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5 Reasons People With Crazy Minds Are More Likely To Succeed

5 Reasons People With Crazy Minds Are More Likely To Succeed

When you think “wildly successful”, who comes to mind?

For me it’s individuals like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and J.K. Rowling. However, these people weren’t always seen as they are now. They were all once labeled things like, “foolish”, “senseless”, or “crazy” by people who couldn’t understand them.

Why? Anyone who challenges the status quo and presents new, radical ideas is bound to meet resistance in some form or another. However, what makes crazy-minded individuals successful is their ability to overcome the odds stacked against them – no matter what they may be.

There are certain traits of people with crazy minds that can lead them to be successful beyond any of their peers. Below are the top five…

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1. They don’t care what others think of them.

When Henry Ford proposed his idea of making a “horseless carriage” people thought he had gone insane. If he had listened to the naysayers he would never have begun production on the world’s first car or introduced the assembly line and revolutionized the manufacturing industry.

People with crazy minds succeed in life because they don’t let what others think about them hold them back from achieving their goals.

2. They don’t let other people tell them what to do.

During development of the first iPod, Steve Jobs met with the designers who showed him a prototype. After holding it in his hands, examining the weight, and testing it out, he deemed it too big. One of the designers promptly explained that it would be impossible to make the iPod any smaller than it already was. Looking down at the iPod and at again at the designer, Jobs silently walked over to an aquarium in the room and dropped the iPod in the water. Everyone’s mouths dropped open. As the iPod made its way to the bottom of the tank, bubbles floated to the top. “See those air bubbles,” Steve said. “That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”

People with crazy minds don’t take “no” for an answer. In fact, when they hear someone say something is not possible, that just pushes them harder to figure out a way to make it happen.

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3. They don’t let their fears control their actions.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling, who you may know as one of the most successful writers of our generation, was not always so accomplished. At one point in her life, Rowling was a single mother on unemployment and collecting welfare checks to survive. In her commencement address at Harvard University she reflected on that time by saying, “Failure meant a stripping away of the essential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and I began to direct all my energies to finishing the only work that mattered to me.” That work eventually became the Harry Potter series.

Those with crazy minds are able to see past their fear of failure. Often this is because they have failed countless times before or, like Rowling, have already hit rock bottom and have nothing else to lose.

4. They create their own path.

Usually the reason people are seen as crazy is because their ideas differ from the norm – they think outside the box. Being human, this scares many of us. Our lives are already so full of chaos and randomness that when someone comes along with an idea that we’ve never seen or heard before, we’d rather cast them aside than try to understand them.

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This is exactly what happened to billionaire entrepreneur and thrill-seeker Elon Musk. No one took Musk seriously when he told the world he was going to create an electric car for the masses. In fact, many media outlets were actively rooting against him. Through determination, perseverance, and a lot of hard work, he was able to create the company we know today as Tesla (embraced by Consumer Reports as one of the best cars you can buy).

5. They go with their gut.

Successful people with eccentric minds all make decisions the same way – based on their instincts.

study by Tel Aviv University found intuition to be an incredibly accurate tool for decision-making. It turns out that this crazy way of making decisions isn’t actually crazy at all. In fact, it has helped human beings to use good judgement and discernment for thousands of years.

Making decisions based on your gut feeling isn’t only helpful in your personal life. Frank Knight, one of the founders of the Chicago School of Economics, has said the majority of business decisions are made based on intuition. This is because in a number of situations there are too many variables and unknowns to make an analysis worthwhile.

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Even in business it pays to be a little crazy.

Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire via imcreator.com

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Dan Scalco

Director of Marketing

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Last Updated on November 3, 2020

How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

It takes being productive to get things done correctly and on time. So how do you know which tasks are essential and which can wait? The answer is in the Prioritization Matrix, also known as the Eisenhower Matrix.

The matrix took its name after Dwight David Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was a general in the US army and the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. As a five-star general and a Supreme Commander in the US Army, he drafted the strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe.[1]

Eisenhower had to make tough decisions every time about which tasks to prioritize out of many he needed to focus on daily. So, he came up with the famous Eisenhower Matrix, or the Prioritization Matrix.

What Is the Prioritization Matrix?

The Prioritization Matrix is a tool for rating your tasks based on urgency. It helps you know the critical activities and those tasks that you should bypass and can be useful in project management, small businesses, or personal tasks.

Eisenhower famously said of the matrix:

“Most tasks that are urgent are not important, and most tasks that are important are not urgent.”

This quote became the maxim for Eisenhower in managing his time.

There are four quadrants in the Prioritization Matrix, which help in comparing choices of what to do first and last, allowing you to prioritize projects and create strategic plan[2].

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Eisenhower Matrix Template

    The quadrants are:

    • Do
    • Schedule
    • Delegate
    • Eliminate

    Do

    Do is the first quadrant in the Prioritization Matrix, and it incorporates important activities. That is, those tasks you need to carry out urgently — crises, deadlines, and issues that need your urgent attention and are highly relevant to your life mission.

    Hw do you know which task falls into this quadrant?

