Wisdom//

High Performance Habits of Enormously Successful Humans

"Everything you choose to do should tie back to your ambitions and goals."

PM Images/Getty Images
PM Images/Getty Images

Success isn’t complicated.

It only takes the right actions, attitudes, and beliefs coupled with consistency over a long period of time.

The real challenge is laying the right foundation/habit/ritual.

Habits shape our reality on a daily basis.

Your daily actions, habits, and rituals should speak louder than your words.

Successful humans focus on actions that add significant value to their day.

You might not be a successful entrepreneur or a billionaire, but some of these rituals just might help you to get what you want in life.

These are things you can replicate in your own life, starting today.

What is your method of planning your day?

A time-based structure and schedule for your work days can change everything.

If you choose to prioritise how you work, your efficiency will significantly improve. There are one million things could choose to do every day.

People who start their day with an idea of what they intend to do for the rest of day accomplish more than those who think about how to structure their day.

Here is a simple trick to structure your day right:

First, you find your core activities for the week (what you can’t afford to miss)

And then solidify them — put them on your calendar.

Locate the times around these core activities, and fill them with other activities.

This simple process will help you do more high-value work.

If you choose to start your day with a list of things to do, allocate time for every task. This helps you make real progress you can measure.

Do you have a plan from yesterday?

Planning and prioritizing is a huge human problem.

Imagine a day without unnecessary meetings, colleague distractions, social app notifications, checking emails every minute and a day without procrastinating most tasks.

Sounds impossible, right?

Kenneth Chenault (former CEO and Chairman of American Express) once said in an interview that the last thing he does before leaving the office is to write down the top 3 things to accomplish tomorrow, then using that list to start his day the following morning.

It’s one of the best ways to get more done on any given workday.

It prevents you from wasting time when you are most active in the morning.

I use this productivity hack every day.

It’s a great way to focus/prioritize on key tasks.

It can also help you disconnect at the end of the day and allow time for your brain to process and reboot for the next day.

Productive mornings start with early wake-up calls

Early risers get a lot of good press.

In a poll of 20 executives cited by Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays.

Morning people are supposedly more productive and effective and efficient.

There are countless articles about the morning habits of the world’s most successful leaders.

Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently wakes up at 3.45am.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour gets out of bed to play tennis at 5.45am.

Richard Branson has says he rises at the same time.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reportedly gets up at 4.30am.

Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read.

Jeff Immelt, former Chairman of General Electric starts his days with a cardio workout and then reads the paper and watches CNBC.

Ariana Huffington’s morning routine includes 30 minutes of meditation.

And Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog.

“Numerous studies have found that morning people are more persistent, self-directed and agreeable.

They set higher goals for themselvesplan for the future more and have a better sense of well-being,” writes Amanda Ruggeri of BBC Capital.

Many successful people have been promoting getting up early and working at the crack of dawn.

Are early risers more productive than late risers?

Probably not.

It’s actually more important to recognise what works for you and optimize workflow accordingly.

The single most important productivity advice you need to follow is this: Match your highest priority work to your most productive hours.

Get the uncomfortable out of the way

Some tasks will always demand more time and energy.

They are uncomfortable.

In his time-management book, Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy explains how to deal with them first thing in the morning.

Completing an uncomfortable or difficult task not only moves it out of your way, but it gives you great energy because you get the feeling you’ve accomplished something worthwhile.

To get a better overview of your tasks, divide your to-do list in these four categories:

— Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.
 — Things you want to do and actually need to do.
 — Things you want to do, but actually don’t need to do.
 — Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.

And then focus on the things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.Thebiggest, ugly, distasteful things that need to be done, but tend not to.

You are most likely not motivated to do them, leaving them victim to procrastination.

What would Howard Schultz do?

The founder of Starbucks Howard Schultz has stated in the past that he spends his first hour with “setting up priorities for the day”.

You can set up certain rituals and habits like morning exercise, clearing email inboxes at the end of day, breakfast, running every other day, reading news briefs, etc.

Or better still, you can set your priorities 30 minutes before your workday ends. That way you can put your mornings to productive use.

In the end, setting priorities is all about what works best you.

The basic idea here is to track your energy, motivation and focus to get a sense of when, where, and how you’re the most productive.

Stick with what works for you and makes you most productive for the rest of the day.

Tony Robbins’ “30 minutes to thrive”

Tony Robbins (author, entrepreneur, and life coach) suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.”

Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like.

After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

“30 minutes of thrive” can change your perception about the rest of your day.

It could be your personal time to think about where your life is headed or how you want to spend the rest of the day.

Eliminate all needless busywork

Many people are doing too many things at the wrong time.

Others who complain of limited time are spending their time doing urgent tasks instead of focusing on important things that get them closer to the bigger goal.

In an era of extreme busyness, the only conceivable way to live a meaningful and a purpose-driven life is to stop doing busy work.

Busy work makes you feel like you are moving quickly and being productive in the process. But in effect, you are not.

Many of us confuse being “busy” with being effective, or efficient.

Don’t get caught up in reactive mode.

Your time is limited. Doing everything is not an option.

You can’t afford not to plan for downtime

Life can get crazy.

Make time for breaks to rest, gather your thoughts, or start over.

Have you had a good think lately?

Plato once said, “When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.”

With distraction always at our fingertips, many people are in desperate need of a little time to pause.

Make time to enjoy the silence.

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times.

Leonardo Da Vinci had a bed in his studio and when patrons accused him of wasting time, he said: “If I don’t do this, you don’t get the work.”

Closing thoughts

Incredibly successful people swear by rituals.

They’ve built habits that lead to happier, more productive lives, despite the pressures of their busy schedules.

Successful humans focus on minutes, not hours. They invest time in tasks that will have the biggest impact on reaching their goals. They process tasks proactively.

And they set strict boundaries. Steve Jobs once said,“Focusing isn’t about saying yes; focusing is about saying no.”

Billionaire Warren Buffet also 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. Make the most of it every day. Everything you choose to do should tie back to your ambitions, and goals in life.

Originally Published on Medium.

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