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The most successful people in life recognise one crucial truth....That is, that time is the most precious commodity you have, and success is found through using the time you have effectively.
How you go about tackling your working day is the difference between success, mediocrity, and failure.
Which one will you choose?
Here are six daily strategies of success utilised by highly effective people that are worth adopting.
1. They recognise their most crucial task and focus on it fully.
Effective people are hyper aware of their 'high pay off activities': the tasks that move the business forward or move them personally towards success,recognition and ultimately career progression. Unfortunately, many of us give equal weight to all tasks we do at work, and thereby do not put the proper importance on our high pay off activities to ensure our productivity at work.
Have you ever even thought about what yours are?
For a sales manager, your highest pay off activities will probably be lead generation and phone time with prospective clients, rather than re-organising your database. For a marketing manager, it may be brainstorming a new campaign, rather than spending half an hour finding a great post for Facebook.
That is not to say that these aren’t important tasks; rather that they are less important, and therefore much less likely to enhance your career or productivity in a powerful way.
When you recognise your high payoff activities, allocate a portion of uninterrupted time a day to them.
2. They don’t allow email to break their concentration.
We are all slaves to email these days, and for those of us in the commercial sector, it can feel like our responses to email must be instantaneous, or we risk losing a client or missing an opportunity.
But in reality, most customers will be happy with a response within a couple of hours, and these constant distractions to answer an email or social media notification only break our concentration and diminish our performance.
So turn off those notifications (merely checking our email constantly drops our IQ by 10 points), and allocate set time each day, (perhaps 8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm) to deal with emails.
3. They rely on calendars over to-do lists.
To-do lists should be renamed ‘probably never do’ lists: only 41% of tasks on to-do lists ever get done!! Organised people know that if something is to be done, it must be scheduled, rather than merely written on a long list.
Successful people break up their working week into very small blocks of time (15-minute increments or more) and follow that calendar religiously. When things run over-time, as they inevitably sometimes will, they reschedule the task, rather than leaving it to languish on a ‘to-do’ list.
4. They act on things straight away.
There’s a productivity rule called ‘touch things once.’ It means that wherever possible, you should deal with things immediately, to avoid the task hanging over you and taking up your mental energy.
So when you get an email about an upcoming marketing conference or a phone message from an old client, try to deal with it straight away – or at the very least, go to your trusty calendar and schedule time in to deal with it, so your mind is free to concentrate on the next task.
5. They have a morning routine which sets them up for the day.
In surveys of highly successful people, common trends are everywhere, such as early rising and exercise.
They also attack difficult tasks first, knowing that having them hanging over their heads will diminish their mental capacity until they deal with it.
Additionally, they know to make the best use of their most productive time of day, using that time of focus for high cognitive tasks such as crafting pitches or working on the new social media strategy, rather than wasting that effective time on admin tasks.
When does your brain work at its peak?
6. They avoid time-sucking obligations.
Successful people run extremely tight meetings, and they avoid meetings where there isn’t a clear agenda or benefit to them. The same goes for other obligations (that voluntary team lunch for instance) that don’t deliver a clear benefit if you are busy with other crucial things.
One way of running better meetings is to send a quick memo before the meeting, detailing the agenda and attaching any documents that the attendees should read before they arrive. If your presence is required at a meeting, make it clear that you need to leave the meeting by a certain time, and request that the issue that relates to you is addressed first.
How many of these habits of highly successful people do you already practice? Try adding a new one in right now and see the difference it makes to your effectiveness!
If you've found this blog useful why not check out another of our recent blogs on a similar topic here.
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