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If You Want To Be A High Achiever, You Need To Adopt This Mindset

If You Want To Be A High Achiever, You Need To Adopt This Mindset

You’re driven. You achieve a lot of your goals. Like a tyrant, that little voice in your head demands your absolute commitment to achievement. Heck, you even wrote out plans for achievement. You may think these thoughts and actions are pushing you to achieve but are they the habits of high achievers?

You could also be just the opposite having to constantly tell yourself to stop using Facebook, be more productive, focus more. While these are definitely not the habits of high achievers, you really have the desire to become one.

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The real question is, when it comes to life do you just want to just “take it as it comes” or reach for something great? Hopefully you’re serious enough to choose the latter and ready to start your journey to truly become a high achiever.

How To Be A High Achiever

You must begin with discovering something that matters to you in a big way. It must mean enough to light a fire inside of you. Whatever it is, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there. You may already know what that is. The key point is having that passionate drive to really push yourself hard to accomplish your goals consistently.

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Next, set yourself a BANG – a Big Awesome Nervy Goal with your passion directly in the cross-hair. There is no brain surgery needed here. The goal just needs to be achievable but challenging enough to make you push the envelope so to speak, to get it done. Realize that every time you stretch your boundaries and push your limits, you grow as a person.

Learn To Become A Finisher Through The Completion-Centric Planning Approach

High achievers are obsessed with finishing. Once a project is given to them, they will work obsessively and compulsively to finish it. Some may go about it in an organized way, others may not. But one thing is certain – they will do whatever it takes to get it done.

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Cultivating a finisher mentality is not hard to do if you go about it the right way. Let’s start with one truth: real achievement requires you to push very hard. When you work on achieving something one task at a time, it’s easy to bypass these hard pushes by doing lots of easy tasks. Instead, adopt a completion-centric planning approach. With completion-centric planning, you are focused on the completion of projects instead of individual tasks as your daily constitution.

Here’s how it works. Sit down at your computer, open your favorite word processor and do the following:

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  1. Make an Active Projects List– List 5-10 of the projects that are most important to you from 3 related categories: professional (related to your job or school), personal (family, home), other (big projects like writing a book, starting a business).
  2. Mark each project with criteria for completion– For each project write a brief description of the actions that must be taken to complete the project.
  3. Make another list on the same page and name it a Holding Pen– Use this list to add new projects while working on the active projects. You can save them here until you’ve completed the current batch.

Working The System

Each day, review your project list and figure out which project that you can make the most progress on that day and do it. Do whatever it takes. If it requires a hard push, go for it. Your biggest goal is to work on completing projects despite other responsibilities outside of these project. Harness an obsession to kill the list.

Work as hard as you possibly can to finish your projects. Once you’ve completed a project take a rest for at least a week. Spend this time doing small amounts of work. Use this time to recharge your energy.

Some Final Thoughts

Following a system that creates a workflow rhythm that’s necessary for completion-centric planning is what high achievers do to accomplish their work. Sure, it doesn’t have the appeal of leisurely working on tasks at your own easy pace but achievement is not pretty. You need to learn to go after your goals with a fierce determination and gusto. This system will teach you to do that. Now, try it for yourself. You might be surprised at what you can achieve.

More by this author

Anthony Pica

Freelance Writer

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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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