It’s the age of technology, and successful people are the new rock stars. If there’s one thing we can learn from them, it’s the little habits and techniques peppered throughout their day that keep them on top.
Have a strong morning routine
Whether you jump out of bed on a morning ready to start the day with smile, or crawl bleary-eyed towards to kitchen seeking out caffeine and hating everything, a morning routine can really make a difference to your day and your life. True, some people are better able to rise early, and some people are more suited to accomplishing more in the early hours, but there are ways that you can gradually build up an effective and efficient pre-work day routine.
Don’t expect to start on day one with a packed morning schedule, but gradually introduce activities and earlier wake up times. Activities like yoga are effective for setting a tone for your day, calming your mind, and waking up the body. Maybe you want to get important but menial tasks out of the way, like a batch check or emails, setting up meetings, or planning out goals for the month. Barack Obama famously makes time for a family breakfast, exercises, and reads the newspaper every day before starting his work day at 9am.
Have ‘off’ time
Being successful and accomplishing important tasks doesn’t mean working round the clock. Along with carefully organizing your time, make sure you schedule in some time for yourself. If you think that the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson are slaves to their careers, you would be wrong. Most people can only focus well for around 20 minutes, often less, and re-charging your batteries is paramount to thinking clearly and efficiently. Mark Zuckerberg shocked many people when he announced he was taking two months’ paternity leave. Spending time with your new family really isn’t that surprising, and successful people need time off just like everybody else.
Sometimes, you just hit a block in the road and there’s not much you can do to prevent that. Taking a break sometimes doesn’t help, and you can’t afford to just stop working. Entrepreneurs the world over try to look for new ways around the block. Maybe you are approaching something from the wrong angle, or maybe you need a new strategy or way of thinking.
There are a number of learning styles, and each person has a different style that works for them, sometimes more than one. Experiment with different styles and see where it leads you; if you are using mostly text-based ideas, trying mapping them out visually, or bouncing ideas off friends and colleagues. You may find you have the answer but it can only be seen with fresh eyes.
Successful people think in ways that other people just don’t. They think outside the box, they are innovative, and they see relationships between seemingly unrelated things. You know what? This doesn’t come from nowhere. They work at it: they read, they listen, they engage, and they keep their minds as open as they can.
Read as much as you can about as much as you can. Write ideas down; any ideas, all ideas. You never know how ideas can be connected, which is how some of the most incredible inventions and inspirations have begun. Use a digital assistant like Your Smartest Friend to help you connect these ideas and fill in the gaps you don’t see. You will be in some great company once you start thinking like an innovator.
Possibly the most important of all, successful people are nothing if not organized. From world leaders to founders to entrepreneurs, packing in all their work and staying balanced demands an organized life. Plan your day the night before, map out short-term and long-term goals, schedule in breaks, and give yourself three important tasks to complete each day.
Around 65% of people are visual thinkers, and if this is you, then make your plans, diaries, schedules, whatever it is as visual as possible. If you want to add stickers and drawings, add them. Your plan is your livelihood, and one of the key factors to keeping you on track, as well as keeping you calm.
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