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10 False Beliefs High Achievers Put Aside To Get To Their Destinations

10 False Beliefs High Achievers Put Aside To Get To Their Destinations

Successful people work hard and are driven to achieve their goals based on their own personal values.

But high achievers also avoid getting caught up in the false beliefs that cripple the progress of so many. In particular, the most successful among us put aside the idea that …

1. The Crowd Is Always Right.

Want a sure path to mediocrity and resentment? All you have to do is follow the crowd.

While doing the same thing that everyone else does is usually safe and can help you get started on a journey towards success, by definition it also limits your potential for truly great achievements. Albert Einstein did not advance physics by thinking about the world the same way scientists before him had done, just as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not revolutionize business and computers by making superficial tweaks to existing tools.

Most really successful people look for ways that the crowd is wrong and then proceed down the opposite road.

2. Words Don’t Matter.

Email, texting, instant messaging, and every other form of quick communication have served to connect us like never before, but they have also made us lazy about HOW we talk to each other. Proofreading has fallen out of favor with most in the business world, and we generally hand each other a blank check when it comes to the quality of our verbal interactions.

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High achievers are crystal clear in their intent when speaking or writing, and they are fanatical about presenting a professional image with their words.

3. Appearance Does Not Matter.

On the whole, the world is becoming a much more accepting place as we move deeper into the 21st century. That’s a great thing for the most part because we should all be free to be who we are.

But along with that acceptance has come a general attitude of “anything goes,” even if it means showing up to work in yoga pants and sandals. You never know when you’ll be pulled into a meeting with an important VP or external client, and you need to let them know that you take their business seriously.

Successful people are always prepared for any social interaction. After all, if you can’t be trusted to comb your hair in the morning, how can you be trusted with anything important?

4. It’s OK to Be Late.

Everyone wants to feel important, but even the most successful people understand that it’s vital to respect the time and opinion of their associates, too.

When you blow off meetings or show up late without any acknowledgement, you project an air of carelessness and superiority that can be off-putting at best. At worst, you will irreparably damage important relationships and jeopardize the trust of people whose respect and help you need to attain the ultimate success you’re after.

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High achievers realize that their lofty perch does not entitle them to trample over those around them, and that includes being late for anything.

5. They Can’t Do Multiple Things at Once.

Multitasking has been taken to task in recent years because many people fail to understand the basic concept. While it’s true that you usually can’t do multiple things well in the same moment, that does not mean you need to limit yourself to a single project at any one time.

Some of our greatest minds were almost notorious for juggling several huge undertakings simultaneously. Ben Franklin, for example, found plenty of time for his experiments while in the throes of helping to carve out the new American nation — not to mention his romantic exploits.

6. The Past Limits The Future.

Just because you have failed in the past does not mean that you are doomed to an unhappy future. It may sound trite, but most of us get to choose, at least in some part, how we live each day.

Every morning you wake up is another opportunity to set your life on the course you want it to take, whether you’re 18, 38, 58, or 78. Even if you have big bombs in your past, your future CAN be different.

Need proof?

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Julia Child didn’t take up cooking seriously until she was 36, Harland Sanders franchised KFC when he was 62, and Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until the age of 76.

7. You Can Do It Alone.

We all want credit for our concepts and hard work, but not many revolutionary achievements happen as the result of just one person’s efforts. That’s especially true today when the world is connected like never before and your next bright idea is just a mouse-click away.

It’s healthy and necessary to dig in deep and work through roadblocks you encounter, but you have to know when to ask for help if you want to make the leaps that will lead you to great achievements.

Even visionaries like Henry Ford and Sam Walton surrounded themselves with a close circle of confidants who helped them refine and carry out their greatest successes, and the rest of us would do well to follow their examples.

8. Success Is the Result of Luck.

It’s tempting to look at star athletes like LeBron James or masterful businessmen like Warren Buffett and attribute their success to natural gifts or the luck of birth. Not only does that mindset degrade the real accomplishments of these high achievers, but it’s also disastrous for your own self esteem.

Sure, LeBron has a body made for basketball and the skills to match, but the wizardry he displays on the court would not be possible without the thousands of hours of training and practice he has logged throughout his career. And while Buffett benefited from growing up as a Congressman’s son, he has spent six decades developing and perfecting the techniques that have made him perhaps the world’s greatest investment mind.

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Luck is important in almost any successful career, but it only matters if you work hard to take full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to you.

9. You Can Wait for the Right Time.

Timing can be an important factor in the ultimate success of any endeavor, but waiting for just the right moment to act can cripple your progress and leave you feeling unfulfilled. High achievers know that great ideas, hard work, and tireless execution are usually much more important than WHEN you get moving toward your goals.

10. Hard Work Is Overrated.

We hear about “overnight” successes all the time, but that’s a label that rankles most high achievers.

While there are occasional exceptions, achieving anything truly worthwhile is almost always the result of thousands of hours of intense effort. And, more often than not, achievers spend years toiling away at their craft before they ever attain the riches and acclaim they seek.

Shortcuts may bring you a quick dose of success, but true and meaningful achievement over the long haul always requires a dedication to hard work.

Featured photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg via imcreator.com

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Adam Hughes

IT Director

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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