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

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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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

The Pomodoro Technique: Is It Right for You to Boost Productivity?

If you spend any time at all researching life hacks, you’ve probably heard of the famous Pomodoro Technique.

Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique is one of the more popular time management life hacks used today. But this method isn’t for everyone, and for every person who is a passionate adherent of the system, there is another person who is critical of the results.

Is the Pomodoro Technique right for you? It’s a matter of personal preference. But if you are curious about the benefits of using the technique, this article will break down the basic information you will need to decide if this technique is worth trying out.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management philosophy that aims to provide the user with maximum focus and creative freshness, thereby allowing them to complete projects faster with less mental fatigue.

The process is simple:

For every project throughout the day, you budget your time into short increments and take breaks periodically.

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You work for 25 minutes, then take break for five minutes.

Each 25-minute work period is called a “pomodoro”, named after the Italian word for tomato. Francesco Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato as his personal timer, and thus the method’s name.

After four “pomodoros” have passed, (100 minutes of work time with 15 minutes of break time) you then take a 15-20 minute break.

Every time you finish a pomodoro, you mark your progress with an “X”, and note the number of times you had the impulse to procrastinate or switch gears to work on another task for each 25-minute chunk of time.

How the Pomodoro Technique boosts your productivity

Frequent breaks keep your mind fresh and focused. According to the official Pomodoro website, the system is easy to use and you will see results very quickly:

“You will probably begin to notice a difference in your work or study process within a day or two. True mastery of the technique takes from seven to twenty days of constant use.”

If you have a large and varied to-do list, using the Pomodoro Technique can help you crank through projects faster by forcing you to adhere to strict timing.

Watching the timer wind down can spur you to wrap up your current task more quickly, and spreading a task over two or three pomodoros can keep you from getting frustrated.

The constant timing of your activities makes you more accountable for your tasks and minimizes the time you spend procrastinating.

You’ll grow to “respect the tomato”, and that can help you to better handle your workload.

Successful people who love it

Steven Sande of The Unofficial Apple Weblog is a fan of the system, and has compiled a great list of Apple-compatible Pomodoro tools.

Before he started using the technique, he said,

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“Sometimes I couldn’t figure out how to organize a single day in my calendar, simply because I would jump around to all sorts of projects and never get even one of them accomplished.”

Another proponent of the Pomodoro Technique is Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal. Shellenbarger tried out this system along with several other similar methods for time management, and said,

“It eased my anxiety over the passing of time and also made me more efficient; refreshed by breaks, for example, I halved the total time required to fact-check a column.”

Any cons for the Pomodoro Technique?

Despite the number of Pomodoro-heads out there, the system isn’t without its critics. Colin T. Miller, a Yahoo! employee and blogger, tried using the Pomodoro Technique and had some issues:[1]

“Pomodoros are an all or nothing affair. Either you work for 25 minutes straight to mark your X or you don’t complete a pomodoro. Since marking that X is the measurable sign of progress, you start to shy away from engaging in an activity if it won’t result in an X. For instance…meetings get in the way of pomodoros. Say I have a meeting set for 4:30pm. It is currently 4:10pm, meaning I only have 20 minutes between now and the meeting…In these instances I tend to not start a pomodoro because I won’t have enough time to complete it anyway.”

Another critic is Mario Fusco, who argues that the Pomodoro Technique is…well…sort of ridiculous:[2]

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“Aren’t we really able to keep ourselves concentrated without a timer ticketing on our desk?… Have you ever seen a civil engineer using a timer to keep his concentration while working on his projects?… I think that, like any other serious professional, I can stay concentrated on what I am doing for hours… Bring back your timer to your kitchen and start working in a more professional and effective way.”

Conclusion

One of the best things about the Pomodoro Technique is that it’s free. Yeah, you can fork over some bills to get a tomato-shaped timer if you want… or you can use any timer program on your computer or phone. So even if you try it and hate it, you haven’t lost any cash.

The process isn’t ideal for every person, or in any line of work. But if you need a systematic way to tackle your daily to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique may fit your needs.

If you want to learn more about the Pomodoro Technique, check out this article: How to Make the Pomodoro Technique More Productive

Reference

[1] Aspirations of a Software Developer: A Month of the Pomodoro Technique
[2] InfoQ: A Critique of the Pomodoro Technique

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