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4 Uncommon Habits Successful People Have That Make Them Stand Out From The Crowd

4 Uncommon Habits Successful People Have That Make Them Stand Out From The Crowd

Have you ever stopped to wonder why some people appear to draw success to them? It’s as if they’re a magnet to an abundance of opportunities.

Sadly, for most of us, life is little more than a daily chore. We work for hours on end, with little job satisfaction, and a pitiful income. The high-achievers climb ever higher, while we’re left to dream of what might have been.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, we can learn to adopt some of the habits that all successful people do. Let’s take a look.

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1. Consistency is the master key to success

Every major achievement has been brought about by certain actions being performed time and time again. For example, a world-class violinist is likely to perform the same warm-ups every day for years. They may even have specific pieces of music that they play repeatedly. They know that to be great at something requires constant and consistent practice.

How can you use consistency to help you be more successful? Well, one thing you could immediately try is to wake up an hour earlier than you currently do. The secret here is to use that extra hour per day to do something useful. If you’re a student, use the time for studying. If you’re building a business, use the time for creating income-generating ideas.

2. Blaming others for your problems is no solution

Successful people don’t take life for granted. They instinctively know that to get far in life requires bucket loads of personal effort, energy, and persistence. What’s more, they also realize that blaming others for problems is a surefire route to failure.

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It’s important to realize that life doesn’t owe you something. If you have this mindset, you’re likely to be forever disappointed. Instead of blaming people and circumstances for your problems, start taking charge of your life – and your destiny. And remember, problems are just situations waiting for solutions.

3. Surround yourself with smart people

As popular author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, you’re likely to become mentally and emotionally similar to those you closely associate with.

This is potentially good news. Because, if needed, you can surround yourself with smart, positive, and upbeat people. Their influence will (over time) act as a natural booster to your goals, ambitions, and happiness.

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Let’s be clear though, it doesn’t mean removing negative people from your life. Instead, try to focus on spending more time with friends, colleagues, and family members who support and strengthen you.

4. Criticism is worth more than praise

High-achievers have learned the hard way that criticism is a more valuable tool for success than praise. Many of these successful people actually go out of their way to seek criticism of their plans and ideas. The reason is simple: constructive criticism can help us to learn and grow far more rapidly than would be possible without it.

Unfortunately, today’s fragile society has made most of us averse to criticism. We’d much rather wallow in the warm waters of compliments and praise. While there is certainly a place for praise, if you want to join the high-achievers club, you need to be ready and willing to listen to criticism.

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A good example can be taken from the world of sports. Professional players (with a few exceptions) all have coaches. Often, these coaches focus their time on looking for faults in their players’ sporting behaviors. Once they’ve found a fault, they’re able to highlight it to the player and suggest ways to resolve it.

Successful people may appear lucky on first observation. But look again, and you’ll see that they’ve adopted powerful habits that continually propel them towards success.

If you learn and adopt these habits, before long, you’ll be likely to stand out from the crowd and succeed in life like you’ve never done before.

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Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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