There is nothing worse in life than not being where you want to be success-wise. Deep down you have this burning desire to succeed, and you know you’re capable of being among the top 1%. Yet your actions and dreams mismatch. Is it a lack of motivation, procrastination, unwillingness to put forth the hard work, or being unproductive?
I was in the exact space a while ago. I craved to do something better with my life. Yet I spent my days daydreaming, watching TV shows, Face booking, napping, you name it; and my nights (well, some) beating myself up for being unproductive. Considering I had surplus free time–and did nothing to show off it.
It took a change of habits to get out of this hole I was holed up in: habits that seemed harmless, but were really doing more harm than good. These habits that have become so ingrained in our lives. Breaking some will require a lot of effort from your part. Just keep on trying. The fruits are well worth it.
1.Cut down social media
Social media is filled with junk information that doesn’t add any real value to your life. It only eats up your time. Studies have revealed that social media damages relationships, drains energy, causes depression, reduce productivity, and increase stress.
Limit social media to 25 min a day; and only use it when necessary. When the temptation to log into Facebook or Instagram creeps in (it will), open the WPS or Kindle app and read a motivational book instead.
So far this has been the hardest habit to break. You know how addictive social media is.
2. Turn off the TV
Did you know an average American spends 5 hours 4 min in front of a TV daily? That’s an awful lot. TV shows for example are marred with violent crime shows and unrealistic romantic comedies.
Do you remember what you watched a year ago? Has it helped you as a person? Did you learn anything valuable from it? I bet the answer is no. You’ll however gain much valuable lessons from reading a book.
Gradually reduce the time spent in front of a TV and use the extra time to do something constructive.
3. Wake up earlier
For years, I managed to convince myself I was a night owl. Yet every time I stumbled across a motivational book, they all preached the “wake up earlier” adage.
Studies have proven that waking up earlier results in a more productive and extra-pumped individual; and has an overall effect on how the day rolls out. You’ll feel you have extra time since you weren’t used to being up this early. This is the perfect time to do something valuable before the rest of the world awakens.
This can be so hard to do–especially if you were a night owl like me. One way to simplify it getting to bed early. After all, early to bed early to rise. You only need at most 8 hrs of sleep. If you sleep by 10pm, you should be up by 6am.
Another way is creating a morning ritual–something you love doing. Might be exercising, reading motivational books, meditating, or worshiping God. This gets you psyched up to rise earlier.
4. Stop procrastination
Procrastination is the most dangerous inhibitor to success. It’s the bridge between doers and dreamers. Successful people didn’t reach where they are by procrastinating and postponing important tasks. Yet this is a typical among most individuals.
To avoid procrastination, wake up and do it. Whatever it is. Don’t think about it–do it! As long as it contributes to your overall success and can be done now, don’t put it off. Start it at least. The act of starting an activity builds up traction.
“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you collect a lot of empty yesterdays.” – Meredith Wilson.
In the words of Nike: Just do it.
5. Manage your time well.
Time is the greatest asset and resource. The secret to living up to your potential is using your time well. Dedicate a huge chunk to your goals, and steer way away from time-wasting activities like social media and TV.
There’s this joke I saw in a Facebook group sometimes back. A user posted asking for advice from millionaires and how they made it. Someone commented ‘you’ve asked at the wrong place. Successful people don’t spend time on Facebook’. And it couldn’t be truer.
Account for how you spend every minute of the day. Literally note down what you’re doing every second. This shows you how much time you’re wasting and how to better manage it.
You might think you’re maximizing time, only to find that you seriously work a paltry 3 hrs. The only way to find out is noting it down.
6. Have a daily routine and follow it diligently
It’s not what we do once, it’s what we do consistently. Create a daily routine and diligently follow it–no excuses.
Every night before you go to bed, jot down how you’ll spend the next day. Ideally, 99% of your time should be dedicated to activities that align with your goals. It also eliminates wasting time due to ‘having nothing to do’.
Then follow your routine to the latter. It’s the small actions we take daily that contribute towards success.
These habits seems harmless. But you’ll be surprised at how much productive you’ll be once you break away from them. If you don’t believe me, why not give it a try for just a week and see for yourself? If you don’t like it, revert to your old ways. No harm no foul.
Chances are you’ll love and be proud of yourself. And there’s no better feeling to mankind than being proud of yourself. It’s like your life has meaning now.