By following habits that productive people do every day, you can be as happy as these office workers ... photo by CC user 19762676@N00 on Flickr

A lot of people decide to work for themselves so that they can manage their schedule. The idea is that when you’re in charge of your day, you can get away with working fewer hours than at a traditional job. Anybody who’s made it as an entrepreneur, like Ehsan Bayat, knows that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

When you only have yourself to depend on, and when you absolutely love the work you’re doing, you’ll find yourself working from day to night, practically every day of the week. Plus, you simply have to get things done, and most of the time, work takes up most of the hours in the day.

Long work days can take their toll, though. When your energy is zapped, you don’t have the focus needed to get through your work days. To stay productive, consider making these three habits part of your daily routine.

1) Early to bed, early to rise! At one point in your life, you probably had an easy time staying up late and then getting up early. The truth is, though, if you’re sleep deprived, you simply cannot function at your best. Even if you’re productive, you could be more productive with enough rest.

When you go to sleep and when you wake up is just as important as how many hours you clock. Going to sleep at 11 p.m. means you’ll get a better night’s sleep than if you turn in at 2 a.m., even if you sleep for seven hours both nights.

Your circadian rhythm makes it so that there are natural and unnatural sleep time spans. You’ll get a better night’s sleep if you go to bed during the natural times. Plus, a lot of people function better in the morning.

If you wake up at 9 a.m. and aren’t ready to get to work until 10 a.m., you may have lost a few hours of vital work time. There are apps available to help you figure out your circadian rhythms and to wake you up in a fool-proof way. For example, one app makes you take a certain number of steps before the alarm turns off.

2) Start every day with meditation or another type of focus activity. You need to begin each day with a clear idea of where the day will take you. If you’ve ever had a morning where you already felt behind before you even brewed your first cup of coffee, you know how important it is to start the day out right.

Meditate, practice deep breathing, or simply focus on the day ahead. Whatever you do, make sure that planning for your day’s big objectives is part of the routine. At the same time, don’t wake up and immediately jump to work.

You need to take a few minutes for yourself. Do what you need to do in order to get focused, whether that’s straightening up your home office, eating a healthy breakfast, or taking a shower.

3) Engage in some type of physical activity. Not only will you be physically healthier, but you’ll also notice that your emotional and mental health will improve. You’ll have both the physical and mental energy to take on your day, which is going to be jam-packed if you work for yourself.

Plus, knowing that you’re going to be working out at a set time gives you something predictable to add to your day. If you’re having a stressful day, you know that by 5 p.m. you’ll be working out your frustrations on the treadmill.

Adding these habits to your day-to-day life isn’t necessarily easy. After all, you’re talking about adding more “To Do” items than you already have and possibly altering your sleep schedule. In the end, though, you’ll get more done, be more efficient, and have more success if you make these three habits everyday requirements.