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8 Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Successful

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8 Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Successful

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton

The differences between you and successful people are not as drastic as you think. There are simple choices that can be made everyday towards success. If you’re thinking it’s time to get your life together, here are eight simple things you need to stop doing if you want to be successful:

1. Stop keeping your goals to yourself.

Successful people have a great support system. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or one thousand, they tell someone about their goals so they can be held accountable for reaching them.

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2. Stop expecting an overnight success.

Accepting the fact that there are no step-by-step methods, quick fixes to your troubles, or a yellow brick road to your dreams is a key step to being successful. It is going to take hard work and dedication to achieve you goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to be a lawyer, a teacher, a writer, or a coffee shop owner. The trials and tribulations are what make you feel successful when your dreams turn into reality.

3. Stop focusing on the clouds and see the silver lining.

When you are too busy focusing on the mistakes and setbacks that you are going to have to deal with and not seeing them as an opportunity to learn, you are only hurting yourself. Successful people learn to analyze their mistakes and accept them as lessons.

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4. Stop pretending and actually listen to your bosses.

When your boss lectures you in their office during your annual review, do you just nod and think about that movie that you saw last night? Successful people take what their superiors say into careful consideration. They try to pick apart what has been said in order to gain a step ahead in the game. It is called active listening and it will get you farther than you think.

5. Stop cramming things into your schedule.

Do not keep your schedule so full that you don’t have time to think. Successful people make sure that there is time aside to eat, exercise, and unwind.

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6. Stop going to work to earn just your hourly wage.

Successful people are always looking for ways to get to the next step or stage. Instead of showing up to work to earn your hourly wage, show up as if you were learning how to run the place. Always be willing to learn and take on new responsibilities. Your boss will appreciate your work ethic and so will your resume when it’s time to move on.

7. Stop making excuses.

Successful people take responsibility for their own mistakes. If they are late, they admit it was because of sleeping in and not because their car wouldn’t start. If they failed at something, they open the floor for any suggestions on how to do a better or more efficient job next time. A good leader will always ask who they lead, “What can I do to make this better?” or “What can I be doing better?”

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8. Stop being afraid of failure.

Successful people will accept failure as another step closer to their success. When you are new at something, like riding a bike, would you give up after the first time you fall down? No, typically you will get up and try again. It is the same with life. Who cares if you didn’t get a job offer for a company you wanted to work for? Pick up the phone or open your laptop and keep searching. Opportunity has many doors, you just need to keep knocking until the right one opens.

Featured photo credit: The Winner Is.. by Roland Lausberg via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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