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8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset

8 Successful Habits that Lead to a Winning Mindset

What makes a person successful?

What sorts of successful habits do they cultivate?

While there are a myriad of self-help strategies out there, focusing on mindset is one of the most important.

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Mindset determines your attitude when walking into any situation. Many “lucky” people only have a positive mindset to guide them. A negative mindset, alternatively, can cause a host of problems for people.

These are 8 successful habits that you can use to think yourself successful.

1. Affirmations

Think some positive thoughts about yourself. Eg. “I’m going to achieve my goal”. “I am a powerful, confident person”.

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The most effective time to do affirmations is first thing in the morning. That way, the benefits carry on throughout your day. Need some more examples? Here are 100 positive affirmations that cover all areas of life.

2. Negative visualization

Born out of the ancient Greek philosophy of stoicism, negative visualization involves picturing yourself losing what you have. While that doesn’t sound positive, it’s a useful exercise. For example, imagine your car vanished out of the driveway and you weren’t able to replace it. Really imagine how that would affect your life. Next time you jump in your car, you’ll be grateful to have it. How is this a successful habit? You’ll begin to treat where you are in life as a gift. Your problems will be of small consequence because you’ll be so grateful for all the things going right.

3. Choosing love

According to Harvard researchers, “Happiness is love. Full stop.” Choosing to have loving relationships in our lives is a big key to success and happiness. When it comes to love, you’re much more likely to get after you give. Spend some time on building loving relationships with friends, family, and even your pets.

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4. Gratitude

This habit is all about seeing the positive things in life. Being in a constant state of gratitude is what helps people carry on even in the toughest of times. Developing this mindset is as simple as keeping a gratitude journal. Simply write down three positive encounters that you had a part in creating, everyday. Your brain will begin to recognize positive situations unfolding and you can take full advantage of them. Gratitude also insulates you from the negativity in the world. If you only notice the bad things happening in life, it’s going to cause you stress.

5. Solution-oriented

Framing is the concept of viewing things from different perspectives. Most of us get stuck in a problem framework, where we see the problem and don’t search for solutions. A successful habit is to shift into using a solutions-based perspective. When a problem arises, don’t complain, dwell, or try to place blame. Simply start thinking of solutions to the problem and work at getting things back on track. Not only will this make you valuable in the eyes of others, it’s going to make you feel capable and confident.

6. Thinking flexibly

There’s a reason stubbornness is not considered a virtue. Inflexible people don’t lead effective lives. The more flexible you are, the more you will succeed. Consider this quote from Thomas Edison:

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“I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have
succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have
eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will
work.”

Thomas Edison had a flexible way of thinking about failure. You can use the same concept to any roadblock you might encounter. Are problems insurmountable obstacles or merely challenges for you to overcome?

7. Curiosity

Being intensely curious is a massive part of success. Look at the most successful people today and this is a common trait you will find across all of them. Cultivating a curiosity mindset requires that you ask lots of questions, learn new skills wherever you can, and search for the silver lining in failure. You walk into new challenges, just to see if there’s some value to extract. You need curiosity to spot the opportunities that others won’t see and ultimately, to lead a fulfilling life.

8. Optimistic

We can’t be positive all the time but taking on an optimistic mindset is still worthwhile. Life rewards people who delay gratification and grind away at tasks. Without an optimistic mindset, you’re bound to give up early and often. You need to believe that the journey is worthwhile. It takes more than just thinking positive to adopt an optimistic mindset. It involves avoiding excessive negativity (like what can often be found on the evening news) and surrounding yourself with other optimists.

The reality is that we get one shot at life. A great mindset is the essential ingredient to a successful life. These successful habits will teach you to maintain an optimal mindset, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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