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10 Lists to Keep If You Want to Be Successful

10 Lists to Keep If You Want to Be Successful

The human mind is truly incredible, and we should all strive towards creating a tenacious memory we can rely on. Many lucrative professions or hobbies require such a trait—actors, musicians, artists and entertainers in general do countless drills, just so the required information can be embedded in the memory with certainty. Clearly numerous doors that lead to a successful future are unlocked if one has a great memory. Although beneficial, it is not an essential ingredient within the success formula—what you lack in memory can always be compensated with diligence.

Keeping track of crucial elements in your life through list-making is still an unrivaled tactic for counterbalancing feeble recollection. By utilizing constant reminders, we can have significantly greater organization, we won’t be under the impression we have forgotten something, and we will have a clear insight into which task has a stamp of immediacy attached to it. Here are ten suggested lists that warrant implementation, in order to track achievements and nurture ambition.

1. List of Goals

369468-reach-for-the-stars

    “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

    —Zig Ziglar

    Goals and ambition is what drives us and motivates us, but we need to ask ourselves what is it that we want in order to feel truly accomplished. Your list of goals should consists of all the items that you deem are necessary to truly respect yourself. It can be financial stability, a place you can call your own, starting your family, being independent, etc. People have different criteria when it comes to goals, and this list in particular is ever-growing; it changes as you mature, but it always feels great when you cross something out of it. Without such a list, you lose direction of where your life is heading, and we all need some inner guidance to focus on—a good reason to get up in the morning.

    2. List of Tasks

    lucid-dream

      “Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.”

      —Theodore Isaac Rubin

      Tasks are actually milestones on the road to goal completion, and these lists have a tendency to become quite copious. New tasks emerge on a daily basis, regardless of whether you are an employee, a student, or a freelancer. Despite the fact that they are arduous, we always have some sense of achievement once the task is complete, or when a certain problem is solved. By avoiding to make such lists and lists of our daily tasks, they’ll simply pile up and eventually become a hindrance.

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      In the event you have larger tasks that need more than a day, a week or a month before they can be completed, then break those tasks into smaller daily assignments, and put them on the list as well. As long as you monitor larger tasks while completing minor daily milestones, you will have a greater grip on progression and continuous source of motivation. List and sticky notes are actually quite potent tools for increase in productivity, especially while we are working from home.

      Lastly, it is worth mentioning that you should also have a list of personal tasks, or tasks you do for the sake of self-fulfillment. These are related to your personal goals, and governing passions—writing a book, painting, crafting etc. These tasks will define you and offer a much greater sense of achievement, so give it your all to create something you can be proud of.

      3. List of Contacts

      contact_us

        “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”

        —Aristotle

        It would be delusional to assume you can make it all on your own; however, at the same time, a flawed partnership can result in disastrous outcome as well. It is extremely difficult to find compatible allies and contacts, since friends and family—in other words, people close to you—may not be the best choice for a business partner. If you want to enter into a partnership with someone, make sure the person shares the same vision. Tread lightly and try to ascertain your potential partner’s level of reliability.

        Throughout life, we come across skillful, capable and talented people, whose competence might be needed in the future, depending on your line of work of course. Do not be hesitant to offer a helping hand when they are in need, since you can gain a valuable contact. The point being: make a special list of all important contacts, like reliable programmers, handymen, lawyers, etc. Remember not to only reach out when you are in need. You need to maintain a healthy and natural relationship and be there for those people if they require your assistance. Truth be told, it can be arduous to forge strong friendship bonds, but having important acquaintances and becoming an important acquaintance is very much possible.

        Without such a list, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to possible future complications; moreover, make sure this list is well-kept since once you lose a contact like this one, it can be somewhat troublesome to recover such data. Just be sure you have recovery data tools at your disposal to mitigate the damage if something were to happen to your phone.

        4. List of Expenses

        coolest-money-tools

          “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.”

