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3 May 2016
Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? Yes, I hear some of you saying, given opportunities, right place right time, money etc, but even if some people had a helping hand; successful people have more important things in common. Today I’m sharing with you seven habits of highly successful people.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” – Dr Seuss.
Even if only for 15 minutes a day reading should be a part of your daily routine. Not only does daily reading make you smarter it also increases your brain power. Just like going for a run exercises your cardiovascular system, reading and exercising your brain can improve you memory function.
Getting engrossed in a good book, no matter what it is your reading, can also help reduce stress and anxiety that’s built up through the day.
If you’re struggling to find time in the beginning opt for a traditional book over an e-book. Research has shown that reading on a screen can slow you down between 20% and 30%.
One of the most important habits of successful people is making sure you not only get enough sleep but making sure it’s a deep, unbroken sleep.
Get out your pen and paper; if you tend to find your mind racing at bed time, thinking about everything you have to remember for tomorrow or forgot to do today then start making a to do list before you get into bed. Writing down your to-do’s for the next day and anything that’s on your mind gives your brain a chance to relax, it’s not under any pressure or stress.
Put down you phone; research has shown the blue light that emanates from our phones, tablets and screens impacts the way our body produces melatonin. Melatonin is the chemical in your body that makes you feel sleepy. Exposure to these blue lights essentially tricks our body into thinking it’s morning which makes it much harder to fall asleep.
Turn off the second and third alarm; how many alarms and back up alarms do you have set? It’s time to turn off the emergency alarms and stop hitting snooze and start training your body to wake up on your first alarm. These alarms and snoozes mess with your REM sleep. REM sleep is your most restorative stage of sleep. It occurs just before you wake up, if you have an alarm set it will pull you right out of your REM stage. Turning off the alarm or hitting snooze and closing your eyes again will start a new stage of this sleep, which your brain will still be in long after you’ve forced yourself to wake up. Research has shown you will feel foggy and unfocused throughout the day.
Become a morning person; you’ll find many successful people wake up at least 1-2 hours earlier. Having more time in the morning to get ready before work not only makes you feel more organised but gives you time to exercise, meditate or maybe just read the newspaper with a coffee and collect your thoughts for the day. If you’re not a morning person don’t get excited and just set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally would tomorrow. Start by making it 5 minutes earlier each day or every two days, small enough that your body won’t notice the change, but enough to start a new habit. By having enough time to get ready, have breakfast, maybe exercise or meditate you will feel more focused, energised and relaxed.
Whether you make the time (not have, make) in the morning, afternoon or evening, including at least 30 minutes of exercise in your day is one of the best habits you can get into.
Exercise not only helps you to lose weight or maintain weight but also prevents health conditions and diseases (heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer and arthritis), improves your mood, boots energy and promotes better sleep. Exercise is a great time to de-stress and let your worries of the day melt away.
Start to include exercise in every day life, take the stairs, don’t fight for the car park closest to the shop doors, pace while you’re stuck on the phone or put some energy into the housework. Whether it’s walking the dog, going for a run, joining a gym, putting on an exercise DVD at home or taking a tennis class with a friend, get moving.
Meditation is another common habit of highly successful people. Meditation improves brain function, increases your attention span, reduces stress and anxiety, helps you appreciate life more, improves sleep and can also help with your metabolism.
No one is an instant master of mediation. To start with you may feel like you’re not doing it properly but there is no right or wrong way and you only get better with practise.
Meditation is a great way to reset and refocus your mind. If you’re having a stressful day at work find a quiet space and meditate for five minutes. It might be all you need to turn your day around.
Work even when you don’t want to. We all experience times where we don’t feel like working, the key to success is forcing yourself to work even when you don’t want to. The next time you’re struggling between turning on the TV and sitting back down in front of the lap top use “the force”. Once you’ve pushed through the first 15 minutes you will find you’ll quickly get into the swing of things. Not only will you be more productive but you will not experience the later stress and guilt for not getting things done.
Have you ever felt like it took you all day just to accomplish one task because of interruptions? Its time to introduce yourself to” block out” periods. Choose at least one block of time throughout the day for you to do a block out, you may even want to start putting it in your calendar. If you have the luxury of your own office close your door (if not maybe let your co-workers know you’ll be busy for an hour), don’t take any calls and make it the most productive hour of your day.
It’s easy to get distracted, you can make things a little simpler for yourself by leaving your phone in your bag and not having any social media sites open on your computer. If your emails generally aren’t urgent start only checking them at intervals instead of whenever one pops up.
If you never ask for it or are scared of feedback how will you ever learn? Why is it that as we get older we seem to be more afraid of doing things wrong? As children we were constantly getting feedback, corrections and criticisms from our parents, teachers and peers. Just because you reach a certain age it doesn’t mean that the feedback has to stop. Feedback whether from a co-worker, manager, peer, family member or maybe even a competitor is not a bad thing, it’s going to help you grow and improve.
Open yourself up to what people have to tell you. Of course, as an adult you get to choose what you take on board but it’s amazing what you can learn just by listening to others around you.
So there you are, seven habits of highly successful people! Try implementing one new habit at a time and remember, habits aren’t made in a week. Habits can take 21 to 30 days to create. If you find you lose motivation try creating a calendar for yourself and mark off the days with a big red x. This will visually keep you in check.