Do you ever have one of those days where you know you have put in work, but it just doesn’t feel like you actually got anything accomplished? Sometimes you just don’t feel like you are moving forward towards reaching that next milestone?
It is so easy for people to get stuck in the motions and routine of everyday life, so easy to just going through your daily routine subconsciously without thinking about what you are doing every day. You wake up, you SSS, drive to work, eat dinner, go to bed. Rinse & repeat. Lets face it, most people don’t care and just want to get through the day and make it to the weekend so they can do what really makes them happy.
Success does not come from leaving the autopilot in control. You have to be aware of the everyday decisions you make in life if you want to reach your goals long-term. Life doesn’t have to be a series of robotic routines day in and day out until you reach the weekend. In fact, there are things you can consciously do every day to make sure that instead of just going through the motions on autopilot, you are setting yourself up for success long-term.
How do you do start? Here are 5 Success Factors you should make a real effort at applying every day.
Find some passion in your daily life
Most of us don’t have our dream job, but being passionate about something is one of the most important factors in achieving our successes. Even if you are not passionate about your day job, (most people aren’t) everyone IS passionate about something. By taking the time out of our everyday lives to indulge our passions and work towards something we genuinely enjoy, you are living life on your own terms, even if only for a moment. Our passions drive us as creative individuals. Make a conscious effort to make room in your schedule to pursue a personal passion that you genuinely enjoy.
Whether its work, game programming, golf, fishing, yoga or whatever it is that drives you and makes you happy. Be Passionate and take time to indulge what makes you happy. It may seem counter intuitive to reaching your goals, but taking this time for yourself will enable you to maintain focus when its time to buckle down and work. As they say, all work and no play make (insert name here) a dull boy.
Unwanted distractions are the enemy of progress
Maintaining your focus is one of the hardest thing people struggle with when trying to be productive. Especially when it comes to working off the clock towards your own passions. It was not easy 20 years ago, and it isn’t any easier today. In fact, with smartphones everywhere we are now constantly connected to the internet 24-hours a day. We are bombarded with cat videos, annoying game requests and text messages from our friends and family. It is almost impossible to avoid these distractions when you want to get shit done.
With that being said, it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of strategies we can use to avoid distractions when its time to buckle down and get to work. Here are some simple strategies to help you maintain your focus when it matters most.
Set a Timer:
By setting a timer, even if it’s for as little as 15-20 minutes at a time it can help keep you focused. Make a promise to yourself that you are not going to check your phone or look at Facebook until the timer goes off. Work as hard as you can for those 20 minutes in a sprint, then give yourself a 5 minute break to check your messages and watch that dude get hit in the nuts on or pour water on his head via Facebook. If you acquire the self-discipline, this will enable you to get work done while still allowing for the flexibility of indulging your distractions.
Give Up Your Phone:
This is a shocker for some people. Did you know there is actually a psychological disorder caused by our attachment to our phones? Its true, it’s called Nomophobia and it literally means no-mobile-phone-phobia. Try going a day without your phone, it’s not as easy as some of you might think. I’m not saying you have to lock your phone in a vault, but try combining this with the timer strategy and give your phone to a spouse or a friend to hold until your break time. If you have the self-discipline to ignore your phone on your own than great, but if not enlist the help of some close friends. At least until you get the hang of it without them. Trust me, it’s not as painful as it sounds and you will be amazed at the amount of work you can actually get done using this strategy.
This is a strategy that I learned from one of my favorite comics Louis CK. If you are working on a computer and do not require a constant connection to the internet, you can combine this strategy with the other two. Unplug your Ethernet cable or disable it completely. You can even go as far as having a separate laptop or computer that is entirely disconnected from the internet. This will enable you to really buckle down and focus on your work without the distractions on the internet that are constantly competing for your time. No online games, No Facebook, No Email, Just a work focused no-nonsense computer for getting shit done!
Set Micro Goals:
If you shutter at the idea of setting a timer, and are confidence enough in your self-discipline. You can try to set micro goals and take breaks in between achieving each one. Let’s take writing a blog post for example. Tell yourself that you aren’t going to check your Facebook or read any emails until you have at least the first three paragraphs written. Make a note as you write to remind yourself of the micro goal you have set. By reaching a few of these micro goals, you will be surprised at how easy it is to accomplish the task at hand without getting distracted every two minutes.
