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8 Basic Skills All Successful People Have

8 Basic Skills All Successful People Have

A successful person is someone who has achieved what they have set out to to do an often exceeds expectation entirely. Some examples of successful people are Warren Buffet & Bill Gates, both of which have amassed billions of dollars from their efforts in two different avenues of prosperity, but what are the core basic skills that all successful people have?

1. Motivational Skills

In the words of ET the Hip Hop Preacher, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Now you may not think that a burning desire to achieve is a skill, but it in essence it is the skill that carries us through to the end, to our final glorious destination that we can then look back and revel in. Lighting your burning desire and keeping it lit is the skill.

2. Communication Skills

As you begin your success journey (once you’ve lit your burning desire dynamite wick), for the most part many people will realize quite soon that as fantastic that we all think we are, we need other people in some way shape or form. We need to take to other people, communicate with people; communicating with people can be in the form of writing copy for your ebook, enticing a client to buy your “platinum package,” thanking/acknowledging the lady who cleans your office or even the drunk stranger you might meet in a bar who gives you some overwhelming enlightenment about what you’re doing wrong in your career/business.

Personally I am a very independent, slightly introverted person, but despite this, I (and so should you) am well aware that two heads are better than one.

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3. Organisation Skills

The world is full of distractions, from TVs, to friends, to families, to adverts on the internet. If you go ahead with your dream or your plan, unless you have some guru-like focus, you will need to organise your life. Organizing your life is difficult if it’s a mess, at least for the first few days, but once you’ve got your house cleaned, start writing down all the things that you need to do each day and complete them all, as soon as you can and to the best of your ability.

Take a shot writing lists for a week, everyday write down a minimum of 5 important things that you know/want/need to do and put a time by all of them, once the clock strikes that time then force yourself to do it; you could do various things, whether its sell your old stuff on eBay, write a blog post, push out 10-20 pushups, it doesn’t matter, break your goal into smaller objectives, write them on paper and complete them step by step. You will see a seemingly magical improvement which in itself will motivate you to continue to organize, achieve and be successful.

4. Emotional Intelligence Skills

Think about someone successful, put yourself in their shoes, and think about a hard decision they will have made and ask yourself whether you would have cowered away due to fear. For example, take Usain Bolt, think about the decision to become and continue being a sprinter, with a potential lack of employment opportunities looming over him and more negatives, would you have cowered away for fear of being broke? Yes, of course, everyone fears the future, but again, fuel your burning desire to achieve, communicate and get help, organize your life and then conquer your fears and other success suppressant emotions.

Throughout life we are bombarded by ups and downs but if you want to be a successful person then you will have to learn to grow exponentially on the up’s and continue to fight through the down’s. Arguments, fights and negativity from other people only slows you down when you deem them to be stronger than you, at the end of the day, emotions are simply bio-chemical fluctuations in your body and you need to see them as such and understand that the “feel” of them will pass.

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Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” As you read through these basic skills you will begin to see what mindset successful people have, you should take this attitude on.

5. Confidence Skills

You don’t have to be confident to be successful, so before you think “okay, I’ve failed, I’m not social nor will I ever be confident,” just wait a moment. You just need to learn to be confident in yourself, and in the fact that you as a person can build something. Many people are blessed from a young age with being a raving extrovert, but the skill comes “secondarily” when you push yourself into new situations, scary or not and do your best to complete what it is you set out to while taking the failures on the chin.

Imagine you are standing on a burning building and you know that you able to jump the distance to the next, but it’s simply really high… Simply find certainty and know that you are able to jump that distance and would be able to do it 999999 times out of every 1000000 attempts on the ground, just take the jump and you’ll feel a damn sight better on the other side. This “complex” can be used in both social and business situations, never shy away from an opportunity and never hold yourself back because you “won’t fit in,” when you “don’t” fit in then sure, throw yourself whole heartedly into something new.

6. Self-efficacy Skills

Successful people complete what they start… That’s why they are successful. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the if you set out to make £1,000,000 and you only make £20,000 that you were unsuccessful, but if you leave what you started at £20,000, you then you are only ever going to be unsuccessful. While we can’t achieve everything that we set out to attempt, what splits the successful people from unsuccessful in the long run is the learning, improving, challenging and overcoming.

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Successful people also know when to stop, for example, a boy tries in vain to grow a wheat by planting a pebble on a sandy beach, of course he could take the principle of “successful people finish what they start,” but he’d be there for a few millenia until the universe shifts and transforms pebbles bits into Eukaryota cells that may, just may, sprout something plant like, but at which point… the boy will be dead. The easier thing would have been to take skill 2 (communication) into thought and sought advice from a farmer.

7. Time Management Skills

Successful people and people that are on track to becoming successful appreciate one thing as the scarcest resource, and that’s Time. Time is the only thing we can’t get more of once it’s spent, money comes and goes, but time once spent, never comes back.

Given the above analogy, successful people not only manage their time correctly, by cutting out things such as soap operas and drugs that take up a lot of time but also cut out people that waste their time. Many of us have people in our lives that we can’t say no too, but to free up more time you are going to have to learn to politely tell them to “f” themselves and get on with what you need to do. Once you have your new found time, make sure you don’t waste it watching TV, plan, be organised and communicate with other people to make things happen.

8. Luck Attraction Skills

Luck, yeah, it’s “random,” but successful people attract luck by working hard and sticking to what they do. When you compile all the above skills, you’ll find you attract more luck, like the successful people you aspire the join and supersede.

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But most of all, successful people know what they want.

Featured photo credit: Paxson Woelber via flickr.com

More by this author

Josh miller

Founder TrueMiller.com, Josh Miller Enterprises

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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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