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5 Morning Rituals Shared by the Most Successful People

5 Morning Rituals Shared by the Most Successful People

While many of us are slamming the snooze button or silencing our phone’s alarm, successful entrepreneurs are cashing in on a not-so-well-kept secret: Morning is the best time to get stuff done.

That’s because willpower is strongest in the mornings, before we’ve zapped our physical and mental energy for the day. That means making big decisions, clarifying thoughts and feelings, executing tasks, and even feeling optimistic comes more easily in the first hours of the day. Plus, morning rituals set the tone for the rest of the day — if you’re grumpy, rushed, and stressed every morning, that’s likely to bleed over into the rest of your life.

Want to start the day on the right foot? Transform your morning routine — and hop aboard the success train — by adopting any or all these morning habits.

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Wake Up Early

In a poll of 20 executives, 90 percent reported waking up before 6 a.m. on work days. Some of the most extreme cases? PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi wakes up at 4 a.m. and arrives at the office by 7 a.m. every day, while Disney CEO Bob Iger is up by 4:30 every morning.

Even if just contemplating waking up that early makes you miserable, you can still take advantage of the day’s most productive hours by setting the alarm just an hour or two earlier than you’re used to getting up. The great thing about being up early is that most people aren’t, so you’ll be able to control what you do during that time without distractions or external demands.

Exercise

Early-morning exercise is one of the most common habits shared by successful people — including the POTUS, the First Lady , and Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. Working out in the morning ensures that you actually find the time to exercise, which is critical to maintaining physical and mental wellness. Plus, it’ll help keep you energized and focused for the rest of the day.

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Create an Action Plan

Ensure you’re productive for the whole day by crafting an effective to-do list that clarifies which tasks need to be given highest priority. This is also a good time to analyze how successful you were at completing yesterday’s to-do list and note any productivity issues before they become major problems.

While you’re at it, take a few moments to remind yourself of your ultimate goal for these and other projects. Is it to support your family? Grow your business? Make the world a better place? Or, make like Steve Jobs and ask yourself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Reinforcing your value system will help you make decisions that are aligned with those values for the rest of the day, making it easier to prioritize certain tasks and say no to others.

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Eat the Frogs

Yep, this is a real thing — but don’t take it literally. The idea is drawn from a Mark Twain quote: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, do the day’s most unappealing task first (sending faxes, anyone?). After that, it’s all uphill.

Bonus? Without the distractions of emails or coworkers, it’s likely the task will take you less time to complete — so you can get it done and get on with your day.

Get Centered

Simone de Beauvoir reportedly started her day with a cup of tea. Gwyneth Paltrow wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to do yoga. Disney CEO Robert Iger catches up on what’s happening in the world by reading papers and surfing the net. Whether it’s hanging out with your kids, connecting with your spouse, meditating, or pursuing a hobby, claiming some quality “me” time in the morning is a great way to feel centered and practice self-care. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, so long as it helps you feel more grounded, calm, and ready for whatever the day brings.

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It may take some time to turn these routines into habits, but doing so is worth it. Each of these morning rituals will help you stay healthy, get focused, and approach each day from a place of clarity and poise. That’s worth skipping the snooze button.

Featured photo credit: Ben Stanfield via flickr.com

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Published on October 14, 2019

10 Organizational Skills Training Techniques for the Overwhelmed

10 Organizational Skills Training Techniques for the Overwhelmed

Do you constantly feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you have to complete at work? If so, then it may be time to look into some organizational skills training techniques.

Organizational skills are an asset. They allow you to add structure to your day so that you meet deadlines, attend every meeting, and even have enough time to take your breaks (imagine that!). As transferable skills, they can also add value to your personal life.

So, if being organized and able to perform at your very best at work, even when you’re inundated with duties, sounds appealing to you, then read on.

Why You Need Organizational Skills Training

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, organizational skills refers to:[1]

“the ability to use your time, energy, resources, etc. in an effective way so that you achieve the things you want to achieve.”

When you’re feeling overwhelmed at work (or anywhere really) achieving anything seems impossible. This is why organizational skills training is crucial. The skills you learn can help you to overcome the feeling of defeat so you can take command of your tasks again.

The Benefits of Organizational Skills

Having organizational skills allow you to not only be more organized, but to also be more productive and more effective. You’ll have greater control of your tasks and be able to accomplish more things. It can also reduce stress-levels, and experiencing less stress means leading a healthier lifestyle.

Examples of organizational skills include:

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As previously mentioned, while a major benefit for the workplace, they are also valuable in your personal life.

Think about it, our personal lives are also filled with many tasks and activities. Whether it’s going to the bank or buy groceries, or doing household duties such as vacuuming or taking out the trash, each responsibility is basically a task that needs to be completed in order for our home lives to run as smoothly as possible.

