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15 High Performance Habits That Will Make You Successful

15 High Performance Habits That Will Make You Successful

According to recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, under-employment in the UK has now reached its highest level since 1992. An estimated 1.46 million of the nation’s part-time workers are actively seeking full-time employment, as the government struggles to create viable job opportunities for its citizens.

So while British Prime Minister David Cameron may have recently called for individuals from poorer backgrounds to “raise their aspirations,” he must first focus on creating opportunities that motivate this demographic. Even then, it must be recognized that motivation and aspiration are both complex psychological processes, which require a daily commitment and the cultivation of a positive lifestyle.

Aspiring

    With this in mind, it is worth identifying the high performance traits and practices that will help you to achieve your goals. Consider the following habits to be successful.

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    1. Measure Success in Happiness Rather than Wealth

    The modern generation of employees are increasingly motivated by factors other than wealth, with job satisfaction, benefits and empowerment all key considerations. This also represents a shift in the way that people measure their success, as defining it in pounds and pence or dollars and cents only leads you to consistently chase a higher amount with ever achieving true satisfaction. This can be counter-productive, so be sure to create a clearly defined vision of success and understand precisely what it means to you.

    2. Challenge yourself and Do Hard Things

    You cannot succeed in life without first achieving personal growth, which demands a willingness to accept and overcome difficult challenges. It is only though overcoming obstacles that we are able to learn and develop critical life skills, and it is these attributes that will equip us to obtain success. By challenging yourself and confronting difficult tasks, you can also change your mind-set with regards to the possibilities that life holds.

    3. Listen to Constructive Criticism and the Opinion of Others

    While positive feedback can improve your morale and motivate you to achieve success, it is your ability to respond to constructive criticism that will ultimately empower you to reach your goals. After all, this type of feedback highlights areas in which you need to improve, rather than simply reaffirming your strengths as an individual. Your weaknesses can then be targeted through training and development, which in turn will empower you as a stronger and more rounded individual.

    4. Learn from Failure

    While failure is considered to be a teacher of valuable life lessons, drawing from painful and disappointing experiences is far easier said than done. In fact, it requires an ability to decipher the exact lessons that we can learn from each individual failure, so that we can apply these in the quest for future success. By confronting the issue head on and identifying exactly where things went wrong, you can take actionable steps towards ensuring that the same mistakes are not made again.

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    5. Develop an Early and Consistent Wake-up Routine

    While recent studies have suggested that enjoying eight hours sleep each day may actually be counter-productive to your levels of mental agility, it is still important that you develop a consistent cycle of sleep. This enables you to become an early riser who wakes up at exactly the same time each day, which makes it far easier for you to optimize your time and develop a productive schedule. So while the rest of the world is still snoozing in bed, you can be taking decisive action towards empowering your body and mind for the day ahead.

    6. Choose a Positive Attitude

    While there are some who consider the fear of failure to be a key motivator, it is more likely to create inhibitions that prevent you from achieving success. Instead, it is far better to be proactive and adopt a positive attitude in everything that you do. Given the variables that can influence your chances of achieving success, it is crucial that you take control of your own outlook and use positivity as a way of identifying opportunities.

    7. Make a Commitment to Achieve Every Single Day

    Although waking up one morning with a proactive and positive outlook is to be encouraged, it means little if you are unable to commit to this every single day. Recommitting to your routine and the pursuit of your goals is crucial to achieving success; otherwise, the pressures of everyday life can divert your focus. While this requires tremendous drive and strength of character, it will ultimately empower you to be successful over a prolonged period of time.

    8. Work harder than your Competition and Those Around you

    While you can only control your own efforts in the pursuit of your goals, it is important to remember that each individual’s success is also determined by those around them. When competing with others for a specific goal or prize, for example, you must do everything within your power and leave no stone un-turned if you attain success. At the heart of this is your level of dedication to the cause, as making a commitment to work harder than those around will ultimately afford you a critical edge.

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    9. Make Complacency your enemy

    One of the biggest obstacles to long-term success is complacency, which can easily set-in after positive feedback or the attainment of short-term goals. You must strive to use these achievements as a spring-board, however, and rededicate yourself to the cause with renewed vigor. Take the example of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who despite emerging as one of the best players in the world continues to commit himself to a punishing daily fitness regime that encourages self-improvement.

    10. Fear No Single Individual

    Pursuing success in your chosen profession is extremely difficult, primarily because you will undoubtedly come across intimidating and purposeful individuals who are striving to achieve similar goals. You cannot allow these individuals to undermine or overpower you, however, as this will put you at a disadvantage and force you to feel inferior to the competition. While you must always respect competing individuals around you, it is important that you remain fearless and back your talent to ultimately succeed.

    11. Commit Your Goals to Paper

    Believe it or not, the power of the to-do list lies in subtle psychology. Often applied to short-term goals or daily tasks that require completion, this type of list provides an actionable schedule for individuals which enables them to mark their progress as they proceed. This can provide reassurance that you are achieving your goals and being productive within a given time frame, and committing your long-term goals to paper may help you to remain focused and motivated during more difficult times.

    12. Surround yourself with Positive and Successful Individuals

    Having a diverse and mixed group of friends is all well and good, but it is imperative that individuals within your social circles share a similar outlook to work and professional success. If you have friends who have a tendency to draw focus and distract you from your work, for example, you may ultimately need to make a choice between pursuing success and settling for your existing lifestyle. If the idea of eliminating people from your life makes you feel uncomfortable, ask yourself if a true friend would risk your long-term happiness by actively preventing you from achieving your goals.

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    13. Maintain a Fit and Healthy Body

    According to the Athletes Way philosophy, there are a number of daily lifestyle choices that can help to create the perfect balance between physical fitness and mental agility. There are numerous studies that have proven a link between the two, and it is increasingly clear that regular exercise is a key driver of enhanced mental performance. So if you wish to develop the necessary stamina to achieve personal and professional success, a physically fit body is pivotal.

    14. Invest Only in the Pursuit of your Goals

    While wealth may not be the most suitable measure of success, it can certainly be used to fund personal and professional development. With this in mind, it is important to spend money on the development of your career or business, rather than simply investing in material possessions that do little more than create a superficial image. Making these spending decisions is a key part of chasing success, as it forces you to consider your goals and how much you value their accomplishment.

    15. Be Prepared to Make Sacrifices

    On a similar note, you may well be forced to make sacrifices in your quest for success, as any goals that are worth achieving are unlikely to be easily obtainable. The so-called ‘law of sacrifice’ states simply that you cannot obtain something that you want without being willing to give something up in return, so you must therefore be prepared to sacrifice a life of excess and material possessions in order to be successful in your career.

    The Bottom Line

    The definition of success is a diverse concept, and one that remains unique to each individual. Determining what it means to you and developing long-term goals are therefore important steps towards achieving happiness, while you must also be willing to make lifestyle changes and re-evaluate your entire outlook in life.

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

    7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

    The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

    Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

    However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

    The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

    Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

    1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

    According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

    From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

    This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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    Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

    2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

    We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

    Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

    When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

    Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

    Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

    You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

    What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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    3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

    This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

    First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

    Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

    Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

    4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

    One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

    “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

    If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

    Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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    Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

    When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

    5. Learn to Say “No”

    I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

    Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

    Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

    Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

    By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

    6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

    This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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    Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

    The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

    Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

    7. Be Intentional

    The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

    There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

    It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

    The Bottom Line

    The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

    Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

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    Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

    Reference

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