By Ologundudu Abraham
Here are some habits noted of highly effective persons. The list is unending but you can work on the followings while adding to the list until you are satisfied of your personal effectiveness.
1. Write Down Goals.
Writing down goals, aims and objectives enables us to clarify our needs and focus upon them. It also makes you committed to yourself.
2. Remove Clutter.
Removing clutter from everyday life allows us to focus better upon what is important. Getting clutter out of right is a good way to keep it out of our minds.
3. Plan Ahead
Planning the use of our time enables us to use that time more effectively, particularly when we are faced with several demanding tasks. Having a plan in place also means that we can gauge our progress and therefore gain satisfaction and motivation.
4. Prioritize Tasks
Set priorities for each day using the ABCD category grid based upon urgency and important:
- A- Act Now
- B- Better Earlier
- C- Chase Later
- D- Do, Delegate or Dump
5. Prevent Procrastination
Procrastination is the enemy of success and achievement. People who are more effective get more done by doing things right away.
6. Know Your Feelings
Getting in tune with your feelings is essential to understand others’ emotional states and what impact you have upon them. Feelings are the precursors to action and we need to know what motivates others to act or not to act in the ways they do.
7. Be Decisive.
Being decisive about a countless number of daily events is far more effective than dithering or not making decisions. Individuals who do not know what they want in life or lack direction, or have no plan or suffer great stress will all have some difficulty in making good decisions.
8. Maintain Self Discipline
Keeping a tight rein on your thoughts is a precursor to control over your actions. Self-discipline is much easier when we have internalized the core values and beliefs that make us who we are.
9. Accept Others’ Opinions
Accepting others’ opinions does nothing to devalue our own opinions. It also means that we do not need to defend or justify our own opinions.
10. Build Trust
Building trust is like building a spider’s web- it takes much time and skill to develop and yet can be destroyed in an instant. Build your ability to give trust in order to gain trust from people.
11. Work Toward Win-Win
Working towards solutions to problems where each party gains something useful is preferable to those where one or more parties feel they have lost out. Achieving workable compromise is usually the target of great personalities.
12. Think Positively
Adopt a positive mental attitude to self and work. We are the person with control over the way we choose to think. We’re what we think of. Stay positive.
13. Maintain Self Control
Keep your emotions under some degree of control particularly when facing a challenging situation. You will be able to plan better how to deal with the challenge and achieve better outcomes.
14. Develop Self Confidence
Developing self-confidence means adopting good practices in thinking, speaking and behaving. It is strongly reinforced by a sense of achievement and by positive feedback from others.
15. Improve Willpower
Improving our ability to do what we planned to do even in the face of tough opposition develops willpower. Highly effective people know this and are very determined to succeed.
16. Pursue Excellence
Try to achieve excellence at what you do best and you will attract admiration and respect from many. Everyone wants to hear from an expert.
By Leo Babauta
We all need a productivity boost now and then — sometimes throughout the day. We each want to be productive for very personal reasons — to accomplish more, to make more money, to get done earlier to make more time for our personal lives, to accomplish our goals. But whatever the reason, these Productivity Hacks will do the trick.
Here they are, in reverse order:
#10: Take care of your Most Important Things first. Your Most Important Things for the day — the things you most need to accomplish that day — should take priority over everything else. However, we all know that fires come up throughout the day, interruptions through phone calls and email and people dropping by, new demands that will push the best-laid plans aside. If you put off your MITs until later in the day, you will end up not doing them much of the time.
Try to get all three of your MITs done before moving on to anything else. If you can do that, the rest of the day is gravy!
# 9: Wake up early. Decide what you’d like to accomplish each morning, and build your morning routine around that. Like to exercise? Put that in there. Healthy breakfast? Go for it. Check email? Fine. The mornings are a fresh start, peaceful and free of ringing phones and constant email notifications. If you get your Most Important Things done in the morning, the rest of the day is just gravy. (see How I Became an Early Riser.)
# 8: Simplify information streams, crank through blogs & email. Think about all the information you receive (email, blogs, newsletters, mailing lists, magazines, newspapers and more) and edit brutally. You will drastically reduce the time you spend reading. For everything else that begins to come in after your editing process, ask yourself if you really need to be getting that information regularly. Most of the time the answer is no. Now, after this process, you should be left with less to read. Here’s the next step: crank through it all, really only reading the really interesting ones.
