By Jo Gifford Career Rituals and habits for success 4 Feb 2016 If you’re reading the word rituals and starting to worry – stop. I promise it doesn’t involve sun worship or eating strange foods. Rituals to me, are simply purposeful habits. They are the systems we bring into our lives to improve a part of it. If you have a certain place for your keys, for example – that’s a ritual. You created that space so that every morning you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of “where are my keys, what was I wearing yesterday, are they in the pocket, was I carrying shopping.” Your brain doesn’t even have to register keys – it already knows where they are. In doing these simple things we free up thought space, and in freeing up that space we leave room for our creativity and strengths to shine. If your brain is bogged down in 100 little details, that’s all it can do. Poor thing. Business success and rituals So what does it mean for success in business? Well, to me it’s twofold. First, there is the decluttering part. It’s all about removing all the small stuff so that there is room for the big stuff to get through. We all have repetitive tasks to complete at work.Whether you’re a solopreneur, a microbiz owner, trainee, director or partner of a firm, we all have them. So, first up get a list of them. Then, schedule them in. For example I have a podcast, I record it every Monday so I can pass it to my team and it can be published on a Friday. I know that I do it every Monday so I don’t have to bother thinking about when I’m going to fit it in. Putting your tasks in your schedule is key. In my experience, if it isn’t scheduled it’s not done. When you have these everyday tasks planned out you will lose that nagging “oh I must do X, Y, Z” feeling which is a mood crushing, waste of brain space and productivity. OK, so we’re cleared out some of the clutter, your synapses will already be thanking you. Proactive versus reactive Next up, we have the other side to rituals. If the above is a reactive ritual then I like to think of the next part as being proactive. So I want to share this quote with you: “Rituals in every part of life serve as a source of psychic bedrock. They provide just enough of a foundation to allow you to free up that part of your brain that needs permission to run unencumbered in the quest to create the greatest possible something from nothing.” – Jonathan Fields, Uncertainty What it’s really getting at is that if you encourage rituals in every part of your life, then your brain is free to go ahead and create those nuggets of brilliance which relate directly to your business and your success. What kind of rituals could they be? Well, mornings are great for this. I know the idea of getting up even earlier isn’t appealing but just an hour a day can make a massive difference. (Well, seven hours a week of difference, actually). Whether it’s getting some exercise in, meditating, reading something inspiring, or focussing on your goals, just make sure it is something for you. If mornings really aren’t for you, then carve out some time during the day and schedule it. Treat it like a non-negotiable appointment. When I started a morning ritual the benefits I noticed after just 10 days were astounding. I was more focused, more inspired (hello challenging reading, goodbye brain fluff Buzzfeed), I was nicer to everyone because I had already spent time for myself, on my own before dealing with anyone else’s needs, and I was generating more content for my business – bingo! So if you fancy more success, and who doesn’t, give it a go. Set up your own rituals for success and share with us what they are. Jo Gifford mentors solopreneurs to tell their business story online and to work in smarter, creative ways on www.dexterousdiva.co.uk.