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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.

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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