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How to Be the Top 10% Smartest People in the World

How to Be the Top 10% Smartest People in the World

There must have been times when you have felt less than others. Felt less intelligent, less of an achiever, less witty, less goal-oriented and frankly, dumber! We all have been there, and it’s a really depressing feeling, all in all, not being able to truly be all that we want to be. In case you too are spiraling down into a sad, small place as you read this – wait, for there is always hope when you are on the road to how to succeed.

Only Hard Work and Motivation Can’t Make You Successful. You Need to Know Self-Coaching.

Frankly, a lot of us are hard-working and willing to put in all that is needed for us to achieve our goals and ideals. The problem is that many of us lose the way of how to succeed. Being motivated and willing to work hard wins you the battle half way, but there is still a lot to be done if you really want to be the best that you can be.

The smartest people, who are also the most successful understand that there is a different approach to be used on how to succeed, more than just hard work and being motivated. In case you are wondering what their secret to success is, and if you too can join the bandwagon – there isn’t just one formula to use. The point is, you have to figure out how you can be smarter yourself , no one will tell you how to be that. [1]

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As children, we struggle in school, and often our parents and teachers become our guides, helping us see the better way. But as adults, once we enter the office realm, no boss is here to truly guide us onto an enlightened path – very often, we have to become our own coaches.[2] And since we already know the truth of all that we lack in, who better than us, ourselves, to guide us into being someone better? No one knows us better than ourselves, so we can, with enough introspection, find out the best way on how to succeed.

Why Self Improvement Is Difficult for Many of Us

That depends entirely on you. For some, their lot in life in enough – even if their counterparts overtake them and reach a lot further. But if you are pained by the lack of progress in your life, then yes, you do need to fix it… Some common obstacles on how to succeed in life are:

  • Not knowing where or what to improve in the first place
  • Confused on how to improve yourself
  • Having a laid back or carefree attitude where you are easily satisfied by your progress
  • Often give up easily when you feel that there hasn’t been any improvement in what you are trying to do – even if a minimal effort was put in
  • Comparing yourself with others and wanting things that the others have achieved
  • Feeling demotivated and depressed when success proves elusive

6 Steps To Become Smarter and Succeed In Life

Now that we know the whys and the why not’s of trying to be smarter, here are the steps we can take if we want to be smarter and know the secret to how to succeed, every time.

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Ask Yourself 5 Whys to Figure Out What to Improve

Think of a child and how he reaches the root of a problem – by asking incessant whys. So do that to yourself. Every time you are faced with a problem, like why you aren’t improving at something or succeeding in life – ask yourself why, 5 times, as a rule of thumb.[3]

This will help you identify the root cause of the problem as well as the relationship between the various causes. A simple example is: I didn’t get a promotion this year, but my junior did. So ask yourself: why did your junior get the promotion? Answer: Because my boss likes him. Again: Why does your boss like him, and not you? Answer: Because he turns in his work much ahead of time… Then: Why don’t you turn in your work in time? Answer: Because I put off things way until the last minute and then need extra time to complete it… So there you have it, in three whys you have your answer.

Never Aim to Kill the Giant Monster in One Attempt, Try Attacking Its Sore Spots One By One

Sometimes the problem or struggle we face in front of us is so big and insurmountable that we often get discouraged and give up at the start. So the best thing to do is to break down the problem into steps: each step needs to have a deadline so that the solution stays on course, with some extra time left over to review the problem and its eventual solution in entirety. [4] Say you are unhappy about your weight. The problem is your weight and the solution is to lose some. Now break it down: add 20 minutes of a brisk walk the first week, drop all desserts the second week, clear out your kitchen of junk in the third week, join a gym or aerobics or yoga the fourth week on. You should be seeing results by the end of the month.

