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11 Items Successful People Have at Home

11 Items Successful People Have at Home

Success is more than a measure of someone’s achievements. It’s an indicator of their habits, their productivity, and the choices they’ve made. So it’s no wonder that successful people tend to have many of the same habits.

In particular, those individuals tend to have certain items in their homes—tools that make them more productive, layouts that help them connect with their family, or resources that keep them focused on their most important goals.

Here are eleven of those items and why having them in your home as well might offer the boost you’ve been looking for to jumpstart your productivity.

1. Simulated Sunrise Alarm Clock

The alarm clock is one of the most hated and yet most necessary items in anyone’s home. It’s the first thing you hear every morning, but certainly not the first thing you want to hear.

Part of the problem is that human beings, like most diurnal creatures, respond to sunlight. Ever try to sleep in on the weekend with the shades open? It’s really hard to do. Your body goes into overdrive when the sun rises and tells you “it’s time to wake up!”

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A simulated sunrise alarm clock will slowly brighten as the time to wake gets closer, and just in case you can’t wake up on any particular day, it has a traditional, sound-based alarm built in.

2. The Means with Which to Exercise

I won’t advise you to buy an overpriced exercise bike or treadmill, but one thing all successful people have in their homes is SOME means with which to exercise.

Whether it’s a yoga mat, a large open space, some free weights, or a jump rope, have something in your home you can turn to for exercise when needed. There are days when the gym is too far and the weather too nasty—don’t let that be an excuse to fall into bad habits.

3. Books That Motivate and Inspire

Even the world’s most successful people sometimes need a pick me up, and a good book can do just that. Filled with stories of successes achieved, failures learned from, and obstacles overcome, good business and lifestyle books will motivate you to get the most out of your day.

There are numerous articles about books you can read to fill that gap—from ones that will make you think by Malcolm Gladwell, to motivational stories of extreme productivity from Tim Feriss. Here are a few more to help you get started.

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4. Isolated, Quiet Space for Working

Successful people inevitably have to work at home sometimes—it’s a necessity. But when they do, they have a space that is separate from the rest of the house. One that allows them to shut out distractions and focus on the tasks at hand.

This is good for a couple of reasons. One, it allows them to get that work done faster. Rather than sitting on the couch working for four hours between distractions, they shut an office door and get the bare necessities done in 1–2 hours—much faster and better for the work-life balance.

5. A Handwritten Notebook for Setting Goals

There are three types of goals. Long term goals like those you’ll set every year in January, short term goals to complete specific projects or hit certain milestones, and daily goals to just plain get things done.

Successful people have efficient systems in place to set and manage all three of these, and the best way to handle it on a daily basis is with a handwritten notebook you can check. I recommend moleskine notebooks that fit in your back pocket.

6. Hardwired Telephone and Internet Connections

This is a basic productivity tip but it’s a must. If you’re working at home, you need to know that your phone and Internet connection will be reliable. Wireless connections, whether a cell-phone that can get choppy or drop calls or WiFi Internet, are neither reliable nor the highest possible quality. Install hard lines wherever you are working.

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7. A Standing Desk or Versatile Working Space

You’ve read the articles about the dangers of sitting. But forget the fear of being unhealthy for a moment and focus on the many benefits of being upright for longer periods of time each day. A more active body leads to a sharper mind and more productive output. Even if you don’t plan on getting a standing desk, look into other versatile working space options.

8. A Visual Representation of Goals

In my home office I have a white board and a cork board. On the former I will draw diagrams showing how much work I have left to achieve a specific goal—at any given time I can create a reminder that I’m getting closer to my goals. On the cork board I will pin successes as they occur. This means printing out metrics from a recent project, putting up the business card of someone I met at a conference, or posting the most recent article I wrote as a reminder of what I am working towards.

9. A Fridge Full of Healthy, Lifestyle-Oriented Foods

A healthy diet is a must, and successful individuals know this and live their lives by the maxim that a healthy body, well-cared for will fuel a healthy mind.

So toss the junk food and beer and work towards a better balanced, healthier, and generally better balanced lifestyle that will allow you to think better and have more energy on a daily basis.

10. A Dining Room or Kitchen Table with No TV in Sight

Successful people tend to have a better handle on the balance between work and life, especially in the 21st century as the psychological and emotional benefits of doing so have become so apparent.

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To foster this, make sure you have a dedicated space where you and your family can sit and eat dinner together, discuss your day, and bond outside the realm of work.

11. A Hands-on Hobby without a Screen Attached

Screens are everywhere. On average you will look at a screen 45 out of every 60 minutes during the day. So a hobby that involves playing a computer game or watching movies isn’t the best way to rest your mind.

Instead choose a hobby that uses your hands and puts those hyperactive neurons in your brain to rest. Painting, playing a musical instrument, gardening, woodworking—whatever you enjoy that doesn’t require a screen can be great post-work therapy.

Without fail, the most successful people in the world will have some or all of the items listed above in their homes in some form or another. The key is to maintain balance, seeking success at work while enjoying peace and love at home. With the right balance or productivity and family, you can do the same.

Featured photo credit: success/Grinapple via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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