          —Jonathan Swift

          This may be a quite mundane piece of advice, yet it is very often neglected. As we all know, there are two types of expenses: those that are necessary, (bills, taxes, food) and those expenditures used for indulging some personal cravings. There is a degree of restraint that the majority of us lack in order to approach the matter with a satisfying level of prudence. To say it bluntly, we treat our wants like our needs, and necessities and primary obligations are pushed in the background. Of course, this may sound a bit exaggerated, but the truth is the pressure of a consumer’s culture eventually becomes overwhelming, resulting in a purchase we shouldn’t be able to afford at the time. This kind of behavior can be avoided by utilizing lists, and turning them into an omnipresent reminder of what is truly important.

          By making lists of all the monthly expenses we are obligated to pay, we’ll have a clear overview with how much resources are there at our disposal. On the other hand, without this list filled with meticulous calculations, we are prone to believing that we have more freedom to engage in a shopping spree, ultimately causing our bills to pile up; thus, we end up a step closer to a financial suicide. Handling finances properly, or the fact that we prioritize the costs of living, is a responsibility that signifies maturity. Success is commonly measured by the amount of wealth and without adequate spending tactics, you prevent its accumulation.

          5. List of Useful Tools

          Useful-Apps

            “If you’re the type of person who has to fulfill your dreams, you’ve got to be resourceful to make sure you can do it.”

            —Vin Diesel

            Today’s society vastly depends on the use of technology—we exchange information, conduct calculations, measure time, etc. This level of reliability also suggests liability. If something were to happen to our cell phone or personal computer, it would be a sizable setback that could harm our capabilities severely. As mentioned, losing contacts can truly be troublesome. It is even worse however, to have your life’s work lost and compromised.

            Useful tools are not only limited to recovering damage; they also encompass tools that make your job easier. With efficiency and a greater level of competence, you are a step closer toward success. Using the right apps and tools can make up for our lack of skills in a particular area, or simply help us manage our work in a more timely manner. Keeping a list of useful tools will come in handy whenever you are faced with more common problems, like finding a good restaurant for a business dinner, driving through unfamiliar terrain, task management, learning, and there are even tools capable of helping you recover stolen property.

            Even though the list is not as crucial as the ones mentioned so far, it is undeniable that having it can save you a lot of time if the need for it ever arises. The Internet is a vast sea of both useful and useless tools, and by filtering out those that are irrelevant, you won’t have to conduct countless searches when you are in need of adequate tools for problem solving.

            6. List of Self Improvements

            meditation

              “The minute that you’re not learning I believe you’re dead.”

              —Jack Nicholson

              Reasonable to assume this one is unavoidable, and it always deserves to be mentioned. It is safe to assume we are all aware of our shortcomings; if not all of them at least some of them. Think about yourself, make a list of all the things you would like to improve or change, then consider how to implement those changes. Despite the fact that those who are close to you do not pressure you into changing or improving, you should always make constant endeavours to do so, for your own sake.

              The list of improvements should consist of physical changes, changes spiritual in nature, abandoning bad habits etc. No one expects you to change entirely in a short time period, but making a decision to change one thing on a yearly basis is a viable resolution, quite easy to execute. The list is there simply to remind you which improvement to prioritize, and build up your confidence after each completion. Refusing to change can either result in lack of confidence and depression, or becoming an overconfident and self-absorbed person that no one will tolerate for long; both of these traits are contradictory to your quest for a successful future.

              7. List of Creative Ideas

              motorsport_idea

                “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

                —Waldo Emerson

                Throughout history, people who made the most significant impact on the world were those with a revolutionary way of thinking, those who dared to challenge the established order and alter the status quo. For an idea to be classified as creative, it needs to be new, it needs to make sense, and it needs to have some sort of use. For example, creating something to help the disabled communicate online, or simply type—that way, people who have lost their limbs could blog or become creative writers, and show the world a piece of their mind. Thus a keyboard in a form of braces could enable them to type using their tongue; however I am not an engineer, so I do not know whether something like this is possible.

                Whenever a new idea comes to your mind write it down, then browse the web to see if you indeed have stumbled upon something ground-breaking. Once your list has grown, then you need to start pondering on the subject to see whether it holds closer scrutiny. Ask for a second opinion and see what you would need to realize your idea. In a majority of cases, this is how successful people are created. Rest assured that it is very possible that people won’t be impressed with your creativity as much as you are, but do not allow yourself to be discouraged—after all, perseverance has a crucial role in a career as well. Monitoring your thoughts incites productive thinking and hones your focus; it keeps our mind occupied. Letting your good ideas slide is only a wasted potential that will put your progress in a halt.

