The most successful people share a striking number of similar habits. Regardless of whether they’re the CEO of a technology startup, or manage a popular local neighborhood retail outlet, their reoccurring patterns of behavior often pave the way to ongoing levels of achievement. Below are six habits that hugely successful people use to maximize productivity, effectiveness and success – by following them, you can also catapult yourself further and faster towards achieving your own personal or professional goals.
According to Basex, a management science company, it’s estimated that distractions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, a number that continues to grow. Besides costing businesses billions in resources, these sneaky time consumers undermine concentration and can make it hard to stay focused on a task or consistently follow important train of thought. Learning to ignore these nuisances can help you create less stress, improve productivity on the job, and enjoy a happier workday, so put your phone away, log out of your social media accounts, and close your office door during your most productive hours. If you’re not quite sure which distractions eating up your day, try tracking your schedule by creating a running diary for two to three weeks to find out.
Get Enough Rest
Productivity can suffer if you don’t feel your best, and one of the most important factors of feeling up to par is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Getting enough rest is one of the easiest things you can do to revitalize your mental clarity, passion and energy. The National Sleep Foundation states that there’s no magic number when determining the right amount of sleep needed, but studies show that those who get 7 hours of sleep a night are far more productive. Research dating back decades also shows a marked decline in productivity after a typical 40-hour workweek – anything more produces diminishing returns. So be sure to take breaks, rest, and recharge: It may vastly improve your creativity, productivity and output.
Follow a Morning Ritual
By doing the same things every day when you wake up, you’re letting your mind focus on the bigger tasks at hand. Plus, establishing a routine of getting up and getting active first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day with a blast of energy – energy you can immediately begin spending on professional and personal development. (Hint: The smartest investment you can ever make is in yourself.) For example, many hugely successful people don’t just wake up earlier and spend time working out to improve fitness, start the day strong, and reduce stress. They also read business books, catch up on the news, get up-to-date on emails, or listen to podcasts while exercising, starting the day off strong by accomplishing multiple goals in one fell swoop.
Prioritize Your Day
Hugely successful people have a daily agenda that helps visualize what they would like to accomplish that day. It’s an easy way to give them a sense of work balance since they can see exactly what’s on their plate, as well as help them focus and mentally prepare for the challenges that they’ll be facing. Mimic their behavior by creating a daily “to-do list” of your own the evening before each workday, and prioritize tasks by importance. That way, you immediately know where to begin your work the next morning, and can tackle the most difficult challenges first, improving productivity and making the rest of your workday look like a breeze by comparison.
Take Care of Yourself
You may have heard successful men and women say, “I work hard but I also play hard.” These folks are well aware that it simply isn’t possible to operate at full speed every waking hour. They know that taking time for yourself is one of the biggest steps in avoiding work burnout. Try relaxing a little each day and use your free time to indulge in something you truly enjoy. Taking care of yourself also means eating a healthy diet, which includes breakfast, to fuel your body and mind for the challenges ahead. Staying organized both in the office and at home eliminates stress and is another way to take care of yourself.
Put First Things First
Not every task is equal, and successful people account for this when they budget their time. Whether you function best in the early morning hours or late in the afternoon, use your peak performance hours to knock out harder tasks and bring you closer to your goals. Save less-pressing tasks such as skimming through interoffice memos or submitting speaking proposals to annual industry conference organizers for a time when you’re not exactly ready to move mountains. Get the most important tasks done first – the rest will seem trivial by comparison. These important tasks should be tackled while you’re at your freshest, most awake, and best.
Award-winning professional speaker Scott Steinberg is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the author of Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty. Among today’s leading providers of keynote speeches, workshops and seminars for Fortune 500 firms, his website is www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com.
- Author Scott Steinberg
- Type article
- Provider Yahoo Small Business Advisor