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10 Things Successful People Do To Maximize Their Time

10 Things Successful People Do To Maximize Their Time

Successful people are great at making the most of their time. They understand that their time is equivalent to whatever money that can be made in that time. They are clear and focused on such time usage, and this requires some mental toughness. I hope you can maximize your time and become more successful at getting more done. Here are 10 things successful people do to maximize their time.

1. They delegate

Successful people know that they are not the best at everything. So they find people that are smarter and more efficient to do tasks they are not the best at. They leverage the knowledge and the abilities of these persons and get more out of their time.

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2. They break down their goals

Having a mighty wall to climb over may lead to procrastination and frustration. Successful people know this. That is why they break down their goals into chunks that can be achieved in the shortest span of time. They believe in consistency and working regularly to make the most of their time and attaining big goals.

3. They prioritize

Some things are urgent yet not important. Some are important and not urgent. They make a balance with the tasks before them as to ascertain what is urgent and important and deserves their immediate attention. With this they can determine actionable results.

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4. They de-clutter their lives

According to Pareto’s principle, only 20 percent of our actions drive 80 percent of the positive results in our lives. The other 80 percent of our actions only produce 20 percent of results. Successful people know that a lot of time can be wasted in small talk, having no plan or not following a plan. They focus on 20 percent actions that will produce 80 percent results while they either eliminate or delegate the other 80 percent that offers 20 percent results.

5. They make a self-assessment of their time

Successful people, unlike unsuccessful people, keep themselves accountable for how they use time. They make a self examination in written journals to identify the time wasters in their lives. They identify areas, like spending too much time social media, as time wasting activities and do well to be more accountable on how such time is spent.

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6. They catch up on time

There is always some free time they can accumulate and take advantage of. Time spent in traffic could also be spent listening to an insightful audio CD or connecting with a client. They attack any window of opportunity to get more of their time.

7. They create a ritual

Successful people are plugged in on habits and schedules that are fixed. Such routines do not exceed the time limit allotted to them. For example, if it will take them 15 minutes to eat every morning, they stick to this routine and do not exceed it.

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8. They plan their days

Nothing precise, concise and effective can be done without strategic planning. Successful people are organized and do well to plan their days beforehand. Being busy is not the same as productive and being busy could cripple your health. This is why successful people ensure their days are well planned to be more productive and effective.

9. They are motivated

They direct their energies and resources to things they are passionate about. It is difficult to flaw someone who combines skill and passion. Energy and time spent on passionate pursuits offer the best use of time.

10. They focus on one activity at a time

Some people think they make the most of their time by multitasking. Successful people understand that multitasking is a waste of time. According to a report, humans are not designed to multitask. It is best to increase your efficiency and performance to focus on a task and finish it properly before going on to the next one.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com via flickr.com

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How to Fight Information Overload

How to Fight Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 steps:

  1. Set your goals.
  2. Decide whether you really need the information.
  3. Consume only the minimal effective dose.
  4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming too much information.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

The Nature of the Problem

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem. This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog post we don’t even consider reading it, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it. We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

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No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on. The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control. Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it. But first…

Why information overload is bad

It stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here. When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work, or enjoy your passion.

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So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with your goals.

1. Set your goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. What to do when facing new information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans then skip it. You don’t need it.

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If it does then it’s time for another question. Will you be able to put this information into action immediately? Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks? Or is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away? If the information is not actionable in a day or two (!) then skip it. (You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant. Self-control comes handy too … it’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future then SKIP IT.

3. Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour Body,Tim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs. Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life. Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

4. Don’t procrastinate by consuming more information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

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Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

In Closing

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance. I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over. I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

Feel free to shoot me a comment below and share your own story of fighting information overload. What are you doing to keep it from sabotaging your life?

(Photo credit: Businessman with a Lot of Discarded Paper via Shutterstock)

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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