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Learning New Skills Is Not Enough — You Need to Learn Them Fast

In nowadays fast moving and competitive world, learning new skills is not enough if takes you a lot of time to learn them. You need to up your ante and learn new thing much faster than the average Joe.[5] Instead of taking a month to learn something, cut it down to a week. Grasp the concept on day 1, master the complicated aspects on day 2 and 3, apply it to real life on day 4, work on it in a slightly different day on day 5, revise everything on day 6 and on day 7 – clear any lingering doubts or confusion.

Keep Challenging Yourself at Every Step

If you were able to do something in say six hours, challenge yourself to do it in five hours or less the next time. Similarly, challenge your old beliefs. Think of new ways to solve the same problems, and you might end up reaching a time-saving solution. [6]

Consider Yourself to be Your Biggest Critic & Competitor

No one else is your enemy or competitor as you are to yourself. In today’s socially showing-off world, there’ll be plenty of success belonging to other people that you wished were yours. Someone is buying a luxury car, someone else is off to the Caribbean or ha your dream job or got that husband and child you so wanted… Thing is, there’ll always be someone else doing better in life than you, or being better at skills than you. So? Run your own race – be your own competitor. You cannot compare yourself to the whole world, so how about you compare yourself to only, yourself. [7]

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Turn Negative Emotions into Positive Triggers

However much we try, we are likely to be faced with some or the other disappointments in the journey called life especially when are figuring out how to succeed. The trick is not to let these negative emotions bog you down and instead use these emotions as positive triggers. For instance, if you are angry about a situation, you are likely to be charged up – use this anger creatively into solving a problem that has been irking you for long. And in case you are being enveloped in green, read envy, at someone else’s success – use this to fuel your need and efforts to reach never before heights. [8]

If you are still wondering how to succeed- get up and get direction, and then put in all that hard work and effort into achieving that dream of yours. Wishes don’t move mountains, but hard work and ambition do. [9]

Reference

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

Where you work has an enormous impact on how you work – on your ability to focus (and stay focused) and your overall ability to be productive. That means the design of your office, whether you work at home or in a larger company environment, is of supreme importance. This isn’t just about Feng Shui, this is about producing results and getting things done.

According to studies done on workplace and productivity, the most significant factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus is their physical environment. In fact, it’s been said that a well-designed office can increase your productivity about 20%. However, despite the studies and statistics, nearly half of the employers interviewed don’t consider workplace design a good business investment.

So what is a productivity hack to do? What if you work in an environment that doesn’t promote focus?

Check these 15 factors and make changes where you can. A little adjustment can produce a lot of impact.

Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired to create, yet it’s one of the most overlooked and least invested in. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Dark spaces can actually produce depression.

If you work in a company office:
You probably have no control over your general lighting so bring in your own, if need be. Consider using natural light bulbs or a light therapy device.

If you work from a home office:
Open the windows and doors and let natural light in. Using lamps in a variety of areas for cloudy days or when it’s dark.

Chair and Table

If you’ve ever sat at a desk to do work but found yourself adjusting, stretching and moving too often to actually stay focused, then you’re aware of the importance of having a correctly fitted table and chair. In today’s work environment where so many of us are sitting for most of our day, it is critical that your throne fits your body probably.

Consider these quick ergonomic checks:

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  • Eyes 24-36 inches from the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be below or at eye-level.
  • Feet should be on a foot rest or resting on the floor.
  • A slightly reclined chair posture is best to reduce pressure on your spine and minimize lower back pain.

If you work in a company office:
Ask for an adjustable chair. Add pillows for your lower back or bum, if you need it. Many companies will also provide risers for computers to adjust the height of your computer screen (and a separate keyboard to keep your hands and wrists in the ideal position)

If you work from a home office:
Invest in a decent chair or at least use a few pillows to make the chair more comfortable. If the table is too high, add pillows to your chair. If it is too low, consider buying leg risers from your local hardware store and using books beneath your computer to raise the screen. Use a separate keyboard.

Clutter

Your mama was right, it’s important to clean up your room. Clutter may help the creative mind create, but it isn’t necessarily helpful for focus and productivity.

