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10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

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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 October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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