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5 Habits That The Smartest People In The World Have In Common

5 Habits That The Smartest People In The World Have In Common

A lot of people seem to believe that successful people spend a majority of their time working overtime and frequently have sleepless nights. It would be a very big mistake to equate success with that of a person who has a workaholic mindset. It may be surprising to you, but many of the world’s smartest people take their weekends to relax and spend time with their family, themselves, and their goals. Have you ever wondered what some of the world’s smartest people did to help them achieve their goals? Check out these 5 habits to see if you have something in common with them.

1. Adopt a hobby that they can practice every day

Successful people know that there is a lot more to life than working, sleeping, and eating. Even they have to be able to relax and enjoy some downtime every now and again. That’s why the world’s smartest people engage in one or more activities that they love. When you’re able to pick up a hobby that you can practice every day it may actually help you become more successful. For example, playing a musical instrument improves motor and analytical skills as well as creativity. Having hobbies can be very beneficial to your work life to help you further your success.

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2. Summarize what they read and what they learn through writing

When it comes to reading, summarizing is extremely helpful and smart. It helps you look for and find the main points and important details in each paragraph that you read. When it comes to being an effective learner, it’s all about being able to identify and understand those main points and details. If you’re unsure how to summarize effectively, try writing 2-3 bullet point statements that communicate what the author says.

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3. Share what they learn with others

It’s very important to keep yourself in the mindset that you can always learn something new every day. It’s equally as important to share that knowledge with others. You take in new information and retain it through the books you read and web searches all the time. You have the ability to share that with those around you, and that is extremely meaningful.

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4. Come up with 10 ideas every day

It may sound like a pretty exhausting thing to do at first. You’re probably already thinking to yourself, “Won’t I run out of ideas?” I can see where you’re coming from, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to transform and improve your life. For one, it improves creativity and your problem-solving abilities. Two, it helps to prepare you to respond to almost any situation. And three, it gives your brain that daily mental practice it needs which will increase your psychological energy.

5. Follow their questions instead of simply raising them

When you ask questions, you don’t always get an answer that you find completely satisfying. When trying to engage in an informative discussion, you want to interact with each other’s ideas- not just speak at one another. When you ask follow-up questions, it lets the other person know they were heard, they’re able to clarify what’s been said, and it invites others involved to chime in as well. Add your opinions, feelings, and comments. Give explanations and reasons so that anyone listening can reply, and you can change or add more subjects to the initial conversation.

We are always looking for ways to improve our success in every aspect of our lives. You can start by working these habits into your daily routine that some of the smartest people in the world have adapted into theirs.

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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