Editing and cranking through the information you receive can free up a lot of time for more important things — like achieving your goals.
# 7: Declutter your workspace; work on one thing at a time. The decluttering your work space part of it is simply to remove all extra distractions, on your desk and on your computer. If you’ve got a clean, simplified workspace, you can better focus on the task at hand. (See more on how to do this.)
Now, with distractions minimized, focus on the task at hand. Don’t check email, don’t work on five projects at once, don’t check the stats on your blog, don’t go to your feed reader. Work on that one task, and work on it with concentrated focus until you are done. (See How NOT to Multi-task.) Then celebrate your achievement!
# 6: Get to work early; work fewer hours. My best days come when I get into work early, and begin my work day in the quiet morning hours, before the phones start ringing and the din of the office begins it crescendo to chaos. It is so peaceful, and I can work without interruption or losing focus. I often find that I get my MITs done before anyone comes in, and then the rest of the day is dealing with whatever comes up (or even better: getting ahead for the next day).
Added bonus: you skip rush-hour traffic.
But just as productive is the second part of the tip: leave early and work fewer hours. It’s paradoxical, but if you work fewer hours, and know that your time is limited, you will be more focused. Then you have more hours to yourself! Everyone wins.
# 5: Avoid meetings; when you must meet, make it effective. I find it best to say no to meetings up front. I just say, “Sorry, I can’t make it. I’m tied up with a project right now.” And that’s always true. I’ve always got projects I’m working on that are more important than a meeting.
Now, you probably won’t be able to get out of most meetings, so here are some tips for making meetings more effective.
# 4: Avoid unnecessary work. If we just do any work that comes our way, we can be cranking out the tasks, but not be productive at all.You’re only productive if you are doing work that moves you towards a goal. Eliminate non-essential tasks from your to-do lists, and start to say no to new requests that are non-essential.
If you do not take these steps and speak up, and say no, then you will be overloaded with work that you simply do not need to do. Cut out the non-essential tasks, and focus on those that really matter.
# 3: Do the tough tasks first. You know what those tasks are. What have you been putting off that you know you need to do? Sometimes when you put things off, they end up being things you don’t really need to do. But sometimes they are things you just gotta do. Those are your tough tasks.
Do them first thing in the day.
# 2: Work off-line as much as possible. To increase your productivity, disconnect your Internet connection. Have scheduled times when you’re going to check your email, and only let yourself check your blogs or surf the web when you’ve gotten a certain amount done. When you do go online, do it on a timer. When the timer goes off, unplug again until the next scheduled time.
You’ll be amazed at how much work you’ll get done.
# 1: Do something you’re passionate about. This might not seem like the normal productivity tip, but give it a thought: if you really want to do something, you’ll work like hell to get it done. You’ll work extra hard, you’ll put in even more hours, and you’re less likely to procrastinate. It’s for work that you don’t really care about that you procrastinate. Read the full post for tips on how to find your dream job and do work you truly care about.
By Jessica P. Ogilvie
OK, you’ve had nearly a third of the year. Lost that weight? Smoking a thing of the past? Nicer to your husband? If you are like many people, such resolutions have disappeared as completely as the bubbles in your Champagne toast. But you can start again.
We all have habits that we could stand to break. But desire isn’t everything, and it can be difficult to know where to start and frustrating to carry on through setbacks, temptation and outright failure.
Still, in order to live healthful and productive lives, many of us need to make changes. Experts range in their opinions about the proper way to confront bad habits, but all agree that it can be done.
Money and friends
Jordan Goldberg is co-founder and chief executive of the website stickK.com. The site, he says, is based on the premise that people are motivated to break old habits through their wallet and their social circles.
“Money and friends can influence behavior change,” he says.
Once a goal is set — be it losing weight or saving money, for instance — the goal-setter can place wagers on whether he will accomplish it. He can also opt to give money to charity if he reaches a certain objective or — in a kind of reverse motivation — to have money donated to a charity that supports a cause that he disagrees with if he fails. This, Goldberg says, is the site’s most popular motivational option.
“Money is a great motivator; everybody has a price at which they are willing to change their behavior,” Goldberg says. “For example, if you’ve got $50 on the line each week to lose a pound and you’d like a $5 cheeseburger, that now costs you $55 if you don’t make your weight that week.”
