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14 Things Successful People Do Differently

14 Things Successful People Do Differently

Do you know someone who is financially, emotionally, and physically secure? Ever met a man or woman with healthy relationships, a healthy pocketbook, a fit physique, and a charismatic smile that tells you they’re happy and they know it?

Ever wondered how successful people got that way?

As it turns out, these go-getters have a lot in common. Join their ranks and increase your personal and professional satisfaction with these 14 tips from successful people:

1. Define “success” for yourself.

What does your perfect day look like? How do you spend your time, who do you see, what do you do? Is there a family in this picture? Do you get dressed up or embrace your inner pajama-wearing night owl? No two definitions of “success” are the same, nor should they be — the state is that highly personal one where you are happy, healthy, and provided for.

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2. Recognize “success” as a dynamic state, with a changing definition.

What you want and need, what makes you happy, will evolve over time. Allow this evolution to shape your ambitions.

3. Enjoy the process.

Because what you want, need and pursue will change, focus on the process rather than a finite end state. After all, the process is all that you have to keep you going day in and day out; find satisfaction there.

4. Be willing to give things up.

If you have time “for yourself,” or “to relax,” or “you time” during your first year of startup in a new business, you aren’t working hard enough. Likewise, don’t expect a day off during a crunch season in your industry or at your company. “Work-life balance” often means taking only as much as you are happy with from one, to feed the other. In practice, there are a finite number of hours in the day. If you are using them to pursue success, there won’t be much left over.

5. Relentlessly pursue goals.

First, establish a quantifiable, readily explained goal, stated in simple terms. Then, dedicate all your resources of time, energy and money to it. If an endeavor does not further this stated goal, then do not pursue it.

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6. Study, every day.

There is such a vast amount to explore in this world and your corner in it. Successful people are intellectually curious, insatiably hungry for more information and new outlooks.

7. Take advantage of small chunks of time.

People who say they “don’t have time” are wrong — they do have time. They’re probably wasting it zoning out on the train, watching television while they cook, or in some other dribbling way. Know where your time goes, and use small parts of it. It takes a few minutes to return emails or phone calls, or make a little bit of progress around your house or office. Pull a weed every time you step across the lawn, always have a book handy, have the phone number of the next call you need to make at the ready, in case you find yourself in line. There are scraps of time littered throughout your day — use them productively.

8. Rest when needed.

We’re human. We tire. We need sleep. We need quality food and fuel. Give your body and mind these things, if you expect them to perform.

9. Keep a “brains book.”

Don’t rely on your memory — keep a small notebook with you at all times to jot down tasks, notes, and great ideas as they come.

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10. See challenges as a source of inspiration.

You will fail at some point, or many points. Dust yourself off, and resolve to be better. If you’re down, you’re out, and you’ll never become successful without staying in the game.

11. Allow not even the sky to limit you.

Someone who says you can’t means they can’t, or they haven’t tried. Dream big. Work harder.

12. Live joyfully.

Successful people are such by their own terms. When you get there, and as you work to stay there, enjoy it! This is your life, your days, your time, and you built this success. Be proud. Be happy.

13. Empower the team.

It takes a village to do most things worth doing. Also, you’re not the best at everything. Surround yourself with good people, pay them well, let them do their jobs. Trust them. Give them room to grow. Create an environment in which you are an important part of someone else’s success.

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14. Peel back the curtain.

Approach your own feelings, responses, and challenges with intellectual curiosity and a determination to become better.

Newly committed to excellence? Read up on the 20 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People.

Featured photo credit: Moon Shots via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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