How to Learn Organizational Skills

Many businesses and organizations provide organizational skills training, whether it’s a workshop, company presentation, online training course, or an all-out conference. Attending these events is a great start to learning organizational skills. Then, of course, you can set your own goals.

For most people, organizational skills don’t come naturally. However, fortunately, just like any other skill, they’re learnable. Once you acquire an understanding of a skill, the more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it.

If you’re completely new to all of this, your best bet is to start small. Set yourself one goal, select one thing you’d like to improve on, and repeat it regularly until it becomes a habit. Once you’re confident in maintaining the habit, you can add to your goal or expand on it.

Starting small and gradually adding as you progress is a good course of action, as it can ensure that you actually achieve what you set out to accomplish. If you dive straight into the deep end, you risk being even more overwhelmed than before and may fail to meet expectations completely.

Surrounding yourself with people that have particular behaviors is another way to learn organizational skills. Having a super organized team leader, manager, or head of business can greatly influence your own actions and behavior.

10 Organizational Skills Training Techniques

If you’ve noticed yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed at work recently, then perhaps you could try out one of the following organizational skills training techniques. They could help you to get back control, focus on your tasks, and reduce stress-levels.

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1. Make a List

If you’re feeling swamped with tasks, creating a to-do list is great for taking back control of the things you need to do.

By writing down your tasks in order of importance (make sure you prioritize your list!), you’ll have a visualization of what needs to get done.

You’ll also get to experience the feeling of great relief when you get to cross a task off your to-do list when it’s completed!

2. Don’t Rely on Your Memory

Even if you have superhuman memory, it’s always a good idea to write everything down.

From project deadlines, to customer details, to product prices, writing things down can serve as a reminder so you don’t forget the important things when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

And with most of us carrying around smartphones, you’re never far from a tool where you can write something down.

3. Schedule

A huge part of being organized is knowing how to plan, and expert planning involves a lot of scheduling.

Scheduling is taking a step further than creating a to-do list. Not only do you have the things you need to do recorded, but you have a timetable when you should complete them. This helps you to develop your time management skills as you’re expected to coordinate tasks and activities so that deadlines are met and everything is done on time.

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4. Learn to Delegate

Learning to delegate tasks is a valuable skill that will help to keep you organized. Not only will it lighten your workload, but it will sharpen your planning and prioritization skills as you will have to learn which tasks should be done by you and which tasks are okay to be given to someone else.

5. Avoid Multitasking

While the idea of attempting to do more than one task simultaneously may seem brilliant, in practice, it’s the complete opposite. Multitasking is known to actually lower your productivity as it diminishes your focus and attention and things become more difficult and take longer to complete.

6. Minimize Interruptions

It’s impossible to control every aspect of your environment but it doesn’t hurt to try. By minimizing interruptions while you’re at work, it gives you a better chance of completing them as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Investing in noise-cancelling headphones or installing a social media block on your desktop are examples of ways you could reduce distractions.

7. Reduce Clutter

A notable organizational skills training technique is to create a filing system for your documents. Whether it’s at work or at home, we all accumulate documents that we may not currently need but are too afraid to throw away in case we will need it in the future.

Having an organized system can allow you to locate necessary documents any time you need them. It also keeps them safeguarded which reduces the chance of losing something important. This filing system applies to both actual paperwork and digital documents.

8. Organize Your Workspace

Where we work greatly influences how we work. If you have a cluttered and messy workspace, then the chances of you working in an unorganized fashion can be very high.

Keeping an organized workspace ensures that you’re able to perform at your most productive. You won’t waste time looking for things that have been misplaced and working in a clutter-free environment can be soothing for your mind.

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9. Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

Clutter is known to lead to stress and anxiety.[2] If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, then the sight of clutter can increase that feeling.

Getting rid of things you no longer need clears out your environment and, hopefully, your mind as well.

Done with that sticky-note? Throw it away! Inbox is filled to the brim with unread emails? Unsubscribe to newsletters you no longer read! Whatever you no longer require in your physical and digital life, get rid of it.

Here’s a guide to help you declutter: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

10. Tidy up Regularly

While working, it can get easy for your desk to get untidy. You’re focused on work and so keeping everything at your desk in order is probably a lower priority. But it’s something to be conscious of. Doing a regular tidy up can ensure the mess on your desk doesn’t go overboard.

Whether it’s a quick clean up every day, or a deep clean every month. Being aware of tidying up and fitting it into your routine will help keep you organized and less stressed.

The Bottom Line

Possessing organizational skills enables you to get back control of your tasks when you’re feeling overwhelmed and perform better at work. They can make you more productive, more efficient, and of course, more organized.

Remember, they’re not only valuable at work! Because of their transferability, they can be beneficial in other areas of your life. And really, it doesn’t hurt to be organized at home and socially, as well as at work.

Featured photo credit: Jeff Sheldon via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Cambridge Dictionary: Organizational Skills
[2] Psychology Today: Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies

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