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11 Successful People And Their Unique Habits

11 Successful People And Their Unique Habits

Have you ever wondered about the habits of history’s most successful people? What is it they do that helps them earn money, respect and a good reputation? Becoming more successful with the help of simple daily habits is easier than you think when you have focus and are committed to reaching your goals.

Read on to learn about 11 successful people and the unique habits that helped them succeed.

1. Benjamin Franklin

Waking up early in the morning

    Benjamin Franklin is one of the most successful and well-known men in history, being not only known as a politician but also as a printer, inventor, scientist, and much more. One notable habit of his was to rise very early each day before he started work. He would wake up at 5 a.m., bathe, review his business for the day, and have breakfast. This way he would be fully focused by 8 a.m. and would be able to work without getting distracted.

    2. Evan Williams

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    Evan Williams Co-Founder of Twitter

      Evan Williams, founder of Blogger and Twitter, keeps his mind sharp by making sure his body gets a workout. Every day he takes some time off in the middle of the day to go work out at the gym, and when he returns, his energy level is higher and he is able to focus more easily on his work.

      3. Arianna Huffington

      Arianna Huffinton Founder Huffintonpost

        Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, practices yoga and meditation each day to help her keep stress levels down and increase mindfulness in her life. When people don’t have as much stress in their life and they are more aware of their own feelings and needs, they are happier and healthier. Happy, healthy people can provide their best work to the companies that employ them or to the companies they own.

        4. Randy Garutti

        of the Shake Shack Randy Garutti

          Randy Garutti, CEO of the Shake Shack franchise, attributes his success to the habit of focusing on one thing at a time and “being present.” No one can do everything at once, so it is better to give your whole focus to one task at a time. Otherwise you’ll spread yourself out over numerous tasks and not be able to give as much time and energy to any of them as you could if you gave yourself more room to focus.

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          5. Barack Obama

          US President Barack Obama

            Among the many successful habits that Obama practices, one of the most significant is making it a point to have breakfast with his daughters and the first lady, help his daughters get ready for school, and have dinner with his family again in the evening. Like Obama, successful people are careful to strike a good work-life balance, working hard but also making sure to prioritize spending time with family.

            6. Stephen King

            Famous Fiction Writer Stephen King Playing Guitar

              The famous fiction writer Stephen King makes a habit of keeping his work space arranged the same way every day. He sits down to work at around the same time every day and in the same chair, has a glass of water, keeps his papers arranged in the same way each day, and listens to the same music. This is his way of getting himself ready to focus on working, and when you are focused on your work, you are bound to succeed.

              7. Franz Kafka

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              Franz Kafka Writer

                Another famous fiction writer, Franz Kafka spent his days as an insurance agent but always made time to feed his creative urge. He would start writing at 10:30 p.m. and keep going into the early hours of the morning. His day job was very stressful and busy, but creative writing was his release. No matter how busy your day job, everyone should nurture their passions when they have time in order to stay motivated. And who knows … perhaps your passion will be your calling.

                8. David Zinczenko

                Men's Health Editor-In-Chief David Zinczenko

                  David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health magazine, practices the habit of keeping healthy snacks and drinks around his office. This way he stays energized and won’t experience a sugar crash later in the day from eating unhealthy foods. Plus, when he already has snacks stocked, he doesn’t have to leave the office while he is working just to waste time buying food.

                  9. Cindy Ratzlaff

                  Cindy Ratzlaff, a consultant, speaker and author

                    Cindy Ratzlaff, a consultant, speaker and author, comes up with a “success goal” each day and writes it on her white board in her office. It’s then in front of her all day to remind her to ask herself before each action if the action will serve her chosen goal. Keeping focused on a goal brings purpose to each choice she makes, eliminating time-wasters and distractions.

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                    10. Albert Einstein

                    Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein

                      Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist, philosopher and author, enjoyed taking the time to go for long walks on the beach or gazing at the ceiling during the workweek so that he could listen to what was going on in his mind. By spending some time in solitude, you can reach deep within yourself and focus on the thoughts in your head.

                      11. Warren Buffett

                      Warren Buffett CEO Berkshire Hathaway

                        Warren Buffett, the oracle of Omaha, likes to play online bridge with three other partners almost every Monday because of the emphasis it places on “playing a hand right rather than on playing it successfully.” Successful people know that luck comes from working hard over time and positioning themselves for success rather than hoping to just get lucky.

                        These successful individuals have great habits that work to help them stay successful. Develop some unique habits for yourself and soon you will be on your way to success and time well spent.

                        Featured photo credit: Silhouette of successful business man /KieferPix via shutterstock.com

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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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