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10 Things Early Birds Do that Make Them More Likely To Be Successful

10 Things Early Birds Do that Make Them More Likely To Be Successful

Are you an early bird? Most people have heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm,” but they may actually be getting much more than that.

Early birds are more likely to be proactive, happy and healthy – check out 10 things that early birds do that make them more likely to be successful.

1. They Can Accomplish Tasks As Soon As They Start Their Day

It doesn’t take long for our days to get started; family, friends, career obligations, emails, and tidying mean that there are things to start doing as soon as you wake up. Early birds get a head start on this first thing, accomplishing most of their tasks in the morning.

This is good in another way, too – as early birds accomplish tasks when they wake up, they are more likely to have a relaxed evening.

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2. They May Be Wired To Be An Early Riser

Researchers have discovered that around 10% of us are born early birds. This means many early birds are actually wired this way, and forcing themselves to sleep in will reduce how proactive they are. So embrace your early bird status to achieve success!

3. They May Be More Intelligent

A 2008 study from Texas University discovered that the students who identified as being early birds actually scored a full point higher on their GPAs than the students who identified as night owls.

4. They Are Most Focused In The Morning

Many people feel more focused first thing in the morning, and early birds really get to embrace this as they get up when most people are asleep, creating far fewer distractions.

The most efficient way to work is in two to four hour block sessions – and by 11 many early birds have already completed their first block.

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5. They Are Following The Habits Of Extremely Successful People

It appears greeting the day early is one of the keys to success. Many successful entrepreneurs are early birds themselves; CEO of Apple Tim Cook is up for 4:30 a.m. and Richard Branson is up for 5.45 a.m. This may be because getting starting early gives you a head start on the day.

6. They Get A Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential to a productive day, and early birds often have more opportunities to sleep.

Many people struggle to fall to sleep straight away, and many wake up during the night. If this happens, you may need an extra half an hour in the morning – and as early birds rise so early, they have the opportunity to get a little extra sleep if they need it.

7. They Are More Proactive

In a 2008 study at Harvard, Christop Randler discovered that morning people are more proactive.

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The early birds were more likely than the night owls to agree with proactive statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself.”

A proactive attitude naturally leads to higher productivity, which means early birds are more likely to be successful later on.

8. They Have Time For Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many people do not make time for a proper breakfast, or even a rushed one. Early risers have more free time in their mornings than other people, so they have fewer excuses to skip breakfast.

A survey from the Harvard School of Public Health discovered a possible link between not eating breakfast and a higher risk of coronary heart disease, so having a good breakfast can benefit you in many different ways.

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9. They May Be Happier

A study at the University of Toronto has actually shown that morning people are likely to be both happier and healthier than night owls. The health part is partially logical; as early birds are up earlier they have more opportunity to eat a good breakfast and exercise.

The happiness is the more interesting part; morning people report higher levels of happiness, which could be due to how proactive they are.

10. They Have Great Personality Traits

Studies have shown that early birds are more likely to show some traits than night owls. Night owls are more likely to exhibit creativity and pessimism, while early birds are more likely to exhibit optimism, conscientiousness and satisfaction.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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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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