I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
The famous poem Invictus captures beautifully the essence of what it means to be a Self-Leader. It is the ability to make things happen without the need of anyone else to scream down your neck. The brilliant self-leader is not merely content to make things happen—they make things happen with excellence. Regardless of whether or not there is a boss or manager around, they are giving it 100%. They do not blame others nor make excuses. Does this sound like the kind of person you would like to be? Here are 10 ways you can become a brilliant self-leader.Advertising
1. Exercise self-discipline.
Guard yourself against procrastination and laziness. Workout your willpower each day through finding a way to say “No” to yourself. Set some chocolate on your desk but refrain from eating it. Practice completing little tasks each day such as cleaning your desk, or making your bed. Strive to keep you car tidy. Discipline in one area will lead to discipline in other areas.
2. Stick to a schedule.
Write out your daily goals every morning and work through getting them done. If you do not get every task done, put them on top of tomorrow’s list. A great self-leader is an organized self-leader. Rather than letting the day dictate what you do, take charge and be the dictator of the day.Advertising
3. Track your progress.
Keep a journal of all your little accomplishments and steps that you need to take in order to get to your goal. More importantly, you need to celebrate all your little wins. Give yourself a high-five, and pour yourself a glass of red wine. The self-leader works hard, but also plays hard.
4. You are what you eat.
A healthy body equals a healthy mind. The self-leader takes good care of their health because they know that a healthy brain and clear mind is crucial for navigating through making the right decisions. Anyone can gather information, knowledge, and facts, but the brilliant self leader knows how to put it all into practice.Advertising
5. Only be with the best.
Jim Rohn gave the incredible insight, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Take a look at your inner circle of friends. Are they also brilliant self-leaders? You need to surround yourself with people whom you can learn from and be encouraged by. As iron sharpens iron, your network of friends is a great resource for brain picking. That is, if you have a great group.
6. Forgive and forget.
Even though the brilliant self-leader is constantly pushing themselves—always setting the bar higher and expecting nothing but the best—they also know how to handle obstacles and failures. To become a better self-leader, you need to change the way you look at failure. Rather than treating failure like a tomb-stone, see it as a stepping stone. Everything is a learning experience.Advertising
7. Know your weaknesses.
This will require honesty with yourself. Even more helpful is asking some friends to be honest with you and let you know what areas you are weak in. You need to see the enemy in order to beat the enemy. Once you identify these weak areas, work on improving them. A great self-leader is always looking for ways to improve themselves. Be content enough to be satisfied and happy, but not too content that you stop growing.
8. Be a mentor.
The best way to learn is to teach. It may sound paradoxical, but the more you are able to vocalize and communicate what it is that you know and pass that onto someone else, the better grasp and understanding you will also come to have.
9. Focus on your game.
It is very easy to get distracted and become envious of what other people are doing or achieving. The brilliant self-leader does not compare their life with others. They know that they have been created unique with their own set of skills and talents. They focus on refining and sharpening their own tools.
Self-awareness is key for becoming a brilliant self-leader. You need to be able to access your internal dialogue and observe the thoughts that are running through your mind. Take some time out each day and sit in stillness and silence. Take in long deep breaths and be an observer to them. When random thoughts come into you mind, first acknowledge them, label them, but then cast them aside and return to your breathing.
Last Updated on November 18, 2019
How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster
Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.
Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.
How do we manage that?
I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:
The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.
How to Prioritize with the Scales Method
One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.
At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.
After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:
- She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
- She could publish all her articles on time
- And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)
Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:
1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning
When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.
My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.
Use this time to:
- Look at the big picture.
- Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
- Lay out all the tasks you need to do.
2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal
This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.
It works like this:
Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.
By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.
To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:
Low Cost + High Benefit
Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.
Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.
High Cost + High Benefit
Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.
Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).
Low Cost + Low Benefit
This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.
These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.
High Cost + Low Benefit
Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.
For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.
Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:
After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):
And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.
Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines
Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.
What to do in these cases?
Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.
For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.
Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:
Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.
The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried
By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!
And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.
Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.
Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.
More to Boost Productivity
- How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)
- The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life
- 10 Practical Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skills
- How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)
Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com