If you work from a company office: While you can’t control the cleanliness of the office at large, do keep your own environment around you clean. Spend 10 minutes every morning or evening making sure things are put away, filed, organized and generally out of sight so you’re not distracted by it later.

If you work from a home office: Because you work from home, the entire house or apartment is potential for distraction. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean. If not, schedule a specific day and time to clean your home. Commit to doing daily pickup at a specific time. And spend at least 10 minutes every day making sure your office  is organized and tidy.

Room Color

The colors around us all have an effect on our moods and brain function. It evokes both a physical and emotional response. So choosing the right colors for your work space has the ability to affect your productivity. For instance, blue has been said to illicit productivity. Mind you, too much of anything can be overwhelming, even color.

If you work from a company office: Bring in items from home that are a certain color that inspire you and keep you focused. Use postcards, magazine cutouts, even just blocks of color will do.

If you work from a home office: If you work from home, you have much more control over the colors around you. Consider repainting a wall, adding color to the table you work at, or hanging pictures that are dominated by a specific color.

Room Temperature

Most offices keep their temperatures around 65-68 Fahrenheit but it turns out that this might not be good for productivity. Warmer rooms actually make people more productive.

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If you work from a company office: Most offices are regulated by somebody else, so bring a space heater, sweaters and blankets to your work space.

If you work from a home office: Depending on the season, open the windows or adjust the heat or a/c so that you’re more comfortable and warm. Pile on the sweaters in the winter or add a space heater to your feet.

Room Scents

Like the color of the space you work in, our sense of smell can powerfully affect our mood, mindset and thus our productivity. Consider adding scents to your work space to jar your mind into focus when you start to notice yourself drifting off.

Try using these scents to stay focused:

  • Pine – Increases alertness
  • Cinnamon – Improves focus
  • Lavender – Helps to relax you during a stressful work day
  • Peppermint – Lifts your mood
  • Citrus (any) – Wakes you up  and lifts your spirits

If you work from a company office: Most people will not appreciate added scents to their work environment so you’ll need to keep it subtle. Keep essential oils in your bag or drawer and when you’re in need of a boost put a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton ball.

If you work from a home office: Use candles, incense or essential oils. You can also simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.

Noise Level

The noise level in a work environment can vary greatly depending on the size of the team you work with, the office design and company culture. But make no mistake, the noise around you affects your ability to stay on task. Not only can it be distracting, it can also raise stress levels making your ability to sustain productivity far more difficult.

If you work from a company office: Bring in noise cancellation headphones and use music services like Spotify or Songza and choose concentration boosting sounds, like white noise.  Find out if your office offers quiet work spaces for times when you need the utmost focus.

If you work from a home office: Sometimes the complete quiet can be as distracting as an office. Use a service like Coffivity to mimic the noise of a coffee shop, which has been said to help with concentration.

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Air Quality

Air quality can drastically affect our ability to focus and think clearly. Get this: OSHA estimates that the total annual cost of poor air quality in office environments costs employers $15 billion “due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.” Yeah, it’s serious business.

If you work from a company office: Talk to them about installing air filters. If there is a way to bring in fresh air through windows or doors, arrange to have them opened for at least a portion of the day. If nothing else, get a personal air filter to have on your desk or nearby.

Also, get a plant (or better yet, have the company buy and use more plants in the office!). Plants are great at filtering the air and providing clean, purified oxygen.

If you work from a home office: Open windows and doors and let in the fresh air. Install an air filter or get a portable air filter to keep near your desk. And, yes, you too should get a plant.

Different Spaces

If you can manage it, give yourself more than one space to work from. Putting yourself in a new space with different qualities and things to look at quite literally shifts your brain and helps you stay focused.

If you work from a company office: Many offices offer a variety of environments to work from: your personal space, lobbies, break out rooms, conference rooms, kitchens and eating areas and, if you’re lucky, they also provide lounge areas. Use all these spaces to vary your routine. Make sure your supervisor knows so they don’t think you’re slacking off and know tat you’re actually getting more done!

