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10 Practices of Highly Successful People

Updated on November 11, 2014

We're Getting Busier

Did you ever have this happen? It’s nine twenty-five a.m. on a Tuesday. Your week is just getting underway, one too many meetings and there’s that thing still nagging from last week. Then you turn around and it’s 2:30 on Friday and you haven’t even begun to get caught up. A smattering of work over the weekend will help…maybe?

We are busier than ever. There are many reasons why. New information and communication technologies have created new kinds of work bottlenecks; the new business form rewards improvisation and creativity; team activities are rarely efficient at completing the actual work.

But we are not helpless in the face of these new challenges. The following practices will help you develop better control over the day to day flow so as to empower a more productive workday and a more satisfying work week.

FACT: Americans work an average of 50 hours a week in 2014, a historic high.

1. Keep a positive attitude.

Believe it or not, optimism is among the most important qualities you can bring to your day and to your life. Optimism comes easier to some people than others, but it can be learned. The most optimistic people tend to keep a gratitude list. However works best for you, stay positive!

2. Organize your day with a task list.

This may seem like an archaic practice, especially with the powerful abilities of e-calendars. But organized task or to do lists are an invaluable tool. They provide a single go to place for your work flow. The better you have a handle on what needs to be accomplished, the better chance that you’ll get more of those things done. Sometimes it's helpful to organize list by the kind of task. Cross thing off when they are completed.

FACT: It is helpful to write things down in one place during the day.

3. Spread your least favorite tasks in units over the course of the day.

Hate to file, then be sure to stay at it. Those annoying activities that have to be done and give absolutely no reward have to be done and give absolutely no reward. Schedule them into your day and forget about it. When the time comes, go and do them and have it done.

4. Set deadlines.

If it weren’t for deadlines nothing would ever be finished. This is hard and fast rule. Set deadlines and stick to them. They are all that you have.

5. Know your work style and design your day to optimize your strengths.

Are you a multi-tasker who likes to do lots of little things? Are you a deep sea plodder who loves big complicated tasks that take a long time finish? Do you prefer quiet reading and writing? Are you better with a group? Know how you work best and organize your day to exploit your strengths.

FACT: There was a time when people either talked in person or spoke on the telephone, neither of which were generally done at work.

6. Do not attend to your email all day long.

Don't. Instead check in on your emails three or four time during the day at specific times for specific periods. Allocate time once a month to clean up excess. Build in filters to get out spam.

7. Turn off your Facebook, Youtube, Instamgram, etc.

Many busy people have already figured this rule out. Still, too many troll and look for just a second and before you know it, an hour has been wasted. If you must engage those media for work purposes, do so only at specific times for specific periods.

FACT: Personal health is an important component of success.

8. Take time to breathe.

Fifteen minutes in the middle of the morning, fifteen minutes in the middle of the afternoon. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Work late if you must, but follow the same rules.

9. Exercise.

Even just a little. Walk in place briskly. Jump in place. If you can take a twenty-minute or even a ten-minute jog, you are adding years to your life and optimism to your mood. Exercise increases your heart rate, activates your circulatory, edocrine, and metabolic systems, and produces helpful brain chemicals.

10. Reflect and reorient at the end of the day.

Know what you have done and know what lies ahead.

Revise the task list.

Stay in the process.

When are you at your best?

I do my best work or am the most productive:

See results

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