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10 Things Elite Achievers Don’t Do

10 Things Elite Achievers Don’t Do

When you hear the words “elite achievers,” who comes to mind? For many, it will be people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey. For others, athletes like Michael Jordan, Barry Sanders, and Tiger Woods. Regardless of your definition of “elite,” one thing’s for sure: to join the ranks of the elite, you need to understand what elite achievers do—and what they don’t do.

Here’s a look at 10 things you won’t find top performers dong.

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1. They don’t only spend time on thinking and planning.

Elite achievers are action-oriented. They spend time learning, and then go apply what they have learned. Underachievers do the opposite. They get caught up in analysis paralysis and don’t take action. If you want to be an elite achiever, start by creating a to-do list every day, and record the actions you take to get closer to your goals. Those little actions compound over time.

2. They don’t have only one plan.

Elite people take risks because they know that’s how they’ll reap the biggest rewards; however, they know some of these risks will undoubtedly fail. So what do they do? Create back-up plans. The lesson here is simple: hope for the best but plan for the worst.

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3. They don’t wait for opportunities.

Elite achievers grasp opportunity by the laurels and run with it. They don’t wait for opportunities to come to them. If you don’t know your life purpose, go find it. If you’re sick of your job, explore other industries. If you want to learn a new skill, read everything you can, and then go apply what you learned.

4. They don’t give up.

The elite keep going until they get there. Life isn’t fair sometimes. But you always have two choices: give up or keep fighting. This doesn’t mean blindly doing things that aren’t netting results. Michael Jordan said, “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Those are words to live by.

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5. They don’t let anyone stand in the way of their dreams.

You will inevitably encounter people who try to hold you back, put you down, and make you feel terrible about yourself. Elite achievers dismiss these people with a shrug and go on with their day. The only voice that matters is your own. Don’t listen to the haters and the naysayers. You don’t need them.

6. They don’t stop learning.

88 percent of elite achievers read at least 30 minutes a day and 63 percent listen to audio books during their daily commute. The lesson here is this: never stop learning. Seek knowledge every single day. Try and read at least one new book a month on a topic you’re interested in. And use your downtime (like when you’re in the car) to listen to audio books that educate you about the things you want to be successful at (e.g., starting a new career or losing weight).

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7. They don’t try to do it all alone.

Elite achievers know what they know, but they also know what they don’t know. It’s okay to ask for help. Most top performers do. Find someone who is really good at what you want to be good at, and ask him or her if they’ll be your mentor. Most people will be honored and humbled that you’re asking them.

8. They don’t neglect their body.

Think of your body as the most sophisticated engine in the world. When you put cheap, processed fuel in your “engine,” it will not run at an optimal level. In other words, you are what you eat. When you stuff your face with fast food week in and week out, your body will respond accordingly. But when you exercise and fuel your body with real foods that are actually good for you, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. That’s why most elite achievers are healthier than the general population.

9. They don’t expect instant gratification.

The elite know great achievements don’t happen overnight. While you hear stories about elite achievers accomplishing monumental things, nobody mentions the daily effort and persistence it took for them to get there. However, these small, seemingly insignificant efforts performed on a daily basis eventually compound into huge accomplishments. Focus on the journey, and you’ll get to the destination.

10. They don’t put themselves first.

Elite achievers go out of their way to do nice things for other people. Because along the path to greatness, everyone needs help. The more people you help, the more they’ll want to help you.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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