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8 Things Super-Achievers Routinely Do To Be Insanely Productive

8 Things Super-Achievers Routinely Do To Be Insanely Productive
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The super-achievers amaze the normal people in every way possible. They have the same 24 hours per day that an average Joe has, but they manage to use those hours much more effectively.

Oftentimes, they not only thrive in one particular area but develop incredibly well in most of the fields. Be it mental and physical health, relationships and social life or business and career, these individuals manage them all in an exceptionally good way.

Now, to avoid creating a picture of a perfect human in your mind, these people tend to fail as well. In reality, they fail a lot. However, what separates them from the crowd is embracing the learning process and taking notes from every breakdown.

So it is no surprise that these confident people have eight things they regularly do, which all have a tremendous impact on their productivity.

1. They work out daily (yes, daily).

Don’t get me wrong, they don’t complete a hardcore training session every single day. It can just as well be stretching, low-impact cardio or yoga. The key message here is not the way of exercising, but the fact that top performers realize the importance of treating their bodies like a temple.

Whereas typical people tend take care of their physical health intermittently, high-achievers set it as one of their highest priorities.

Let’s take Barack Obama as an example. Although there are countless people in his team that contribute a lot to his daily effectiveness, there’s still no doubt that he’s among the elite of super-achievers.

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And do you know how his day starts?

It begins with a workout session, of course. If the president of United States is able to find an hour a day for working out, there’s no reasonable excuse you could use for not doing it yourself (unless you don’t care about increasing your productivity).

2. They schedule their days wisely and strategically.

I’m sure you already know that to-do lists are unbelievably helpful. Nonetheless, just throwing a few things you wish to accomplish at a sheet of paper or in your calendar app won’t get you too far.

If this strategy would work well, the majority of people would achieve their new year’s resolutions. In reality, however, almost 40% never make them.

In his book, “The One Thing”, Gary Keller shares one of the most crucial lessons to productivity. To find out your one thing, you need to ask yourself a very important question; namely, what’s the one thing I can do, that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Once you determine that very thing, you’ll already be ahead of the majority of wannabe productivity freaks.

What you need to do is realize and then apply the difference between being effective and being efficient. Whereas plenty of people want to be more efficient, which means doing things the right way, the super-achievers focus on being effective, also known as doing the right thing.

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3. They plan a daily session for learning.

The process of becoming a super achiever is a long journey. Some people claim it’s given, but in reality, it’s earned through constant attempts of getting better after each failure. You can’t just sit down and expect to experience a sudden stroke of genius.

What you can do, however, is learn something new every single day. While wealth is not necessarily the number one factor when it comes to determining success, it definitely is a sign of productivity, effectiveness and achievement.

When asked about their reading habits, almost 90% of wealthy people said they read on a daily basis. Reading is one of the most simple ways to improve. Whatever your current toughie is, there’s at least one decent book discussing the issue and offering the answers you look for.

I can’t stress out how many times I’ve experienced a moment of enlightenment during reading, listening to a podcast or watching an educational video.

4. They separate themselves from the negative energy.

If you surround yourself with negative people who waste their time and complain a lot, there’s no way you’ll ever become successful. Super-achievers understand that they are the average of the five people they spend the most time with.

When your goal is to become more productive, the best source of inspiration and motivation to keep going is finding like-minded individuals who also embraced the journey of self-improvement.

It’s not an accident that super successful people know each other and join hands. They inspire and learn from each other, while at the same time removing the toxic environment from their lives.

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5. They leave their comfort zone day after day.

If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that top performers aren’t afraid of being uncomfortable in order to achieve long-term success. Instead of choosing instant pleasure, they are able to hold off on the gratification and experience a vein of discomfort.

The reason behind it are the amazing things which will happen once you step out of your comfort zone.

Great things never come from laying on the couch and eating your favorite ice cream. They happen once you decide to take action and challenge yourself on a daily basis.

If you are a newbie, there’s no need to start big. Choose one activity which causes discomfort and question your ability to do it. My favorite one is taking a freezing cold shower, preferably at the times I least want them.

6. They have a morning routine.

A morning routine is what helps you to run your day the way you want. Your morning actually determines the rest of your day. That’s why the highly successful people pay a lot of attention to their morning rituals.

Once you wake up, there’s no need to rush but you can’t linger either. Including a morning routine to my daily schedule made a huge difference. Personally, once I wake up, I make my bed immediately, then I head to the kitchen to drink a glass of water. Next is in the bathroom and the day then begins with a cold shower.

There’s an interesting correlation I noticed, though. Whenever I neglect to stick to my routines, my productivity legitimately suffers and I can’t get anything done.

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7. They use proper systems.

Instead of relying purely on their motivation levels, high-achievers depend on the right systems, which help to automate their daily routines.

The vast majority of people can’t use the technology in their favor. Social media, mobile games or pointless news apps distract them day after day. On the opposite side, though, are top performers who use technology to make their lives easier.

Applications and software help them to manage their time, cut off distractions, get more done and have a better overview of their progress.

This list will help you to get started (remember, the key isn’t to get them all, but to adopt the ones that work for you).

8. They say no consistently.

Being able to say no at the right moment is a skill which can guarantee you wealth, health and happiness. It’s not easy to learn but it’s absolutely possible. Saying no to one thing is actually saying yes to the other.

Say yes to exercise and diet and you will say no to being out of shape. This rules applies to every area of your life. Saying yes to being insanely productive involves saying no to a lot of things, such as distractions and needless commitments.

In addition to that, super achievers refuse to seek others’ approval. By doing so, they ensure that with each no they say, they won’t experience any doubts about their decisions.

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Featured photo credit: Phil Roeder via flickr.com

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Oskar Nowik

Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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