There have been many lists published lately that tell you how to behave, what you should do, what you should not do. I would like to share one that a friend sent to me with a note that he has implemented some of these and experienced a big impact. I do some of these activities, and they truly work. I agree with most of them, not all. So take it with a grain of salt. I suggest adopting a couple and see if you notice any changes.
Starting a new habit starts with a conscious effort to do it every day. Once you do it every day, it slowly becomes a habit. Studies show that it takes 21 days to make a habit.
14 Things Ridiculously Successful People Do Every Day1
|They focus on minutes, not hours. Most people default to hour and half-hour blocks on their calendar; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day and that there is nothing more valuable than time.
|They focus on only one thing. Ultra-productive people know what their “most important task” is and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions. What task will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals?
|They don’t use to-do lists. Throw away your to-do list; instead schedule everything on your calendar. It turns out that only 41 percent of items on to-do lists ever get done. Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live by that calendar.
|They beat procrastination with time travel. Your future self can’t be trusted. That’s because we are time inconsistent. Successful people figure out what they can do now to make certain their future selves will do the right thing. Anticipate how you will self- sabotage in the future, and come up with a solution today to defeat your future self.
|They make it home for dinner. Intel’s Andy Grove, said, “There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.” Highly successful people know what they value in life. They consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value (i.e., they put them on their calendar), and then they stick to that schedule.
|They use a notebook. Richard Branson has said on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes. Write everything down… That is a million-dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school. Ultra-productive people free their minds by writing everything down as the thoughts come to them.
|They process emails only a few times a day. Ultra-productive people don’t “check” their e-mail throughout the day. Instead, like everything else, they schedule time to process their e-mails quickly and efficiently. For some, that’s only once a day; for others, it’s morning, noon, and night.
|They avoid meetings at all costs. Mark Cuban when asked is best productivity advice, he quickly responded, “Never take meetings unless someone is writing a check.” Meetings are notorious time killers. They start late, have the wrong people in them, meander around their topics, and run long. If you do run a meeting, keep it short and to the point.
|They say “no” to almost everything. Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Remember, you only have 1,440 minutes in a day. Don’t give them away easily.
|They follow the 80/20 rule. Known as the Pareto Principle, in most cases, 80 percent of results come from only 20 percent of activities. Ultra-productive people know which activities drive the greatest results. Focus on those and ignore the rest.
|They delegate almost everything. Ultra-productive people don’t ask, “How can I do this task?” Instead, they ask, “How can this task get done?” They take the I out of it as much as possible. Ultra-productive people don’t have control issues, and they are not micro-managers.
|They touch things only once. How many times have you opened a piece of regular mail—a bill perhaps—and then put it down, only to deal with it again later? How often do you read an e-mail and then close it and leave it in your inbox to deal with later? Highly successful people try to “touch it once.” If it takes less than five or ten minutes—whatever it is—they deal with it right then and there.
|They practice a consistent morning routine. Two hundred highly successful people were interviewed and shared their morning ritual. Although a wide variety of habits were shared, most nurtured their bodies in the morning with water, a healthy breakfast, and light exercise, and they nurtured their minds with meditation or prayer, inspirational reading, or journaling.
|Energy is everything. You can’t make more minutes in the day, but you can increase your energy to increase your attention, focus, and productivity. Highly successful people don’t skip meals, sleep, or breaks in the pursuit of more, more, more. Instead, they view food as fuel, sleep as recovery, and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get even more done.
This may be list on successful habits, but at its core it is about time management, working smarter not harder.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” —Arianna Huffington, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder
Have a great holiday weekend.
1Bradberry, Travis. 14 Things Ridiculously Successful People Do Every Day. (May 21, 2016). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-travis-bradberry/14-things-ridiculously-su_b_9760972.html
About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)
I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.
Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!