If you work from a home office: If you work at a desk, add a comfortable couch or chair to the room. If your space is less flexible or ultra tiny, think about more creative ways to change your work space. Rotate the pictures on your walls every couple of days. Sit on the other side of your desk. Get a lamp and multiple colored bulbs. Or go work at a café, the library or in a park.

Organization of People

Most employers organize employees around job function or in specific divisions. Instead, studies show that people are more creative and productive when they are sitting with colleagues that share the same goal or client. Not only are you able to get answers and generate solutions quicker, but because you’re directly accountable to the people around you, you’re more likely to stay on task and productive.

If you work from a company office: Ask your employer if you can experiment by clustering your group together in a conference room for a day or a week. Get feedback from everybody involved. Show the results. If your company won’t make permanent adjustments, perhaps they’ll allow you to work together a couple times a week when the conference room or lounge area is free.

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If you work from a home office: This is a little bit more difficult because when you work at home you’re not with colleagues. You can recreate a similar space digitally, however. Create a Skype group and have everyone logged in during working hours. You can do morning accountability and check-ins while remaining available for questions, solution-finding and general banter that promotes creativity.

Idea Storage

Ever been working hard when you’re suddenly distracted by a great idea? At first you try to push it away, but then the next thing you know you’re 20 pages deep into an online search on the topic. Ideas should be encouraged and cultivated, but when they come right in the middle of another task it can be incredibly distracting. Instead, create a place to store your ideas that’s easily accessed from your work space.

For both a company and home office: Keep pads of paper around, have a chalk wall, get a white board – when you have a spark of inspiration write it down right away to get it out of your head then return to the task at hand. Then, at the end of the day or when you have free time, collect all the ideas and review them. With a little time and space you can better decide if it’s worth pursuing or better to leave it on the back-burner.

Refreshment

Our brain needs nourishment to keep going, especially when we’re driving hard and staying focused. You can let a rumbling stomach go on for only so long before the brain shuts down. Assuming your different is like wanting your car to keep driving without having to stop and fill it with gas. A novel idea, but not realistic.

If you work from a company office: Pre-make snacks for the day and/or week. Or, bring in prepackaged snacks. Keep in mind that junk food has properties of diminishing returns so if you’re buying your food prepackaged think nuts, fruit, unsweetened yogurts, and hummus and crackers. Likely, your company provides coffee, tea and water so you don’t have to worry about supplying that for yourself.

If you work from a home office: If you work from home, this can be a key distraction. Try to reduce the number of times you walk into the kitchen each day. To do this, keep quick and   easy snacks pre-made or prepackaged ready and near your desk. Keep a water bottle nearby. And consider bringing a kettle into your office and stocking tea and coffee so you’re   not tempted to wander around the house and lose time poking through the pantry.

Bring in Nature

We are biological creatures, first and foremost. So we are deeply affected by our access to (or lack of) the natural world. It’s important for our psychological and physiological functioning, which directly affects our ability to be productive.

If you work from a company office: If you don’t have windows in or near your work space, bring in pictures of the outdoor world. Keep a picture of something natural as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks outdoors at lunch or in between major tasks. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh air and sunshine can boost our mood and shake out the doldrums. Be sure to add a plant to your desk, too!

If you work from a home office: Keep the shades open and, if you can, let in fresh air. If you can’t see anything natural out of your window, keep pictures of the natural world as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks. Or, just step outside and put your feet on the ground. Put plants in your office – research shows that having live plants in your office makes you more productive, happier and less stressed.

Digital Space

For most people, our primary work is housed within our laptops and our physical environment simply the backdrop to our digital lives. Make sure your computer has software that helps you sculpt the digital environment that best elicits productivity. Use focus apps like this one or this to decrease distractions. Or design your day using intervals with an app like this one to keep you at your peak focus throughout the day.

Featured photo credit: Phil Desforges via unsplash.com

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