For many people success can seem like a lofty, unachievable status that’s only reached by a few people. It’s easy to look at a person and see their prosperity without acknowledging the work that went into it. Reaching your goals is a journey that has to start somewhere. Here are five small changes you can make now, that can have great returns in your future life.
1.) They Live Healthy Lives
Conventional wisdom tells us that a healthy body is a healthy mind and it couldn’t be more right. The NCAA estimates graduation rates of student athletes are 22% higher than their classmates and much of that is attributed to their lifestyle choices outside of the classroom. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and produces endorphins that elevate your mood. On top of that, a healthy diet is just as important to the brain functionality as it is for fueling your muscles. Keeping a healthy lifestyle with exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep will help ensure you can bring your A-game every day.
2.) They Limit distractions
Living in a world that is so connected and accessible also comes with its drawbacks. A recent article in Time magazine highlights the decline in the average attention span of humans over the last decade. Having the world at our fingertips through newsfeeds, emails, and other instant updates also make it easier for us to indulge in those distractions. There’s also been a growing trend of making workspaces more open to encourage collaboration and while many would argue the benefits of this shift outweigh the costs, there’s no denying that some people may easily lose focus on their work over workplace commotion. Distractions are inevitable so it’s important to recognize when they happen and re-focus. Try setting aside a specific time each day for responding to emails and texts. Get to work early to get a jump start before the chaos of midday. Discover your distractions, find a way to eliminate them and get ready to be more productive than ever before.
3.) They Accept Imperfection
Most professionals are very conscious of their personal brands so it can sometimes be hard to wrap up a project with your name on it when you think there’s room for improvement. While the pursuit of perfection can help set a standard for your work, it’s equally important to know when you’ve done enough to achieve your goal. The law of diminishing returns is an economic concept that describes how increased input eventually yields less and less benefit. To avoid getting trapped in this pitfall of inefficiency make an effort in the planning stage of your project to outline what you are trying to achieve and the benchmarks that must be met to achieve your goal. There’s always more work to do than the one task at hand; don’t end up in a position of missing other deadlines in the aimless pursuit of perfection.
4.) They Learn from Mistakes
As any professional athlete or business mogul will readily echo, major achievements rarely come without some failures along the way. Everyone fails; it’s a fact of life. What separates successful people from those that never reach their aspirations is the ability to understand their mistakes, own up to them and make improvements for next time. In the business world where efficiency equals money mistakes can be costly, but repeating the same mistakes can be crippling. Making the same bad investments over-and-over will quickly show on the bottom line and the same is true for mistakes that aren’t as easy to measure as a profit or loss. Be your own toughest critic and others in your organization will follow suit.
5.) They Take Action
The previous items on this list can help to increase personal productivity, it’s entirely ineffective without taking action. While this may seem obvious, it’s easy to get in the habit of having ideas without them coming to fruition. Try getting up with your first-morning alarm and making your bed. Commit to finishing your day’s most challenging to-do list task before lunch. These small efforts can help you start your day with productivity that you can keep rolling with. Actions always speak louder than words.