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Unconventional Habits of Really Successful People

Unconventional Habits of Really Successful People

We all want to find success. However, we don’t just want to find success, we want to really make it big.

Children and adults today want to grow up to be Steve Jobs… or the actor that stars as Steve Jobs in one of three biopics. But, as any successful person will tell you, it is not enough just to want to be successful. There are certain traits that successful people have that help them get to where they are and where they want to be.

These traits are often very subtle. They don’t usually include getting up early or getting enough exercise. Neither do they include being practical — like making sure your devices are fully charged and starting the day with a killer to-do list. These things are a given when you are successful. If your life is taking off, you don’t have time to sleep until noon. You probably don’t have time to sleep until seven in the morning!

Here are five unconventional, yet subtle, habits of the most successful people:

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They Are Modest On The Outside

A really successful person is often proud of what they do. But, they will not be the ones who are showing off their success by bragging.

In many cases, people who show off their wealth and success are overcompensating for other failures. The truly successful people do not need to do this. Not only do they not need to do this, they often do not have time to seek other people’s approval.

With this in mind, Steve Jobs’ wardrobe choices become much more understandable.

They Don’t Just Say “Yes”

Any motivational speaker will tell you that you need to start saying “yes” if you want to really take advantage of all the opportunities in life. However, that is not universally true.

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You need to learn the difference between saying “yes” and saying “yes” to the right opportunities. If successful people said yes to every great opportunity that presented itself to them, they would run themselves into the ground.

You also need to learn that not every great opportunity will get you where you want to be. When you find something that will help you get to where you want to go, you should almost always say yes. If it is not in line with your pathway to success, you need to learn how to say no.

They Consider The Return On Investment

Many of the most successful people in the world are more worried about return on investment than anyone else. In particular, they worry a lot about how and where they spend their time.

Time is a construct that you use to organize your days. But as they say, time is money. Successful people choose to spend and invest their time wisely.

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For example, a successful person would consider what would most benefit their goals before making decisions about what they will do that day.

This is how CEOs and other executives choose which meetings to attend. For many CEOs, it makes little sense to invest time in some things. The reason your CEO is not at the company conference is because their time is not well invested in the travel, preparation, and time spent at the conference. That time could be better spent doing things that will show a real return on their goals.

At the same time, you should think about how you spend your leisure time. If you can spend five hours a day on Netflix, you are likely not investing your time in something productive and worthwhile.

They Work Anywhere

Most people think that you work at the office. If you’re busy, you might take your work home with you. But successful people know how to get work done wherever they are.

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This is not just about going into a coffee shop and plugging into a task. A successful person sees every connection as a possible opportunity. They can remained switched on for incredible amounts of time. Hence, they do not miss the small things that other people might.

They Dedicate Time To Answering Emails

Emails are one of the most cumbersome parts of business. Most people receive dozens of unnecessary emails every day. If you are a successful person, you could see hundreds of emails daily.

Emails are necessary, but like other office infrastructure, they are distracting.

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, manages his emails by send them into a safe box. He then answers all of them at the same time the next day.

This is a smart strategy because it allows you to complete one task and then move on. Emails can serve as huge points of distraction. When you find basic hacks like this for keeping up with busy, but important, work, you can consider yourself to be in the realm of the successful.

Successful people are not successful because they get up early. They are not successful because they are former athletes. Successful people become very successful when they actively find ways to make both their time and money work for them in the best way possible.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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