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10 Things Overthinkers Do that Make Them More Likely To Be Successful

10 Things Overthinkers Do that Make Them More Likely To Be Successful

There are those who like to rush into things, and those that like to take their time to prepare before making a move. It’s not like everyone is either impulsive or very anal about things – it’s a sliding scale – but being on one of the extremes can have certain benefits. Overthinkers might have some problems because they don’t like to just jump at opportunities, but they also have a lot of interesting traits that can help them become successful.

1. They always have a ton of to-do lists, spreadsheets and planners

Make a list

    If you are prone to over thinking, chances are you’ve always got a list or spreadsheet within arm’s reach, and it’s not just for everyday to-do’s. Let me give you a personal example: while the average blogger will have 3-4 things on his “set up a website” list that he or she will go over in a couple of days, I would go through an extensive checklist before even deciding on a host, and I’d get stuck on simple web design choices for days. This can actually be a good thing when it comes to staying organized in the workplace. Over-thinkers tend to make good project managers.

    2. They know that fortune favors the prepared

    Prepared

      Getting an assignment done in time requires some careful planning and plenty of focus. This is something that most people can’t get right, so they end up rushing projects, pulling all-nighters and producing sub-par results. People who like to go over everything several times and explore every detail will be better equipped to handle any task (even if it is kind of a last moment thing) simply because they prepare for all kinds of situations well in advance.

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      3. They can see both the big picture and the little details

      focusing on details

        While it is often enough to do some quick research and get a basic feel of things to be able to complete a project, those that put in a bit more effort into even the simplest tasks are much more likely to get noticed by higher ups. This obsession with details also helps when learning a new skill like playing an instrument or dancing, because it allows you to approach things very systematically and focus on the best methods.

        4. They are perfectionists

        Perfection

          It may take a perfectionist a bit more time to get things done, but he or she will gladly cut into their free time when learning something new or working on a project. Employers tend to value the extra devotion and passion that some people put in. At the same time this means that an over-thinker is going to be much better at performing boring tasks and working on making small improvements all the time. They won’t stop until they truly understand the theory and all the nuances of what they are doing – so they will be able to attain better results, as well as teach others.

          5. They are surprised by very few things

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          Surprise

            Some of us don’t like to go into any situation blind and will at least do some basic research and get some practice in before taking on a task. The best thing about this is that very few things will be able to throw you off your game, whether you are on a job interview, a date or a business meeting.

            6. They don’t post pictures and statuses that would harm their reputation on social media

            Social media mogul

              It seems a bit unusual to most people that someone would spend 10-20 minutes thinking about how to word their status update on Facebook or choosing just the right picture to share, but this can actually work to a person’s benefit. Being careful about what kind of image you are presenting on social media can actually help you land a job or impress new acquaintances.

              7. They have multiple skills and interests

              Talents

                Do you know what happens when you spend an inordinate amount of time learning about a topic or trying to always be well-prepared to handle all kinds of situations? Well, you end up picking up multiple skills and become quite knowledgeable on a variety of topics. Being a sort of a jack-of-all-trades can help you move up the corporate ladder, and it makes you a much more interesting person overall.

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                8. They are good at following rules

                Following the rules

                  Over-thinking has a social component as well, i.e. you tend to be very particular about social conventions. One of the reasons for exploring different scenarios over and over in your head is that you don’t want to come across as rude, dumb or clumsy when interacting with others. You end up learning the rules and conventions for different situations very well, and you get quite good at following the rules. This allows you to quickly pick up on what others expect of you and adapt your behavior to suit the situation.

                  9. They can learn from their mistakes and move on

                  Making mistakes

                    The thing that brings people down the most when faced with failure is that they simply cannot accept the fact that they messed up, and end up beating themselves up, going through all the things they could have done differently. Well, if you are the kind of person that obsess over every little detail, when something goes wrong you know there is absolutely nothing else you could have done differently to prepare you for it. It ends up being easier to accept things for what they are, learn from the mistake and move on.

                    10. They are ambitious and dedicated

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                    Success

                      It may start out as a matter of precaution (i.e. you start to focus on every minor detail and prepare excessively before every undertaking because you fear that you might fail or disappoint), but over time your obsession turns into dedication. You start to develop a wide knowledge base and tons of useful skills, which in turn makes you more confident and your ambitions grow with every passing day. These traits are essential for any entrepreneur looking to make a name for him or herself.

                      As you can see, being somewhat obsessive and over-thinking things can actually be a beneficial trait. Those that measure several times before they cut, then stop and measure some more, then go find a better pair of scissors and cut ever so carefully, these are the ones that have a distinct advantage when it comes to achieving big life goals.

                      Featured photo credit: beautiful girl sitting alone autumn morning via shutterstock.com

                      More by this author

                      Ivan Dimitrijevic

                      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                      Published on January 16, 2019

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                      You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                      You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                      That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                      Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                      1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                      Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                      We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                      To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                      At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                      The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                      2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                      Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                      The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                      In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                      It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                      It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                      So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                      • Are you a great strategist?
                      • Are you an effective planner?
                      • Is Project Management your strength?
                      • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                      • Are you the ideas person?
                      • Is Implementation your strength?

                      Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                      3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                      One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                      Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                      Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                      Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                      4. Take Time for Planning

                      “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                      One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                      You can take the time to think about:

                      • What’s the purpose of the project?
                      • How Important is it?
                      • When does it need to be delivered by?
                      • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                      • What are the KPIs?
                      • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                      • Who is working on this project?
                      • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                      • What tolerances can I add in?
                      • What are the review stages?
                      • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                      Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                      5. Focus on Priorities

                      Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                      Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                      One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                      1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                      2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                      3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                      4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                      James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                        The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                        If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                        If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                        6. Take Time Out

                        To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                        If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                        Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                        In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                        Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                        7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                        Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                        I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                        Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                        If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                        8. Stop Multitasking

                        Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                        So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                        When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                        If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                        9. Work in Blocks of Time

                        To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                        I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                        Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                        Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                        Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                        Then take another 10-minute break.

                        Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                        By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                        10. Get Rid of Distractions

                        Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                        “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                        Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                        If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                        11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                        You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                        Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                        Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                        12. Take a Time Audit

                        Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                        Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                        You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                        Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                        Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                        At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                        If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                        13. Protect Your Confidence

                        It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                        When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                        Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                        When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                        Final Words

                        A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                        The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                        If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                        Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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