Everyone has unique habits; some of which are good, some of which could be better. Consistently exercising good habits will make a significant difference in all areas of life; something successful business professionals learned a long time ago. Good news – we can break bad habits, and conversely, we can always assume new ones.

Here are five everyday habits that will help maximize your success in and outside the office.

1. Read the Newspaper Daily-There Are Apps for That!

If there’s one trait that the most successful IT and business professionals all possess, it is intellectual curiosity. Leaders tend to have the desire to learn outside the scope of their professional and personal life. They appear to know everything – and it’s because they ask relentless questions. Learning to ask why and be inquisitive helps identify opportunities others will miss. This curiosity shows itself in a natural interest in keeping up-to-date with current events both nationally and internationally. Reading the paper is a great way to do this.It will keep you well informed and give you insight on topics outside of what you already know.

There are a variety of mediums to take in the daily news. You could bookmark a few internet sites, flip on your TV to gather your daily dose of info or better still download popular social news apps for your smartphone. There’s also something to be said for taking the news in “old-school” and picking up a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post or New York Times. Reading the newspaper is a visual and tactile experience. Not to mention, you will end up reading articles that you may not have searched online, or may not have been highlighted on TV while you were tuned-in. It may seem sacrilegious to the IT Industry, but sometimes it’s a good thing to take a break from all of that technology and read a paper.

2. Use a Planner or Notebook. Daily.

Beyond people with eidetic memories, most of us could use a notebook to jot down important notes. Expecting to keep it all inside our heads is unrealistic and strenuous. Additionally, a notebook can serve as a creative space to put ideas that come to you when you least expect it. Writing something down commits it to memory, so it’s important to write down anything you’ll need to remember in the future. Note taking isn’t something that should diminish after graduation.

3. Take Extra Time in the AM.

It’s important to take a few extra minutes in the morning to look your best. Let’s face it, when you look your best, you feel your best (or at least a heck of a lot better than when you know you don’t look so hot). You never know who you will meet that day, so always dress appropriate for the occasion, as a first impression is a lasting one. Someone who appears put-together on the outside automatically gives the impression that they will be organized in their working life as well.

Related: 6 Secrets that Make Successful People Insanely Productive

4. Run for Your Life.

Two attributes admired in the workplace are perseverance and resilience. The ability to successfully overcome challenges and hardships, perhaps even thrive in them, is a leadership quality that everyone recognizes. Thankfully, there are ways to practice our ability to persevere in everyday life through small habits. Start by picking a hobby that will add value to your life, but maybe you are hesitant to do; for example, running. Now set a number of times you will do it each week. It’s almost guaranteed that you won’t want to run (or whatever you choose) everyday, but committing to determination and perseverance through moments of doubt or laziness will get you through it. Small habits like this will eventually mold your personality and the way you approach less than favorable situations.

5. Become a Master of Time Management

Understanding the value of time is undoubtedly the most beneficial habit to adopt. Great leaders understand that time supersedes money as the most valuable commodity. We can never get back the time we waste. Whether that’s the time spent on social media instead of being productive at work, or the time you spent working overtime when you could have been with your family; it’s important to get in the practice of prioritizing and being aware of our time. Unexpected situations will come up both in the workplace and at home that will often make you change your plans, but if you can consistently be thinking of your time as your greatest asset, you’ll find you’re able to accomplish many more things.

Victoria is a content writer and career guidance expert for Minneapolis based company, Benchmark Learning. The company specializes in IT training, business training and career training center. Being in the training industry for more than 25 years has helped lead Benchmark to the top of the training industry.

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