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8 Differences Between You And Someone Who Is Successful

8 Differences Between You And Someone Who Is Successful

Success is such a lucrative term. Everyone dreams of it. Many have achieved it, while many more never do. What is success?

True success is not an actual “…termination of attempts…”, nor does it necessarily involve a monetary outcome. Far more success , like stated on UrbanDictionary.com, “...it simply means to follow through…success is a journey not a destination.” My definition of success is the sum of an infinite amount of tasks and failures performed while moving towards a specific direction in life. Success is a never-ending process. If you get to point B and stop, you never see what lies ahead at point C, D, and E.

Truly successful people maintain certain habits that keep them on a productive path. They never stop at any point along the way. Their goals evolve and grow. Just as mankind has evolved and adapted, your personal definition of success (or goal) should too. Successful people never strive for perfection, they strive to grow their knowledge and continue to improve their skills.

In order to be a success, one must change their habits. What are the differences between you right now and people who maintain success? Here are 8 differences between you and them:

1. Successful people never stop learning.

Think about how much technology has changed and evolved over the years. Your knowledge of a particular subject may be complete and up-to-date today, but tomorrow someone else may have discovered a new way to do it, a better way to do it, or something no one knew about it. To maintain success in a certain area, you have to continually research, study, learn, and experiment on that particular subject. Successful people have a hunger for learning and obtaining knowledge.

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Many unsuccessful people equate learning with school – which is incorrect. Learning can be obtained from life experiences, researching on your own, shadowing a mentor, on-the-job training, running experiments, relationships, reading, and so on. Try to learn something new everyday.

2. Successful people set specific life goals

Successful individuals set out on predetermined paths. They know what they want to gain, where they intend on going, and they have their course drawn out. They have set short-term and long-term goals for themselves. Successful people write down their goals, and organize their journey by making to-do lists. Everyday they wake up with a purpose. No time is wasted. Nothing can distract them. Successful people pre-plan their days and will get everything they set out to do done.

Others tend to be more laid back and procrastinate. If you want to be successful, you cannot have a nonchalant attitude. Usually when you have defined your goals, and you are passionate about it, it’s easy to get things done. The reason is that your goal is something you truly desire, and you know the everyday tasks you choose to complete will take you closer to achieving it. Make you goal something you absolutely have to do to ensure a happy life, and the hard work will not be so hard.

3. Successful people embrace difficulties

Failures, problems, obstacles- whatever synonym you call them, successful people face difficulties head on. Those who are successful, are considered problem solvers. They enjoy finding solutions for life’s challenges. Think about famous people who you consider “go-to” people in different fields. Ask yourself, “Who would I want advice from?”

Here’s a few from my list:

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  • Psychology – Dr. Phil
  • Business – Richard Branson
  • Technology – Steve Jobs
  • Branding/Celebrity – Oprah Whinfrey
  • Cooking – Rachael Ray
  • Comedy – Steve Harvey
  • Crafting – Martha Stewart

These celebrities may not be first on your list, but you have definitely heard of them and know exactly why they are famous. They are considered experts in their particular realms. These people continually provide solutions for everyday challenges and lead by example.

Let’s not get these highly successful celebrities confused with what success looks like. You do not need to make it to their level to be considered successful. All I am saying is follow their example. If you work as hard as they have, push past the challenges in your life as they have, and never quit, you too will successfully conquer your dreams and be known on some level in your field, as a problem solver.

4. Successful people remain humble

People who are highly successful do not take their success for granted. They know it was not luck that brought them to success. These people never forget where they began and the hard work they undertook to achieve it. Yes, you may see successful people self promoting, but that is all part of the marketing game. Confidence envelops success, not imperiousness.

Others tend to boast and brag about their accomplishments. I am not referring to the level of triumph as the people I listed above. Those who are not successful tend to gasconade about simple everyday, expected, feats. You do not gain respect from anyone with conceit. If the desired result of your effort happens, make sure you exude assurance with your work, but not by gloating afterwards. Conceit shows dubious tendencies, while confidence shows unwavering expertism.

5. Successful people support others

Those who have achieved success, have not done so by caching their knowledge. They are not egocentric. They believe that the more successful people there are, the better the world will be. They volunteer to help those less fortunate. Greed is not a motivating factor for them. They do not think in terms of parsimony, they encompass a yearning to bestow what they have and know to others. Donating their time, skills, wealth, and knowledge to others also helps them remain modest.

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Others lust over their prosperity in an autocratic manner. They trove their abilities to hinder others from acquiring success. They are prone to step on others to advance in life. They are consumed with only their quality of life. Avarice will impede success. Human beings are programmed with a survival of the fittest mentality. You must fight this and realize you have to give, in order to receive.

6. Successful people control their thoughts and emotions

Those who are successful, have always sustained a positive outlook despite their circumstances. They become conscious of self calamitous thoughts and habits. The successful people overcome debilitating emotional trauma from the past, and live for today.

Unsuccessful people live in the past. They subconsciously replay emotional trauma they have endeared in current life situations. You have to realize that your outer being reflects your inner state. You must find peace within by forgiving those who have caused you pain, and moving on with your life.

7.  Successful people have a balanced life

Those who are successful cherish their time spent with loved ones. They know these people support them and love them no matter what. They know there must be a balance between work and personal time to be happy and peaceful.

Others who are not successful, or those trying to figure out how to be, tend to focus too much time on one or the other. If you have too much personal time, you are not working hard enough to become successful. If you work too much, you will be unhappy and stressed, which will affect your work life. There must be a balance between the two. Find your balance.

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8. Successful people avoid negative energy

Successful people live life with a positive attitude. Unfortunate situations happen to everyone, but they always find the silver lining. They choose who they let into their life wisely. Those who do not support them, who use them, who have a negative attitude, who try to knock them down, and who are envious of them, are not welcomed.

Others find it challenging to let go of negative relationships. This may be because of their low self esteem. This may be the result of fear of being companionless. You must exude confidence and confront your aversions to find success in life.

I am not pointing out these eight differences between successful people and you in order to dismay you. I am simply showing you eight feasible adjustments you can make to transform your life. The biggest step you will take to accomplish these changes is simply taking action and making the effort. You can do it!

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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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