Trust Your Instincts:
Sometimes you just have to go with your gut
This is one of the most overlooked success factors people tend to brush aside. Wouldn’t it would be nice if you could always make decisions with 20/20 visions? Wouldn’t it be great if every choice we made in life was crystal clear. Yes, it would but unfortunately, life doesn’t always work this way and you don’t always have a time machine to help you make choices. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20.
When life throws you these curveballs, second guessing yourself is an easy trap to fall into. As I have discussed many times before, self-confidence is one of the major keys to success. You must be confident with yourself and your ability to make choices. If you are constantly second guessing yourself and are always unsure of your choices you will never become a confident leader or the successful individual that you know you can be. Successful people are confident people.
If after every decision you make, you are constantly playing it back in your head over and over again worrying if you made this right choice you are going to live in a state of constant stress and anxiety. I am not saying do not weigh the impact and consequences of your choices, but I am saying grab the bull by the horns, man up and make a decisions. You have to be able to trust your instincts and a key to success is being confident in those decisions. When you are unsure of something, and have weighed the available facts. Trust Your Instincts and go with you gut!
Persistence is one of the keys to long-term success in any endeavor
Persistence is something people are often told is an important success factor but it is also one of the most ignored. People always want to find the easy way out. They want the diet pill to give them the 6-pack abs without having to workout or eat right, they want the get rich quick method, or the secret real estate millionaire to reveal his secrets on how to become a millionaire overnight. We all know in the back of our minds that this is bullshit because life doesn’t work this way and nothing great is easy.
There is no free lunch in nature folks, and the only key to mastering your passions & achieving success is to be persistent and stay diligent. Life and learning really is just a series of failures. You fail, learn from it, try again, fail a little less and continue this process until you achieve your goals and get it right. This is how life works. This is how you achieve mastery and find success. There is no shortcut to success. If you give up every time things get tough you will never get anywhere in you want to be in your life.
Be Persistent, don’t let anyone ever stop you from achieving your goals. Persistence is the key that separates the people sitting on the sideline who failed feeling sorry for themselves from the people living their dreams and reaching for the stars. Remember to Be Persistent!
Learn From Others:
A smart man makes his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others
Some people have a hard time separating self-confidence from being conceded or self-absorbed. The difference is simple. A person that is Self-Confident knows they are not perfect and will call upon others more skilled and experienced than them in certain areas to learn from their expertise and to avoid repeating their mistakes. A self-absorbed and conceded person will ignore the skills and lessons of others and think they are automatically better or above making the same mistakes as that another person. The self-confident person is bound to see more success than a self-absorbed or conceded individual. You see human knowledge is a living breathing entity, being passed down from generation to generation. We learn from the success and failures of one another. Knowing this can save you from years of unnecessary failure and heart ache.
To truly master many subject you must be in a constant state of learning. Keep an open mind at all times and absorb knowledge from others like a sponge. There are many very knowledgeable people in this world when it comes to almost any subject imaginable. Learn from their experience and from the mistakes of the past. Avoid repeating mistakes that are easily avoidable. Taking the time to learn from others can give you a huge advantage over people who do not see the value in the knowledge of their peers.
A smart man makes his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
A smart man makes his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
To sum it up
Some of these things may seem like common sense to you, however we often get so wrapped up in our daily routine that we don’t make a conscious effort to apply these success factors in our everyday life. Even if you don’t work at your dream job, by taking time to stop and apply these success factors you can take little steps each day to achieving success & reaching your goals. By making these habit, it will be easy for you to make a positive impact in your life each and every day. Remember, this is a long distance race and not a sprint. Persistence will pay off.
So when you wake up tomorrow try to remember to apply these 5 success factors in your everyday life. It is easy to get caught up on autopilot in the daily routine of life. Stop for a moment and remember to Be Passionate, Maintain Focus, Trust Your Instincts, Be Persistent and Learn from Others.