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15 Habits That Put You On The Fast Track To Success

15 Habits That Put You On The Fast Track To Success
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We all want the answers on how to be successful. We all want to enjoy our jobs and earn lots of money every week. Knowing how to get there is often the hard part. Here are 15 habits that can help put you on the fast track to success.

1. Be Determined

In order to be successful, you must first be determined to be successful. Know what your idea of success is, set your mind to it, and don’t turn back.

2. Maintain Discipline

Setting your mind to be successful is one thing, but maintaining the thought is another. It’s easy to get distracted or fall into a sluggish mode. You must discipline yourself on a daily basis and continually work hard for it.

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3. Set Goals

Whether it’s arriving 5 minutes early every day or becoming the company’s vice president, set a goal, and don’t give up until it’s achieved. When that goal is accomplished, set a new one. Always give yourself something to work towards, big or little.

4. Dress for Success

It sounds so cliché, but it’s very true. Even if your position allows casual wear, it’s important to maintain a neat and clean appearance. Not only will it impress your boss and your clients, but it will also help you to feel good about yourself.

5. Learn Something New

Whether it’s going back to school for your bachelor’s degree or simply just watching a webinar on the internet, any form of additional learning is beneficial.

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6. Meditate

End your evening or start your morning with meditation. Even take a few minutes on your lunch break to sit quietly in your car. Meditation is a great way to help clear your mind of stressful and negative thoughts.

7. Stretch

Stretching is an effective way to help relax your muscles and body, especially if you have a desk job. Get up from your chair to walk around the office. Learn stretching exercises that can be done from your desk area.

8. How to Be Successful? Be Happy!

Being happy is one of the most important factors to success. Being unhappy will hinder your ambitions, therefore hindering success. Talk to management if there are issues that need to be resolved. Perhaps it’s even time to re-evaluate yourself and your career path.

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9. Open Communication

Keep the lines of communication open with management, co-workers, and clients. Discuss problems with your manager. Seek help from your co-workers, and converse with your clients. Questions won’t get answered if you don’t ask them. Problems won’t get resolved if you don’t mention them. Tasks won’t get done if you don’t delegate them.

10. Leave Work at Work

This is usually easier said than done sometimes, but it’s very important to ‘clock yourself out’ at the end of every work day, and don’t allow yourself to clock back in during personal hours. Do not bring the stresses of work into your home and around your family.

11. Keep Your Desk Organized

Avoid clutter in your office and on your desk top. Too much clutter will leave you feeling unorganized and overwhelmed, potentially hindering your work performance.

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12. Decorate Your Office Space

Have a bowl of your favorite candy on your desk. Frame your family or pet photo. Display your “lucky” figurine. Having a few personal items in sight during the work day can make your smile and feel good, even if only for a brief moment (but as mentioned above, don’t over clutter).

13. Start Each Day with a Positive Affirmation

Start each day with a positive thought, a meaningful quote or a funny joke. Tell yourself that it is going to be a great and productive day!

14. Give Compliments

Thank your co-worker for bringing in donuts. Tell your client that their new hairstyle is stunning. Tell yourself “great job” for meeting the deadline. Compliments will bring a ‘feel good’ aura throughout the entire office.

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15. Be Yourself

Don’t feel like you have to be something you’re not just to climb the ladder. Stepping outside of your comfort zone to try something new is one thing, but altering who you are is not.

We don’t always have the answers for how to be successful, and most of us can agree that we don’t find them overnight. However, incorporating a good attitude, hard work, and these simple tips into your daily work routine will help you on your way to a successful career.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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