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10 Things You Need To Start Doing If You Want To Be Successful

10 Things You Need To Start Doing If You Want To Be Successful

A fresh new year is a good way to revisit your dreams and goals and see what is missing for you to lead a more successful life. Take a moment to sit down and write what you want to achieve this year and what will make you feel good about yourself and your life. Here are 10 great tips that will help you become more successful this year in different areas of your life.

1. Take action

The first and most important step in making your dreams a reality is to take action. Stop overthinking things when it comes to how you are going to achieve your goals. Create a plan and start doing. Start where you are at the moment. Start with what you have now, and build up your skills and knowledge on the way. Opportunities and doors will open up when you start taking action towards the manifestation of your goals. If you fail, stand up and try again. Learn from your mistakes and move on. It might not happen immediately- it could take weeks, months or even years to get to your desired destination- but believe that you will eventually get there. The key here is to take action. Nothing will happen if you just sit, wait and complain about your circumstances. But, wonderful things, people, and opportunities can come into your life when you start doing. That is how you grow, develop and succeed as a human being.

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2. Exercise

In order for you to feel good and energetic every single day, you need to rethink your ways of taking care of your body. Are you exercising enough? When did you go for a long walk recently? Have you considered taking any yoga or Pilates classes? What kind of sport excites you in order to get your body moving? Asking yourself these questions will help you figure out what kind of exercises you can do in order to keep a healthy lifestyle. Take care of your health, body, and mind first if you want to achieve great things. You cannot be successful if you do not look after yourself first. When you look and feel good about yourself, that is when you will start seeing successful changes in your daily life.

3. Surround yourself with successful people

You are the average of your 5 closest friends. Think about the people you hang around the most. Do they make you more successful? Do they bring out the best in you and support you on your journey to success? Just being around positive, successful and open-minded people will make you feel that you can achieve anything in this life. So, go and find some great people to network with. Connect with more people who will be beneficial to you and bring excitement and enthusiasm in your life. If you want to be more successful at what you are doing, discover people in your industry or field of interest from whom you can learn important lessons. At the beginning, you can even start watching online videos and interviews of successful entrepreneurs and business owners.

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4. Read more

Do you want to know the shortcut to success? Read a book! Reading books has a lot of benefits, such as improving your memory and concentration, developing your mind and imagination and reducing your stress levels. But what is important here is that reading books will teach you ways of finding your dream career, ways of succeeding in different areas in your life, ways of becoming more productive, the marketing strategies you need to implement in order to grow your business, and so on. You need to ask yourself what you need to learn in order to succeed further. The list of books that can help you succeed is endless, and you can find books on pretty much every topic you are interested in.

5. Attend seminars and workshops

Attending seminars is another way to develop yourself further and improve your skills. It is also a great way to network and connect with people. Whether it is a business seminar or one focusing on personal life, it could benefit you greatly and help you learn new things that will help you to fulfill your goals and dreams. Specific seminars can improve your communication skills, boost your confidence when speaking in front of other people, or just help you become a better listener and start paying more attention to what others have to say.

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6. Take online courses

Online courses are another great way to learn new things and gain new skills in order to succeed in life. Whether you want to be more successful at cooking, time management, or accounting, just go on the internet and start doing your research today on available online courses. I recently took a Buddhism and Modern Psychology course on Coursera. While taking the course, I improved my writing skills by completing essay assignments, learned new theories and ideas, and networked with other people who were taking the same course. The good thing about Coursera is that most of the courses are free and very flexible- you just need to spend a few hours per week on the course. So, start doing your research today, and find some suitable courses that will take you one step closer to fulfilling your goals and ideas in life.

7. Invest time in yourself daily

Invest time in yourself every single day. It will pay off later. Do something every day that makes you jump out of bed. Try to have fun with yourself. Investing time in yourself could mean doing things such as taking out yourself on a date, having your favorite cup of coffee, exploring a new and exciting place near you, booking a performance to see, enjoying some outdoor music or cooking a new recipe. Finding some time for yourself daily will let you shape yourself into a more productive, successful and positive person.

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8. Work on your goals daily

Dreams will not work for you unless you do. If you want to start seeing positive outcomes and results in your life, you have to work on your goals every single day. Make a daily plan or to-do list, and break down the goals into daily activities. This will help you get things done much easier and faster, and you will feel that you have achieved something at the end of each day.

9. Be of service to others

Your purpose in life should align with helping and being of service to others. Your life can significantly change, from fear and sadness to joy and success, when you start doing things for others. The most successful people have figured it out- they have found ways, ideas, and products that are beneficial to people out there. And, they have turned these ideas and products into a business plan that allows other people to benefit from their creations. These successful people succeed because of the need for these products. Are you really good at something that could be very useful to other people? Ask yourself that daily, and you will soon start figuring out how your knowledge, skills and business ideas can benefit people out there.

10. Invest in your well-being and happiness

You will only start being successful in life when you find happiness in everything you do. You need to do everything with love and enthusiasm. That is the best way to invest in your well-being and happiness. Enjoy what you do, and choose goals that make you happy at the end of each day. If it does not bring you happiness, then why do you do it? You get to live only one life- enjoy it to the fullest!

Featured photo credit: Kirill Luzin / Dmitry Kolesnikov via Flickr via flickr.com

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Filiz Mehmedova

Writing Blogger

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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