                8. List of Future Plans

                clock

                  “The future is uncertain but the end is always near.”

                  ―Jim Morrison

                  We have all heard statements like “Tomorrow is a mystery,” “Live for today,” and “You can’t affect the future.” Personally, I heavily disagree with such a point of view. Although I do agree that, in particular circumstances, making plans for the future is doing Sisyphus work, not planning it at all seems utterly mortifying. I also believe that everyone makes some sort of plan; the problem is this fear of uncertainty that thwarts our will to act.

                  To make your resolve more adamant, compile a list of your future plans, see what you need in order to make them come true. This one is very similar to the first list—the one with goals; the difference is, it does not have to involve your personal future. Rather, it is list of upcoming important events, important changes in law, or upcoming trends, useful software, etc. It will keep you well-informed and prepared, since staying updated and relevant are essential virtues for lucrative businessmen.

                  9. List of Contingency Plans

                  emergency-checklist

                    “You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it.”

                    —Denzel Washington

                    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, meaning there is nothing you can do without consequences. Every attempt to be more successful usually has a set of barriers attached to it, or risks. Even though risks are inevitable, being prepared for the aftermath is always a good and necessary thing. When you plan your business incentives, or when you plan to invest in something, make sure you compose a thorough pros and cons list, as well as a list of possible negative scenarios. In the event that positive aspects outweigh the negative ones, you can be more encouraged to proceed further.

                    Make an effort to be constantly prepared for the backlash of major initiatives, and contain the possible damage. The lack of contingency implies recklessness, and it was adamantly made clear how this approach contradicts advancement. Make leaps of faith only when you have no other options to explore.

                    10. Bucket List

                    bucket-list-riw-bucket

                      “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone.”

                      —Harriet Beecher Stowe

                      Finally, learn to live for the sake of experiencing what life has to offer. It is invigorating, to say the least, and it keeps your regrets at minimum. One of the reasons why we want to be successful is to actually fulfil our dreams or complete our bucket list, to look back on our life during old age with a warm smile rather than a frown. Feel free to put even the impossible things on your bucket list, and find the next best thing using your creativity. Whenever you reach a rough patch in your life, take a look at you bucket list and see what is the most plausible thing to do in order to restore your will power and keep going.

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                      Djordje Todorovic

                      Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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                      Published on January 16, 2019

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                      You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                      You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                      That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                      Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                      1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                      Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                      We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                      To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                      At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                      The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                      2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                      Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                      The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                      In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                      It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                      It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                      So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                      • Are you a great strategist?
                      • Are you an effective planner?
                      • Is Project Management your strength?
                      • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                      • Are you the ideas person?
                      • Is Implementation your strength?

                      Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                      3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                      One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                      Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                      Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                      Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                      4. Take Time for Planning

                      “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                      One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                      You can take the time to think about:

                      • What’s the purpose of the project?
                      • How Important is it?
                      • When does it need to be delivered by?
                      • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                      • What are the KPIs?
                      • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                      • Who is working on this project?
                      • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                      • What tolerances can I add in?
                      • What are the review stages?
                      • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                      Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                      5. Focus on Priorities

                      Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                      Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                      One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                      1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                      2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                      3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                      4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                      James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                        The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                        If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                        If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                        6. Take Time Out

                        To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                        If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                        Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                        In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                        Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                        7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                        Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                        I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                        Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                        If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                        8. Stop Multitasking

                        Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                        So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                        When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                        If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                        9. Work in Blocks of Time

                        To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                        I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                        Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                        Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                        Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                        Then take another 10-minute break.

                        Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                        By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                        10. Get Rid of Distractions

                        Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                        “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                        Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                        If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                        11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                        You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                        Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                        Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                        12. Take a Time Audit

                        Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                        Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                        You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                        Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                        Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                        At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                        If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                        13. Protect Your Confidence

                        It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                        When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                        Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                        When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                        Final Words

                        A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                        The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                        If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                        Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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