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7 Habits Highly Effective People Don’t Have

7 Habits Highly Effective People Don’t Have

Highly effective people, you know the sort. They’re always getting stuff done and having a good time doing it.

Annoying, aren’t they?

What’s so wrong with being ineffective anyway? Other than not getting stuff done and not having fun doing it, it’s pretty peachy. Why can’t they be like the rest of us?

Actually, maybe being highly ineffective isn’t all that great after all. Maybe things would be a little better if we dropped the habits (like these seven) that highly effective people never picked up in the first place.

1. They don’t see failure as the end.

For many, screwing up is the end of an endeavor. Give something a shot, see it fail (sometimes spectacularly) and give up.

Failure is not an end point, it’s a fresh opportunity. You can try things a different way. You can tackle things with a new approach. You can explore things with an open mind.

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Failure is just the start.

2. They don’t busy themselves with stuff that doesn’t matter.

Life is filled with distractions. There’s gossip to catch up on, that new box set to watch, and Facebook and Twitter aren’t exactly going read themselves, are they?

It’s easier than ever to occupy your time, but people who make wonderful things happen don’t simply pour their time down the drain. They choose how they spend it.

Make a deliberate choice to spend time productively engaging in something that matters to you. You’ll see how much of a gift the time you have really is.

3. They don’t blame others when things go wrong.

Life has too many variables for everything to work out perfectly. When things don’t go to plan it’s really tempting to blame everything and everyone else. He didn’t do what he was supposed to. They just didn’t get it. She should have done that better. The timing’s all wrong. They let me down.

But all that gets you is the notion that you’re in the right, often at the cost of some happiness, joy or learning.

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Always be ready to let go of the need to be right (or to be seen as right), and own your part however things turn out.

4. They don’t pull back from the edges.

When you’re at the edge of the unknown it’s natural to want to turn back to the familiar. It’s safe there. You know how things work there. You can be sure of yourself.

Of course, a life lived within the bounds of the familiar is not a life lived at all. Each time you turn away from risk, opportunity or possibility, you lose a piece of your self-confidence. Eventually, you’ll lose all heart and promise.

Take a deep breath, summon your courage and be willing to explore what’s next for you.

5. They don’t just drift from one thing to another.

Life has a way of carrying you on its ebb and flow doesn’t it? Before you know it, another year has passed and you’ve barely scratched the surface of what you wanted to do.

While being a goal-obsessed, hustling automaton isn’t recommended, neither is purposeless drifting. What matters then is context.

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Give your behavior, choices and actions a sense of direction toward something that matters to you and you’ll be able to make a difference in ways that matter.

6. They don’t take on the world by themselves.

Doing something that matters, finishing a project or creating something wonderful takes time and effort. Sometimes, huge amounts of each.

In today’s world where we’re increasingly measured and judged by arbitrary measures of success and what we appear to achieve, it’s easy to think that it’s all on you. You toil. You work. You endure. You think taking it all on is what strong people do.

That’s nonsense, of course. Sometimes, seeking help and gathering support is the bravest, smartest and most effective thing to do. The most meaningful success isn’t achieved in isolation.

7. They don’t get consumed by the details.

I can’t believe she said that. You’ll never guess what he did. Why can’t they just sort it out? I don’t want to feel like this any more. You simply don’t get it. She went and did it. Who do you think you are?

Too many people spend the bulk of their time wrapped up in the drama and detail of their lives and they forget all about the beauty and possibility right in front of them.

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That drama and detail might make a good TV storyline, if you’re into that sort of thing, but it will only hold you down and stop you from productively engaging in what matters

If you want to stand any chance of making wonderful things happen you need to stop being ineffective and drop these seven habits that highly effective people don’t have. You’re made of more. Just let it go.

Ineffective or effective. The choice between them is, as it always has been, is entirely up to you.

Which way are you gonna go?