He notes that getting positive feedback from friends as well as being held accountable for your behavior by reporting it in the public domain is a huge motivator for many people.
Amber Rosenberg, a life coach based in San Francisco, adds that even having a support system through Facebook or Twitter can help you reach your goals. “Saying your goal out loud or even via social media creates outside accountability and increases your success rate,” she said via email.
Take small steps
In trying to break bad habits, many people encounter a tendency to bite off more than they can chew, then get overwhelmed, Rosenberg said via email. She suggests focusing instead on small steps.
“If you’re trying to stop overeating, for example, your end goal may be losing 20 pounds or fitting into your skinny jeans,” she said. “It’s much more realistic, however, to focus on … replacing one cookie in the afternoon with a healthier alternative like a piece of fruit or a handful of baby carrots.”
These small steps can be difficult to achieve, though, and little failures might result in wanting to quit. Try to keep that mind-set at bay, Rosenberg says.
Think your way
In order to truly break bad habits, says Joe Dispenza, an expert in neuroscience and the author of “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One,” it’s necessary to become conscious of self-defeating thoughts, make plans for actions that will help you reach your goal (i.e. eat a salad instead of fast food) and to set 15 to 20 minutes aside each day to focus on what you’re going to change that day.
“When you begin to plan your behaviors mentally, to rehearse your thoughts and how it would feel to be that new person you want to be,” Dispenza says, “you are turning on new circuits in your brain and causing them to fire in new sequences. Your mental rehearsal changes the brain and body to look like the experience has already happened, and you are living in the new future.”
This concept is based on the notion that behaviors and bad habits are based in brain patterns that have solidified over time but that with enough focus and determination can be altered.
“Once you become conscious” of your negative thought and behavior patterns, Dispenza says, “now you have control over them, now you have dominion.”
What’s difficult, he notes, is that breaking old habits means an uncertain future, and that uncertainty induces fear. When fear pops up, he suggests focusing on the way you envision your new life and taking that moment to reaffirm the person you want to be.
“Embrace fear or insecurity,” he said. “On the other side of your fear is courage. On the other side of insecurity is greatness. On the other side of anger is compassion.”
Change takes time
Experts in the field of behavior agree that change does not happen overnight; there are small steps involved, and each small step must be done consciously. For instance, notes Dispenza, before launching into a diet or exercise regimen, you must know why you’re doing it, be it for good health or simply to fit into an old pair of jeans.
Rosenberg adds that it’s important to recognize the amount of time involved in breaking habits.
“On average, it takes 21 days to create a new habit,” she said. “When you first get started, it will take more time and energy to focus on your daily goal. After about three solid weeks of working on your daily goals, they’ll become second nature and part of your daily routine.”
By Peter G. James Sinclair
To write a goal is admirable. Few do it. But that is only the starting point.
Once you have written your goal – and I like to write it as if it has already been achieved and attach a date to it when you wish to see it achieved, it is then that the real work begins.
So what do you do next?
Declare your goal to those who support you – your cheer squad. That way you are positioning yourself to be accountable. You’re committed.
Chop your BIG goals into smaller portions with progressive dates set to complete these. Little by little you are then positioned to possess the goal.
Create a plan, write it down, and break it up into weekly or even daily sub-goals that you need to achieve along the way, in order to achieve your main goal.
If you don’t achieve excellence in the small, then how on earth will you ever expect to do the big any better. Those who are faithful with the little will be entrusted with the big.
Check yourself along the road towards your goal, and if you’re not kicking small goals along the way, you may need to relook at what you’re currently doing and adjust your plan. It may require some harder, longer or smarter work along the way.
Any worthwhile goal is worth the effort. So don’t quit as soon as you’ve left the starting gate. Push through. Surround yourself with the people and the resources to help you to stand above the crowd because of your persistence.
Never forget that the sweetest taste that you can ever taste is the sweat of a goal perceived and a goal achieved.
My Goal Setting Challenge:
Write on a piece of paper your next 12 month goals, your five year goals and your ten year goals. Type them up, shrink the typeface, print it off, and carry it in your wallet so that you can pull them out on a daily basis to read and remind you of your commitment to yourself. ACT NOW!
By Daniel M. Wood
Successful people “think” success all the time. That is why their goals are firmly lodged in their subconscious. The subconscious is brilliant at prioritizing. It listens to you and gauges from your thoughts what you think is the most important task.
