have to do is think of the chores and activities that get in the way of your productivity and then do a little bit of research to find someone who can take them off your plate.

#16. Automate Your Work

Type: Elephant habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: If most of your work is through a computer, then you probably complete numerous small tasks that kill your productivity. Sure, each activity might only take a minute or two, but when you add them all up, the results are a significant loss of your work efficiency. Again, this is time that could be spent on high-value tasks or simply more time you could spend with your family. That’s why you should consider automating certain parts of your workflow with apps like IFTTT and Zapier.

The purpose of IFTTT and Zapier is to create automated rules between two pieces of technology that you frequently use. (IFTTT calls them recipes and Zapier calls them Zaps.) One of the cooler ones I found is certain coffee makers will start brewing when your FitBit registers that you’re awake. What you want to do here is automate all those small tasks that you do daily, which will free up your time to focus on the important things.

Description: This is an elephant task where it’ll take weeks, and sometimes even months, to fully automate your life. Actually, this can be addictive because you’ll start to think of all sorts of activities that can be automated.

My suggestion is to set aside a few hours to jot down all the small tasks and activities that you do every day. Be as thorough as possible because you might find a Zap or recipe that can automate these processes.

After completing this list, your small action is to pick one activity that can be automated. I’d recommend getting started with IFTTT first (since it’s 100% free). But if you can’t find a recipe for a regular task, then it could be found on Zapier.

#17. Unsubscribe from an Email List(s)

Type: Elephant habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: Email is one of the biggest “time sucks” around. While it’s now a critical part of the modern business environment, it’s also a productivity killer because it means most of your day is spent sorting through junk mail and responding to pointless conversations.

Now, it’s almost impossible to reach “inbox zero” as a part of your daily stack, but what you can do is unsubscribe from a few email lists each day.

Description: Most email management programs (like Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail) offer a search bar in their program that help you find messages according to the keywords that you enter. You can use this search bar to your advantage by entering one simple phrase: Unsubscribe.

Simply fire up your email program, enter the word “unsubscribe” in the search bar, and then look at each of the messages that it brings up. Odds are, you don’t really need most of the automated messages that show up. So each day, you remove yourself from these lists by opening up a few of the top messages and getting off their lists. Do this habit regularly and you’ll see a dramatic decrease in the amount of daily junk email.

#18. Research One “Side Hustle”

Type: Elephant habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: I’ll admit that much of this career habits section is written for folks who like their jobs and want to increase their productivity. Unfortunately, there are many who hate where they work and want to do something different. If that sounds like you, then you should consider researching a side hustle as a daily habit.

A side hustle is another way to describe a part-time activity that could turn into a full-time income.

Now, the downside of side hustling isn’t a lack of opportunities. In fact, the problem is there are too many choices here, which makes it hard to pick one and stick with it. That’s why you need to chunk down the decision-making process where you research one side hustle every day to see if it matches your personal preferences.

Description: While there are countless resources you can use to research a side hustle, the best starting points are Nick Loper’s Side Hustle Nation and his book Buy Buttons. Both provide a great overview of the different income-generating opportunities and what you need to do to create a similar business.

For this daily habit, I recommend researching a single business and asking yourself a few key questions like:

•      Do I have time to work on this side hustle?
•      What equipment is required to get started?
•      How much money do I need to invest in it?
•      Does the type of business match my personality (e.g., if you’re an introvert, then a business that requires an outgoing personality isn’t a good match)?
•      Can this business scale into a full-time income?

There are hundreds of side-income opportunities. My suggestion is to spend time each day learning the details about one to see if it matches your preferences. You could create a simple Excel spreadsheet that’s based on the above questions and then fill in an entry for each business.

If you commit this elephant habit for a few weeks, you’ll start to see a pattern of the businesses that you like and the ones to avoid. Then you can make an informed decision about the business that you should pursue.

#19. Make One Business Connection

Type: Keystone habit

Best time to complete: Anytime

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Well, it’s true for every area of life, but this is especially true when it comes to your career. Specifically, if you’d like a better job, then one of the best strategies you can do is to consistently build up your network by connecting with one person a day.

Description: There are many ways to improve your business network. My recommendation is to combine online networking websites with in-person events to build up your relationships.

Here are five resources you can use to get started:

•      LinkedIn: The best social media site for making business connections and profiling your skills, knowledge, and areas of expertise.
•      Beyond: Another social media site for professionals, with over 50 million registered members.
•      Meetup: The preferred site for finding specific groups in the area and connecting with people who are interested in your career field.
•      Facebook Groups: One of the best resources for finding people who share a mutual interest. There are millions of groups here, so it’s not hard to find a few that specialize in your industry.
•      Google Plus: While use of Google’s social site has diminished, it’s still embraced by folks in the business and technology fields. So if have a job like that, then this is a great place to look.

To get started on these websites, I recommend completely filling out your online profile. Be sure to list your skills, previous job experience, interests, and anything else that highlights your unique talents.

Next, make a commitment to contact an average of one new person every day. When introducing yourself, keep it brief and focus on making a genuine connection.

This message shouldn’t be about what you’d like to “get” from this person. Instead, talk about how you share an interest in the same career and you’d like to make a connection. Include a note from something about their profile that stood out.

The same principle applies for in-person meetups. Focus on making genuine connections and how you can help the other person first.

Once you start to build up your network, look for ways to strengthen these bonds. Send them referrals, comment on their social media updates, and share anything they’d like to promote. Most importantly, post updates and links to industry-specific content to show you’re someone who knows this business.

Building up your network won’t pay immediate dividends. But you’ll find that as you interact with new people, the occasional career opportunity will come up. And if you’re someone who constantly provides value, then it’ll be your name that they consider.

#20. Review HARO for Business Promotion Opportunities

Type: Support habit

Best time to complete: Morning and evening

Frequency: Daily

Benefit: If you run a business or freelancing service, then acquiring new customers and leads needs to be an important part of your daily routine. There are many resources and strategies you can use to promote your business, but one of the best is free publicity that can be generated from the Help a Reporter (or HARO) website.

HARO is used by journalists to find quotes and sources for their upcoming stories. They will post a request for help with a story, and if you reach out with a quality response, you can be quoted (even promoted) in their next story—all for free!

Description: The trick to HARO is consistency. You won’t find a request that matches your business every day. So, the best strategy is to check into the site twice a day, scan the queries in a category related to your business (e.g., Business and Finance, Education, Travel, etc.), and see if a request pops up that best relates to your business.

Once you find a query that matches your business, then schedule time into your day so you can respond back to it.