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10 Things Highly Effective People Don’t Do

10 Things Highly Effective People Don’t Do

Sadly, there are very few people who are satisfied with their current work and life. Mostly all of us want a good pay raise, a promotion or want to join a better position at a different company. Yet, in today’s economic environment, there are a few people who are highly effective at work (and life). Those effective people have secrets to their success and manage to achieve their goals. If you want to join them, adopt some of these habits of highly effective people.

1. They don’t accept negativity

If you keep a positive outlook in life, it will affect your whole life in a way that would impossible to measure. As a popular saying goes “act like you’re already rich” to “see the good side of everything.” So, be ambitious not disappointed. Be proactive, not lethargic. A cheerful, positive attitude rubs off on your supervisors and colleagues and helps grease the wheel to upward movement.

2. They don’t work “harder.”

There are two techniques to get more work on your job. You can either come in to work early or stay late at work. Or, you can work efficiently in the same amount of time. Efficiency at work amounts for a lot, mainly when your company tracks your time per task through time tracking sheet like my company does or a similar service. Joining both methods — working smarter and longer — can be a wonderful display of the ability and desire it takes to move up.

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3. They don’t lack confidence.

The biggest thing that holds many people back is lack of confidence to ask for things they want from their bosses. Whether they want raises, or a promotion, or a transfer to another department. They can never get any of them if they don’t know the way to how to ask. You need to learn how to ask for what you want. Learn to identify when a refusal is something you can work past, and when it’s an indication you should find another company.

4. They don’t lack initiative.

Be proactive and take the initiative in your life and at work. Your promotions won’t fall in your lap if you’re not improving your situation and performance. Take some serious steps to make your life and job more effective and efficient. Don’t step on others to get ahead; work with others to raise up everyone.

5. They don’t avoid risk.

Businesses need to implement risk management to hold managers accountable for revenue growth and productivity. Highly effective people treat themselves no differently. They calculate risks and choose the best possible return option for the least possible risk. At work, only you have the viewpoint to analyze your position for the risks and rewards.

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6. They don’t always work alone.

Acting without a focused and defined goal is much like driving without a destination in mind. No one can reach anywhere without knowing where they’re heading. Take some time to define your dreams and the necessary steps to reach them. Analyze and decide the way you need to approach your life for positive results. At work, pool the strengths of other people through teamwork, to achieve the goals no one person could have done alone.

7. They don’t stress out.

If you are working harder to push yourself towards your dreams, it could become a dangerous process. You could burn yourself out. Always take some time for yourself for your family. Spend time in a hobby that brings you peace of mind. Learn to distinguish the signs of stress and burnout and learn how to battle them.

8. They don’t avoid making decisions.

Successful and effective people are expert decision makers in every field of life. They help empower their associates and colleagues so they can reach a planned conclusion or they do the task themselves.  They emphasize on “making things happen” at all times and work on activities that sustain progress.  Effective people master the art of politicking and thus they don’t waste their time on issues that disturb their momentum.

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9. They don’t avoid opportunities.

Sometimes we don’t find the right opportunity, satisfaction or flexibility we desire in our current job. Effective people recognize the best opportunity and take steps to change their careers intelligently. Opportunities are always available for motivated and effective people.

10. They don’t say yes all of the time.

Many of us want to accept everything and help everyone around us. Effective and successful people set boundaries for themselves in order to preserve their energy, time and space. Learn to say “No.” Effective people recognize that they’re their own best asset and that they have to take care of themselves first before helping someone else.

So, be prepared for new opportunities, take necessary steps to reach goals and keep working towards achieving them every day. When you develop these habits for success, you’ll achieve your goals.

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Featured photo credit: timedotcom via timedotcom.files.wordpress.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

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Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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