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10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

Successful people use many strategies to obtain and maintain high performance. Learn about these inspirational practices and look for ways to improve yourself starting this week.

1. They Don’t Start Their Day Without A Plan

While no plan is perfect, it is a vital tool to maintain focus. For example, many successful people use the 5 Minute Journal which asks yourself, “What are 3 things that would make today great?” Keeping to a small list of key tasks is a great way to plan your day. As an alternative, you can use a 3×5 index card to write your day’s top priorities. This is a method that author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has used for years.

2. They Don’t Focus on Perfection

Working toward perfection is often a trap — one that successful people have learned to avoid with practice. Instead of aiming for perfect, complete and deliver quality work. To learn more about this concept, read about the Learn Startup methodology. It is better to take chances, make mistakes, and learn to do better next time.

Resource6 Reasons Why Perfectionism Kills Your Productivity.

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3. They Don’t Obsess Over Failure

Successful people encounter failure as much as anyone else. However, they take the time to study the failure and learn how to do better next time. In the business world, continuous improvement is used to learn from errors and become more effective each time. Once you have extracted lessons and improved your ideas from failure, move forward with your life.

Learn More10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

4. They Avoid Spending Time With Negative People

The people we surround ourselves with make a major impact on our outlook on life. For example, if you regularly train with an award winning coach, you are likely to be inspired to reach higher levels of performance. Unsuccessful people often struggle to see possibilities because they are surrounded by negative news and people constantly talking about negative events and opinions.

Resource9 Helpful Tips To Deal With Negative People.

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5. They Refuse To Slow Down During Slow Periods

From time to time, many companies have slow periods. For example, August and December are slow periods in many organizations because many people go on vacation. Instead, successful people start a summer project to learn new skills and improve the organization. During these slow periods, use the extra time to organize your work and take a course.

6. They Never Say, “That’s Not In My Job Description”

Unsuccessful people avoid work by citing their job description over and over again. In contrast, successful people push the boundaries at work to acquire new skills and abilities. After all, successful people are interested in growing their skills. Being inflexible at work means you are less likely to be promoted and receive interesting work assignments.

7. They Refuse To Become A Workaholic

Successful people know that work matters in making the world a better place and earning income. However, they also understand that it is only one part of a full life. That’s why it is important to pursue hobbies, spend quality time with your family, and work through your Bucket List.

Get Ideas To Start Your Bucket List – The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die.

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8. They Don’t Set Vague Goals

Successful people work to translate their dreams into concrete action. A properly written goal is easy to measure and has a deadline. Instead of vaguely thinking about earning more money, a better income goal might look like, “I will earn $100,000 in 2015.” You can apply the same approach to learning goals – instead of “learn Spanish,” you could set a goal to complete 2 Spanish courses this year.

If you are unsure about how to achieve your goals, consider taking a goal achievement course. I recommend Michael Hyatt’s course called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I have used the course to conceive, set, and achieve multiple goals in 2015.

9. They Don’t Ignore Their Health

Successful people value and work on their health for multiple reasons. For example, they use exercise as a stress management technique. In addition, successful people invest time in seeking out regular appointments with dentists and their doctor. It is far cheaper and faster to spend a little bit of time on keeping up health, rather than waiting for a crisis to appear.

Resource11 Post-Workout Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Fitness Goals.

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10. They Don’t Coast On Their Knowledge

Knowledge is a valuable resource that needs to be renewed over time. That’s why successful people do not coast on the knowledge they learned years ago. Instead, they invest time and money to buy new books, attend conferences, and reflect on their experience. It is absolutely vital to seek out new knowledge, especially if you are a professional and want to grow your contribution over time.

Tip20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free.

Featured photo credit: Happiness/pixolga via pixabay.com

More by this author

Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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