4 Success Habits You Must Develop If You Want to Be a Highly Effective, Productive Person.


1. Stop wasting time.

This one’s a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many ways there are to waste time. And some of them are done unconsciously. Do you ever find yourself working a full 8 hours, but by the end of the day you haven’t really accomplished anything? Maybe you took care of a few emails and made a couple phone calls, but what about the really important tasks?

Instead of ending up with nothing to show, plan ahead next time. Write down the most important things you need to accomplish and break each task down into small chunks of time . Make your task list before you show-up to work in the morning, otherwise, you’ll waste a bunch of trying to figure out what you’re going to do.

Once you’ve completed your most important task, move on to the next most important task; complete it before you do anything else (like check your email) . . . and so on. Basically, create an efficient schedule and stick to it.

In order to stay focused during your workday, another time management suggestion is to take breaks between your tasks. Studies have found that people who take 15-minute breaks every couple of hours are more productive. Daniel Levitin, professor of behavioral neuroscience at McGill University suggests allowing your mind to wander . . . whether you’re taking a walk, watching the clouds, or lying on your back listening to music, daydreaming is recommended during your breaks.

You can switch tasks before you finish what you started, but don’t fall pray to doing more than one task at a time. Remember, multitasking kills creativity and other forms of intelligence. And emails eat productivity for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so only check your email once or twice a day (try 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.). And avoid it first thing in the morning; it’ll just throw off your entire schedule.

2. Do what you really love and be really good at it.

If you’re feeling stuck in work that doesn’t light your creative fire during the day, then it’s probably time to seriously think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. What would you rather be doing? What do you dream about doing? Who do you want to be in this lifetime?

If you want to be a productive, happy, emotionally intelligent person, you’ve got to follow your heart. Start showcasing your strengths and do things you’re really good at doing. When you do, you’ll notice you can accomplish a great deal more. Hone the skills that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

According to Brian Tracy: “There’s nothing that will increase the quality and quantity of your output faster than for you to become absolutely excellent at performing the most important tasks that are expected of you.”

Develop an entrepreneurial mindset rather than only thinking about doing your job, pleasing your superiors, following the rules, and doing the minimum necessary to avoid being fired. That’s corporate thinking. Entrepreneurial thinking is the first step in becoming a self-made millionaire, right?

3. Overcome procrastination.

Procrastination stems from the initial feeling of emotional overwhelm. And feeling overwhelmed with work stems from a false fear of something. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being liked . . . You’ve probably heard the long list of illusory fears before. It takes some digging, but you can overcome your fears by retraining your brain. Procrastination is a bad habit, so in order to be more productive you’re going to have to overcome it.

4. Visualize your success.

A great technique you can use to program your subconscious mind is through creative visualization. Your subconscious mind is influenced by mental pictures, so if you picture yourself as a productive, successful person on a regular basis, you’ll begin to behave as one.

You’ve probably heard of this mental exercise before. For athletes, this practice is called ‘‘mental rehearsal.’’ It requires practicing actions in your mind before you actually physically participate in the activity. And the more relaxed you are when you visualize yourself at your best, the quicker your subconscious mind adjusts . . . and becomes a part of your behavior. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Here’s how you do it:

  • Relax in a quiet place where won’t be disturbed.
  • Close your eyes and breath in through your nose . . . out through your mouth.
  • In your mind’s eye, imagine yourself going through the motions of an action (i.e., a presentation, negotiation, or performance).
  • Visualize yourself in the moments leading up to the event, during, and after the event. See each stage unfolding exactly how you want.
  • Observe yourself as calm, positive, happy, and in complete control of your emotions and body.
  • Watch and listen the other people doing and saying exactly what you would want them to say and do. Use all your senses . . . really get a feel for your perfect situation.
  • Next, breathe deeply, relax, and just let it go . . . knowing that what you visualized is guaranteed to be exactly as you imagined it.

The best time to practice this is just before drifting off to sleep. Try it! If the last thing you do before falling asleep is to imagine yourself functioning at peak performance, you’ll be amazed by how accurate it is to what takes place during the actual experience.

It’s important to practice mental rehearsal by continually seeing yourself as one of the best-organized and most effective people you can imagine. Eventually these pictures will ‘lock in.’ When they do, you will find yourself easily and automatically using your time efficiently in everything you do.
Brian Tracy

What’s Next?

Hopefully after reading this article, you’re even more amped to increase your productivity and become a more effective human being. And by practicing the above techniques, you can do just that. You can develop habits for success. And once you implement these practices, you’ll start to notice you have more control over your time and your personal life. The habits outlined here are crucial for a happy, healthy work/life balance.

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