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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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                      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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