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What Highly Successful People Were Doing When Facing Their Quarter-Life Crises

What Highly Successful People Were Doing When Facing Their Quarter-Life Crises

Ranging between the period from late teens to early thirties, the quarter-life crisis is the phase during which a person is transitioning to adult life but feels doubtful about their life. The term is comparable to midlife crisis.

The core crisis of the problem that is quarter-life crisis, is the problem of fitting in. Researchers have found that this is the time around which people have the strongest desire to fit in, the time during which they are hoping to give a direction to their life.

Quarter-life crises are common among young adults — about two-thirds of young adults are believed to have experienced this crisis in some form. The experiences of people vary significantly, but eventually people get through it.

The crisis isn’t faced just by average Joe or plain Jane out there. Even the most famous folks in the world today have gone through this crisis in one way or another. Some have made smooth transitions through this period, while for some, paths have been rather tricky.

Here below, we present to you what some famous people were doing around the time when they were facing their own quarter-life crisis at the age of 25.

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton was a recent law school graduate.

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    Hillary Clinton began dating former US president Bill Clinton, who was also a fellow law student at Yale, at the age of 23. Just before she turned 25, she received her JD degree, which was in the year 1973. That same year, she also began working at the Yale Child Study Center.

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    2. Donald Trump was given control of his father’s real estate company.

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      At 25, the young real estate developer took over his father’s real estate development company, Elizabeth Trump & Son, which has since been renamed to The Trump Organization. This was in 1971, when he also moved to Manhattan to be involved in larger building projects, through which he came to public recognition.

      3. Richard Branson was running Virgin Labels successfully.

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        Branson started a record shop in London at the age of 20, four years after he had dropped out of school due to dyslexia. He went on to launch the record label Virgin Records in 1972 at the age of 22. Mike Oldfield’s debut album Tubular Bells became the label’s first release in 1973, which became a chart-topping best-seller. The label later signed the likes of Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, and Genesis.

        4. Warren Buffett was working as an analyst.

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          Buffett earned his master’s degree in economics from the Columbia Business School in 1951 at the age of 21. He then worked as an investment salesman at Buffet-Falk & Co. for three years and later as an analyst at Graham-Newman Corp. for two years. In 1956, he went on to start his firm, Buffett Partnership Ltd., In Omaha.

          5. Arianna Huffington was travelling to music festivals around the world.

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            In 1971, when she was Arianna Stassinopolous, she met British journalist Henry Bernard Levin and the two began a relationship. They travelled to music festivals around the world for BBC for several of the ensuing years. In the meantime, in 1973, at the age of 23, she also published her book The Female Woman.

            6. J.K. Rowling had just come up with the idea for Harry Potter.

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              Rowling was 25 in 1990. She had just moved to Portugal to teach English. It was also the same year that she first came up with the idea for her Harry Potter series while on train from Manchester to London. She immediately started the first book, but it took her years to finish it.

              7. Stephen King was working as an English teacher.

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                King graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Maine in 1970. A year later, he married Tabitha Spruce, a fellow student at Maine. That same year, he was hired as an English educator at Hampden Academy in Maine. He was 26 when his first novel, Carrie, was accepted by the publishing house Doubleday in 1973.

                8. Mark Zuckerberg had worked for five years at Facebook.

                AUSTIN, Texas -- They came expecting a civilized, one-on-one discussion, but they got what some attendees described as "a train wreck." Ballroom A of the Austin Convention Center was packed to capacity Sunday evening for an hour-long interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the keynote speaker at this year's South by Southwest Interactive festival. The 23-year-old billionaire founder of the social networking site was interviewed on stage by author and journalist Sarah Lacy. Using her unique, friendly style of interviewing -- closer to two friends chatting than a straight question-and-answer session -- Lacy tried to get the notoriously tight-lipped Zuckerberg to open up. But the discussion rarely strayed beyond the usual business fare and eventually descended into a string of awkward moments punctuated by the audience's heckling.

                  Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dormitory room at Harvard in 2004. It had already changed the world, from changing the notion of reaching out to the masses to creating the need for social media management. It was in 2009 however, when Zuckerberg was 25, that Facebook finally turned cash-positive for the first time. In the same year, it also hit 300 million users.

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                  9. Elon Musk was running his first company, Zip2.

                  Courtesy Alexandra Musk -- Elon Musk, right, in this undated photo is show with his brother Kimbal, center, and father Errol, left.

                    In 1995, when he was 24, Musk dropped out of a PhD in applied physics at Stanford to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. He then started the web software company Zip2, along with his brother Kimbal Musk, using $28,000 of his father’s money. The company was purchased four years later by Compaq for $307 million.

                    10. Jeff Bezos was working on Wall Street.

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                      Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986 at the age of 22. He then went on to work in the computer science field on Wall Street. He worked at Fitel, Banker’s Trust, and D.E. Shaw & Co. He became D.E. Shaw’s youngest ever vice president in 1990 when he was just 26.

                      11. Steve Jobs had just made Apple a publicly traded company.

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                        Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, started Apple Computer in 1976, when he was just 21, in the Jobs family garage. Apple I was released in 1976, which was followed by Apple II in 1977. Jobs took Apple Computer public in December 1980. At the end of the first day of trading itself, it had a market value of $1.2 billion.

                        12. Larry Ellison was working as a programmer.

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                          Ellison dropped out of the University of Illinois, Champaign after the second year and University of Chicago after just one semester. In 1966, aged 22, he moved to Berkeley, California with little money. He went on to switch technical jobs between different places for about a decade. His final job before Oracle was at Amdahl Corporation.

                          13. Eric Schmidt was doing his PhD at UC Berkley.

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                            Schmidt was doing his graduate coursework at UC Berkley from 1976 to 1982. He earned his PhD in computer engineering from Berkley in 1982, at the age of 27. His focus was on distributed software development and computer networking. He later joined Sun Microsystems as its first software engineer in 1983.

                            14. Bill Gates made a deal that earned Microsoft its first real success.

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                              Gates was just 20 when he founded Microsoft along with Paul Allen in 1975. In 1980, IBM approached Microsoft for an operating system for their upcoming personal computer. This was when he made that famous deal — offering IBM the software although Microsoft didn’t actually have it. It was purchased only later from Seattle Computer Products.

                              15. Oprah Winfrey was hosting a TV show in Baltimore.

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                                In 1976, at the age of 22, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, Maryland to co-anchor WJZ-TV’s six o’clock news. She then joined Richard Sher as co-host of local talk show People Are Talking in 1978. The show became an instant hit and she stayed there until 1983 when she moved to Chicago to host AM Chicago, through which she truly made her name.

                                Featured photo credit: OnInnovation Interview: Elon Musk via flickr.com

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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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