    Start by analyzing your priorities, and then establish if it falls within the ‘do it now’ criteria. If the task is achievable within a day, or within 24 to 48 hours, it’s urgent.

    Another approach you can adopt in prioritizing tasks in this category is to adopt the “eat the frog” principle by Mark Twain. This principle recommends that you do the most urgent activities as soon as you wake up.

    Here’s a practical example.

    Let’s say you need to draft a content strategy and submit a report to your manager. It’s Saturday, and the deadline for submission is Monday. Can we say the activity is urgent? Definitely!

    Schedule

    The second quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Schedule. The Prioritization Matrix classifies tasks in this category as important but not that urgent.

    They are long-term objectives and tasks with no immediate deadline. Those tasks could include meditation, journaling, studying, family time, and exercising.

    You can plan out activities in this quadrant for some other period. For instance, you should exercise for good health, but you can allocate time to do it.

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    Schedule these activities in such a way that they don’t transfer to the “Do” or “Urgent” quadrant. Ensure you have sufficient time to carry them out.

    Delegate

    The third quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Delegate.

    These tasks are not important to you but are quite urgent for others. This is where teamwork comes into play.

    You can technically perform tasks in this category, but it makes sense to delegate them. Delegating tasks will ensure you have more time to pursue activities in your first two quadrants.

    You should also monitor the tasks you have delegated. It will only amount to a sheer waste of time if you don’t have a tracking system for delegated tasks.

    Eliminate

    The last quadrant highlights your productivity killers. They are tasks that are not important to your goals and not urgent. The only way to boost your productivity is to eliminate them.

    Some examples are constantly checking your phone, watching movies, or playing video games.

    They could also be bad habits that you need to identify and delete from your daily and weekly schedule.

    Successful people have learned how to prioritize and stick to what’s important. They have learned to find a better person for a task or eliminate less significant tasks.

    Let’s consider two inspiring personalities that have designed their prioritization system.

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    Warren Buffet developed a two-list prioritization model to determine which task deserves his best attention. The bottom line is bypassing things that are important and useful but not top of the priorities.

    Mark Ford, a business advisor, marketer, self-made millionaire, and author devised his strategy:

    “Start work on the most crucial priority, take a break, work on the second most important task, take a break, then sort out the less important activities and any tasks he received from other individuals by afternoon.” [3]

    How to Use The Prioritization Matrix

    Using the Prioritization Matrix can be tricky if you’re new at it, but by following a few simple steps, you can learn to utilize it in the best way possible.

    1. List and Rank Your Priorities

    Highlight all the tasks you need to carry out in a day. Then, classify them with weighted criteria based on urgency and importance.

    Identify any activity that requires prompt action. I’m referring to a task that if you don’t complete that day, it could produce a grave consequence. For instance, if you don’t submit your content strategy, other content writers cannot work. It means you need to check for high-priority dependencies.

    2. Define the Value

    The next step is to examine the importance and assess which of them impacts your business or organization the most. As a rule of thumb, you can check which tasks possess higher priority over others. For instance, you need to attend to client’s requirements before you take care of any internal work.

    You can also estimate value by examining how the task impacts the people and customers in the organization. In a nutshell, the more impact a task has on people or the organization, the higher the priority.

    3. Take out the Most Challenging Task

    Procrastination is not a symptom of laziness, but avoidance is. The truth is that you will typically avoid tasks you don’t want to do. The former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, once said he would take out the most dreaded task first thing when he got to the office.

    Brian Tracy called these tasks the frogs you need to eat. That will remove the nagging dread, which mounts pressure on you when you postpone necessary tasks[4]. This is where the Prioritization Matrix can help; eat the “Do” frogs immediately.

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    If you need help overcoming procrastination, check out this article.

    4. Know What’s Important to You

    As long as you are in this cosmos, you will always encounter different choices that may be contradictory to your goals. For instance, a fantastic promotion that requires excessive travel will isolate you from important relationships. If you are not priority-conscious, you may accept it, even though your family is your priority.

    Therefore, it makes sense to identify what is important to you and to prepare yourself not to compromise those important things for immediate pleasure or gain.

    Yogi Berra captioned it this way:

    “If you do not know your destination, you might end up somewhere else.”

    5. Establish Regular “No Work” Time

    YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki established a rule not to check her emails between 6 pm and 9 pm. According to a CNN Business report, she was the first woman to request maternity leave when Google just got started. She prioritizes dinner time with her family despite being the CEO of YouTube[5].

    Is it possible to cut out time for our relationships and interests outside of work?

    Of course, and that’s why you need to set out your “no work” time. This approach will enable you to renew your energy levels for the next task. Also, you will be in the best position to introspect as you are not in your usual work zone.

    6. Know When to Stop

    You can achieve everything on your list sometimes. After you have prioritized your workload and assessed your estimates, remove the remaining tasks from your priority list and focus on your most urgent and important tasks.

    Conclusion

    It’s not enough to be successful at work. Ensure you make out time for your family and an important relationship in your life.

    Getting started and finding time may be tricky, but with some practice using the Prioritization Matrix, you’ll find that you are more productive and better able to divide your time between the things that are important to you.

    More Tips on Prioritizing

    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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