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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?

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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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