More by this author

Steve Errey

Steve is a confidence coach who helps leaders build confidence.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2021

Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM

I have been an early-riser for over a year now. Monday through Friday I wake up at 5:00 AM without hitting the snooze button even once. I never take naps and rarely feel tired throughout the day. The following is my advice on how to start your day (everyday) at 5:00 AM.The idea of waking up early and starting the day at or before the sunrise is the desire of many people. Many highly successful people attribute their success, at least in part, to rising early. Early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” However, for the unaccustomed, the task of waking up at 5:00 AM can seem extremely daunting. This article will present five tips about how to physically wake up at 5:00 AM and how to get yourself mentally ready to have a productive day.

Many people simply “can’t” get up early because they are stuck in a routine. Whether this is getting to bed unnecessarily late, snoozing repetitively, or waiting until the absolute last possible moment before getting out of bed, “sleeping in” can easily consume your entire morning. The following tips will let you break the “sleeping in” routine.

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Relocate your alarm clock.

Having an alarm clock too close to your bed is the number one reason people simply cannot get up in the morning. If your alarm clock is within arms reach of your bed, or if you can turn your alarm clock off without getting out of bed, you are creating an unnecessarily difficult situation for yourself. Before I became an early-riser, there were many times that I would turn off my alarm without even waking up enough to remember turning it off. I recommend moving your alarm clock far enough away from your bed that you have to get completely out of bed to turn it off. I keep my alarm clock in the bathroom. This may not be possible for all living arrangements, however, I use my cellphone as an alarm clock and putting it in the bathroom makes perfect sense. In order to turn off my alarm I have to get completely out of bed, and since going to the restroom and taking a shower are the first two things I do everyday, keeping the alarm clock in the bathroom streamlines the start of my morning.

Scrap the snooze.

The snooze feature on all modern alarm clocks serves absolutely no constructive purpose. Don’t even try the “it helps me slowly wake up” lie. I recommend buying an alarm that does not have a snooze button. If you can’t find an alarm without a snooze button, never read the instructions so you will never know how long your snooze button lasts. Not knowing whether it waits 10 minutes or 60 minutes should be enough of a deterrent to get you to stop using it.

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Change up your buzzer

If you use the same buzzer day in and day out, you begin to develop a tolerance to the sound. The alarm clock will slowly become less effective at waking you up over time. Most newer alarm clocks will let you set a different buzzer tone for the different days of the week. If you change your buzzer frequently, you will have an easier time waking up.

Make a puzzle

If you absolutely cannot wake up without repetitive snoozing, try making a puzzle for yourself. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand that the longer your alarm is going off, the more awake you will become. Try making your alarm very difficult to turn off by putting it under the sink, putting it under the bed, or better yet, by forcing yourself to complete a puzzle to turn it off. Try putting your alarm into a combination-locked box and make yourself put in the combination in order to turn off the alarm — it’s annoying, but extremely effective!

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Get into a routine

Getting up at 5:00 AM is much easier if you are doing it Monday through Friday rather than sporadically during the week. I recommend setting an alarm once that repeats everyday. Also, going to bed at about the same time every night is an important factor to having a productive morning. Learn how much sleep you need to get in order to not feel exhausted the following day. Some people can get by on 4-6 hours while most need 7-8.

Have a reason

Make sure you have a specific reason to get up in the morning. Getting up at 5:00 AM just for the heck of it is a lot more difficult than if you are getting up early to plan your day, pay bills, go for a jog, get an early start on work, etc. I recommend finding something you want to do for yourself in the morning. It will be a lot easier to get up if you are guaranteed to do something fun for yourself — compare this to going on vacation. You probably have no problem waking up very early on vacation or during holidays. My goal every morning is to bring that excitement to the day by doing something fun for myself.

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As I previously mentioned, I have been using these tips for a very long time. Joining the world of early-risers has been a great decision. I feel less stressed, I get more done, and I feel happier than I did when I was a late-riser. If you follow these tips you can become an early-riser, too. Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention? What works best for you? Let us know in the comments.

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