7 Habits I Started Last Year That Dramatically Changed My Life

By Ahmed Safwan

May 15, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Being an entrepreneur and building a business is a big challenge- a very big challenge.

What if you work full time elsewhere, but you’re really passionate about it? Would you still do it?

That’s the case for me, but there’s more to it than just that.

I’m a dentistry student who got a 3.92 GPA in his first year and built a 5-figure freelancing business that same year.

All that and I’m just 20 years old. Sounds challenging, right?

But, I was able to do it. My secret?

I use the power of habits. I keep building habits that help me become productive so that I can reach my goals.

To help you achieve the same things, here are the 7 productive habits that I formed last year that had a huge effect on my life and my business.

Read More… by Smart Reading

It’s no secret that most of the leaders and high achievers in most fields are avid readers. For example, Warren Buffet, the billionaire investor, says that he spends 80% of his day reading.

Back then, I wasn’t able to spend a lot of my time reading due to my studies. That’s when I saw this Ted Talk by Tai Lopez entitled Why I Read a Book a Day (And Why You Should Too).

Authors often put a lot of fluff in their books to make it 300 pages long. What you need to do is to extract the golden nuggets, even if that means reading only a few chapters of a book.

For a detailed step by step guide, check out this video from Alex Becker, How To Read A Book Every Day (3 Step Speed Reading).

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Get the right amount of sleep, even if you’re busy

get enough sleep

When I tell any of my friends about my GPA and successful business, they always say something like, “That means you’re sleeping 2 hours a day.”

Imagine the shocked look on their faces when I say that I always try to sleep no less than 7.5 hours a day. Yes, there are a few days here and there, especially during exam time, when I sleep less.

But, sleep is very important for productivity so don’t compromise your sleep just to get more done. To start learning about the importance of sleep, check out the article by James Clear, The Science of Sleep.

Try to avoid exposure to blue light 2 hours before you sleep. This is a fast hack you can apply to get better sleep.

The short wavelength blue light — which is emitted from your laptop and mobile screens — can decrease the secretion of the hormone melatonin. It’s the sleeping hormone that can affect your sleep quality and is essential in getting into deep sleep.

Of course, I can’t stop working 2 hours before bedtime every day. So, I dim the display and I use a blue light filter where the screen turns orange/yellow. I use F.lux and it’s free.

Going on a walk for 30 minutes

I used to have a lot of days where I was completely burned out and I couldn’t study or do any work. When I look at the screen, I can’t write a word and when I try to study, all I get is zero even after an hour.

That is when one of my friends suggested taking a walk for just 30 minutes a day.

In a nutshell, it was worth it.

To get the maximum benefits, I listen to Tony Robbins or a podcast, like the Tim Ferriss Show, Entrepreneur on Fire, the School of Greatness by Lewis Howes and the Fizzle Show.

The benefits of walking included improved sleep and decreased burnout. Plus, I also got to learn new ideas to improve myself and my business.

You need to start this habit, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.



Thanks to Robin Sharma, this is an essential part of my life now. It helps me feel positive all day.

In the morning, I write my to-do list and one thing I am grateful for. In the evening, I write notes about what happened during my day, especially what made me feel negative.

Before I sleep, I write 5 small wins. This makes me feel good about myself and it helps me to focus on making a few more wins the next day so I can write them down, too.

I use the bullet journal system. You can check out this cool 101 series from Boho Berry.

Don’t skip this one. It’s invaluable!

See Also: 5 Benefits of Journaling To Inspire and Motivate You

Just waking up earlier than usual

Most people wake up at the last minute and get dressed and go to work/college.

After reading The Miracle Morning, I stopped doing that.

The Miracle Morning

Not only did my stress levels become lower, but my productivity became higher, too. What’s great is that you can even customize your morning routine by adding a few short activities, such as exercise, journaling, and affirmations.

If you’re not yet doing this, do yourself a favor and read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod– ASAP.

Using the Pomodoro technique

I’ve saved the best tip for last.

If you want to know how I achieve more while working less, this is the secret.

The Pomodoro technique is a simple technique where you do focused sessions of 25 minutes of work and then take a rest for 5 minutes. That’s it.

It helps you eliminate distractions and focus on the tasks at hand so you get more done.

Check out this cool article from Chris Winfield, How to Get 40 Hours of Work Done in 16.7.

These are the 7 habits I started practicing last year to achieve what I accomplished today. And these are the exact things that you need to achieve more in your life.

Yes, you can achieve great results in your life, too. All you need to do is take the time and use the right habits to guide you along your way.

You can do it and these 7 productive habits are going to help you get started! To help you apply them, I have created this cheat sheet to guide you along the way. Click HERE to grab it.

Ahmed Safwan

Ahmed Safwan built his business while studying dentistry. He wants to share with people how they can build their business on the side. Click here to grab your free 5-day course to discover the principles that helped me build my business on the side.

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