Habits Of Success

Over the last year I’ve read dozens of articles on productivity, developing positive habits, how others drive themselves to success, etc. Many of the articles have similar advice for the reader, so I created the list below to show the habits that were most often recommended. The list itself has many one-off items like “be curious” and “take enormous risks,” but the ones in the list below are common to multiple articles. These are the ones that many people seem to consider the best habits to cultivate.

HABIT
# OF TIMES RECOMMENDED
Read (educational content)
6
Exercise (hard physical activity, health)
5
Listen to Podcasts (learning/uplifting content)
3
Meditate (includes Focus, Mindfulness, etc.)
3
Wake up early and get started (Early productivity)
3
Make lists (GTD, 4DX, Use Evernote, OneNote, etc.)
2
Take no days off completely (Read, check email etc. while on vacation)
2
Minimize distractions (aka don’t multi-task, don’t over-analyze)
2

I found that through my own personal experiences the habits that have helped me the most are reading, exercising, continuing education, and making lists (and scheduling my week ahead of time). Eating well and getting plenty of rest also help. As does reducing alcohol intake…

As for scheduling my time, I have recently moved to the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s been very effective for me. It has been the most successful replacement to the checklist style to-do list that I used in the past. Also, I found that my analog planner worked better for me than my digital planners. I just use it more consistently.

How about you? Do you practice any of the habits on the list? Which ones work best for you? How do they help during your day/week to increase your productivity?

Habits Of Success

Identifying Personal Baggage

Some benefits of getting older might be the wisdom and patience learned through trial and tribulation, failure and success, and learning to roll with the unpredictable nature of life itself. I firmly believe that wisdom comes with experience, which really just means age. Younger people haven’t had as many life experiences yet, so their wisdom hasn’t yet been refined by life’s challenges and unpredictability as someone in their 50’s or 60’s. But it’s just a matter of time for them to learn their lessons too.

A personal example of what this looks like in real life occurred a few years ago at the company for which I currently work. A new program was implemented and everyone was expected to participate. A book was passed around called “Strengths Finder 2.0.” The idea was to take a test that resembled a personality profile test, but was formulated toward personal skills rather than personality traits.

I immediately felt the bile in the back of my throat and thought to myself, “Oh crap. What a waste of everyone’s time (especially mine). This will not lead to someone (me) getting a different job, or a raise, or make any real difference to the company other than lost productivity while we take this stupid test.” I made myself heard to a few people around me too, though I knew not to be too vocal for my own good.

After a while though I heard other people talking about it and how they felt like it was really a great tool. They had learned a little about themselves that they didn’t know. I was dumbfounded! Who could think this was a good thing? Well, the answer turned out to be not only younger folks but also many of the managers over some of the larger teams. Those managers were especially grateful for the results because it gave them a little better insight into the overall make-up of the their teams’ skill set.

I then felt humbled because I realized I had been spouting my opinion about it that was based only on my past negative experiences. I had baggage, and I had to get rid of it. I realized that my past negative experiences shouldn’t poison someone else’s current experiences. I learned to keep my mouth shut about these types of things because I was simply bringing out my baggage and exposing the contents to those around me needlessly. I vowed to try and not let that happen again. Essentially I was consciously evolving toward a more supportive employee working toward the goals of the company rather than my next paycheck.

And that’s something that isn’t in Strengths Finder.

Identifying Personal Baggage