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9.5 Ways to Ensure That You Fail Every Time

9.5 Ways to Ensure That You Fail Every Time

    There are all kinds of ways to succeed. If you’re interested in such things, you can read about there being no shortcuts, tips for both life and business success, or…well, how to realize success at pretty much anything.

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    If, instead, you’re interested in failing (with flying colors) read on.

    Today I want to give you 9.5 ways to ensure that you fail in life. Every time. No matter what you’re doing.

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    The 9.5 Things

    First of all, why 9.5 things? My answer…why not? 9.5 is far more intriguing than 9 and is distinctly more provocative than 10.

    (In all honesty, there’s only 9…but 9.5 got your attention, right?)

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    So, here we go…9.5 things that will — without fail — guarantee that you fail:

    1. Don’t visualize your end goal before you start. One of the best things you can do to ensure that you fail is to choose not to envision where you’re headed to before you head there. Don’t look at a picture of the finished 2,500-piece puzzle before you start. Don’t look at the architect’s rendering of the house before you start building. Don’t envision your successful business before you open the doors. Just don’t visualize your goal. That’s for successful people. Leave the visualization to them.
    2. Don’t do your due diligence before you start. Doing reading and homework before a test? Who does that? Only the successful people, of course…and who wants to be one of them? If you want to fail correctly, don’t check the real estate out before you invest in it. Don’t do any research before you start to write the grant. Don’t come to the table prepared.
    3. Don’t count the cost before you start. If you want to fail, and fail well, never count the cost of the completed project…in money, time, or energy…before you begin. Those who fail well know that you don’t need to assess what a task is going to cost you before you start. You should always just jump in head first. You’ll find out that the pool is only 3-feet deep once you dive in. No need to worry about breaking your neck before you jump.
    4. Start at the last minute. Need I say anymore about this one? The top-tier failures know that one of the best ways to avoid success is to start the exam as close to the final bell as possible. It’s far easier to fail if you take a nap for the first hour and worry about the exam as time runs short.
    5. Never get organized. Organization…yet another habit that only the successful have. If you want to fail with the best of them, make your entire life like your office already is…papers all over the place, 500 to-do lists crammed into your brain, your pockets, and your dryer’s lint trap. Make sure that you have no idea what needs to be done and when. And by all means, make sure you don’t know who needs to do what.
    6. • Refuse to ask for help. A closely-held secret of A-list failures is that you can do everything yourself. Everything. It doesn’t matter if someone else has actually been educated on the topic, you know the information better. It doesn’t matter if you have 95 things to do and only 2 hands to do them with. Your 2 hands are far more effective than the 4 hands you’d have if you let your co-worker join in the fun. It’s far better to be a month late on that major project deadline than it is to allow your less-than-omniscient peers to contribute to the project and get it done on time.
    7. Always use the first idea that pops into your head. Never brainstorm. Just open up your brain and run with whatever falls out first. If it comes out first, it’s got to be the best, right?
    8. Never ask for feedback along the way. Constructive criticism is for those weak-minded people who think they can’t do it right the first time…by themselves. If you want to fail successfully, ignore any midterm assessments. It doesn’t matter if your customers don’t like it when the product is halfway finished…they’re guaranteed to like it when it’s completely finished. Because you’re the one who completed it. When you want someone’s opinion, you’ll give it to them.
    9. Don’t try it again if it flops on the first attempt. If you want to remove any chance of eventual success, just remember that true failure occurs after the first attempt flops. Never try anything again. If it’s worth doing, it will work out on the first try. Always. So, don’t bother with repeat attempts. That’s only for those who are determined to succeed.

    Failing is not hard work. It just takes developing some good old-fashioned bad habits.

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    So, go ahead. Give it a shot. (But only one shot.)

    More by this author

    Brock Henry

    Brock writes about productivity tips at Lifehack.

    7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That) 9.5 Ways to Ensure That You Fail Every Time

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    Last Updated on August 6, 2020

    Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

    Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

    Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

    Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

    It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

    • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

    • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

    • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

    In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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    Different Folks, Different Strokes

    Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

    Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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    Productivity and Trust Killer

    Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

    That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

    Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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    A Flexible Remote Working Policy

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

    There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

    Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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    It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

    What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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