This means that what you think about most of the time is what The Subconscious will think is the most important thing for you and will try to find creative solutions. If you think about problems, The Subconscious will try to find you more problems. If you think about solutions, goals and dreams, it will try to make them come true.
But The Subconscious goes even further when trying to understand what you think is important; it “listens” to your feelings. A thought imbued with a powerful emotion must be more important than a thought that had didn’t emotionally affect you at all, even if you think that through over and over and over again.
Luckily, it has been proven that a positive thought is over 100 times as positive as a negative thought. This makes it a lot easier to drive positive emotions into your Subconscious.
It is enough to be positive and keep your thoughts on what you want — and you don’t have to go monitoring your thoughts all the time.
It is enough to imbue your thoughts a few times a day with a powerful positive emotion when thinking about your goals. The more you can do it the more powerful this exercise will be.
For many, reading their goals or making plans become a chore, something that fills them with negative emotions. This ruins the full potential of these activities; filling yourself with positive emotions while thinking about your goals will make them a lot more powerful.
Over the last several years I have been taught several exercises that can help you focus more on your goals and spend more time thinking about and feeling about them. What I want you to remember when doing these exercises is to have fun. Never see them as a chore, you are living your goals, it is something to enjoy.
If you don’t feel uplifted at the thought of focusing on your goals, you might as well not do the exercise today. Do it tomorrow instead, because it will do more harm than good if you are in the wrong mood when thinking about your goals.
In my business, I constantly need to come up with new ways to improve efficiency, new ideas to test and new subjects to teach. It takes a lot of creative work — and creative work has always been one of my weaker areas. Luckily, thanks to all my work with goal setting (and because of my focus on my goals), my Subconscious knows these are the things I need the most help with and that they are very important to me.
Every day I get new ideas of things I can try out, products I can create, seminar subjects I can offer, and so on. All of them aren’t good, but when you throw enough “mud against the wall”, something will stick. And that is what my Subconscious does — it feeds me idea after idea.
An Easy Exercise
Daily Goal Setting
This method is used by countless thousands around the world and for everyone who has tried it, the effects have been incredible.
- Each morning take a pen and a piece of paper and write down your 10 top goals. Don’t look at the day before, just think about what you want to most and write them down.
- Remember to write them in the positive present tense and remember to set a deadline for each goal. Just like we did when setting your long term and short term goals. (For example you could set the goal “I make 10 000 dollars per month by the 31 of December 2010.”)
- Do this for all 10 goals.
In the beginning, writing down 10 goals might be difficult. Each day they might look a bit different and some of the goals you write never come back again. If you forget a goal, it is because it wasn’t all that important and something more important has taken its place.
What difference does it make?
By starting your day setting your 10 top goals you jump-start your creativity — which will motivate you for the rest of the day. You will have programmed yourself to focus on your goals and to move towards them and their completion.
What will happen to you?
If you do this, you will start to realize what is important to you. You’ll see what goals keep surfacing and what goals vanish. You will know what you want and you will find yourself presented with opportunities that you haven’t noticed before. You will be more creative in finding ideas and chances to make your dreams reality.
An Action Exercise
- Buy a notebook and a pen at your local bookstore.
- Start writing down 10 goals every morning, without looking at the day before.
- Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and capitalize on them.
Daily goal setting can change your life for the better. It will help you keep moving faster and faster towards your goals and dreams.
These simple strategies can keep you energized both on and off the job.
Here’s a column that I guarantee will make you more more successful in both your professional and personal lives.
Here are 14 quick strategies to get and keep yourself motivated:
1. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.
2. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action. Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.
3. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time, so hanging with them is like shooting yourself in the foot.
4. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you and you can imitate their success strategies.
5. Have goals–but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.
6. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is wasted effort–and should be avoided.
7. Take responsibility for your own results. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.
8. Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. Walking the old, familiar paths is how you grow old. Stretching makes you grow and evolve.
9. Don’t wait for perfection; do it now! Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life. Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.
10. Celebrate your failures. Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short.
11. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent.
12. Avoid weak goals. Goals are the soul of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try …” Always start with “I will” or “I must.”
13. Treat inaction as the only real failure. If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience.
14. Think before you speak. Keep silent rather than express something that doesn’t serve your purpose.
The above is based on a conversation with Omar Periu, one of the world’s best (and best known) motivational speakers.
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