Implement These Success Habits
Read the biography of any individual deemed wildly successful by societies standards and you'll be surprised.
When I first picked up the biography of men such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs, Mike Tyson, Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com) I was genuinely surprised at how tough their early beginnings were.
I assumed they were lucky, born into great circumstance or how a large amount of their fortune or success gifted to them.
I was wrong.
I continued to try and piece together what it was that this elite group of individuals had or did was that made them successful.
They were all masters in their chosen fields, yet there did appear to be some overlap.
Successful people all share a variety of habits that I believe largely contribute to their success.
If you want to increase your overall well-being, happiness and productivity I recommend you implement the following 4 success habits...
I like to read both paperback and Kindle books, if I’m travelling I try to avoid carrying any thick paperbacks with me and opt for my Kindle (which is currently loaded with 100~ titles that’ll keep me busy for quite some time!). If I’m not on the move I always prefer to pick up a physical paperback when possible, just personal preference (stop debating which is better and just pick up one or the other and start reading!).
When I Read I Make Sure I….
The first time reading though a new book I’ll either use the highlight function on my Kindle or a pen/highlighter within my paperback book, highlighting and underlining the ‘golden nuggets’ I find throughout the book – these may be quotes, ideas, factual information… anything I find relevant that I can or should be applying to my life.
A properly read book should be highlighted, underlined and have notes sprawled throughout the side margins of the page. While recently reading ‘You, Inc.’ by Gene Simmons on an overseas flight the woman sitting next to me asked why I was ‘ruining such a new book’. The majority of people read a book and keep it as pristine as possible. We’re not the majority of people – we want to read and absorb the information as best as possible. Highlighting, underlining and notetaking throughout the book is the way to go (if you’re doing this to a paperback make sure it’s a book you own, not one borrowed from a friend or library!).
After reading through the book for the first time I’ll go back through and take more detailed notes based on what I’ve highlighted into a A4 paper journal.
Summary and or review
Through a combination of my notes journal, highlighted and underlined sections and points within the book and my thoughts reading through the book I’ll type up an 800~ word summary which either gets filed away or published on IgnoreLimits.com with an accompanying YouTube video review depending on how many gems I pick up on within the book and how relevant it is to this site. From my experience the vast majority of modern self-help books are rehashes of the greats such as Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Frank Bettger etc.
Action taking goes here
It’s time to take action. I implement any actionable points I picked up on throughout the book – BEFORE I think about moving onto another book. This is where the majority of people fail – they jump from one book to the next assuming the ’52 books in 52 weeks’ is the way to go. Reading a variety of books is great however time spent reading is time that isn’t spent DOING. Reading a book a day without implementing the advice or at least taking notes on what you've learnt is a waste of time – unless you’re consciously working with the information you’re reading the amount you’ll retain (from my experience) is quite minimal.
Meditate (5 - 10 Mins/Day)
On the path of self improvement we get beat down, told no and over time can easily get burnt out both physically and mentally.
In a fast paced world we need to take a few minutes a day to 'unplug' so to speak and refresh.
I'm a big advocate of sensory deprivation tanks but realistically most people won't be able to access or afford to float in a pod on a daily basis.
A simple guided or silent meditation is the next best thing...
Don't know where to get started? Try this:
1. Lay on your back with your arms and legs out to the side and close your eyes.
2. Focusing on breathing deeply and slowly through your nose and into your lower stomach, count 10 breaths. Feel the cool air come in and the warm air exit.
3. Now while maintaining your deep breaths, reflect on the past day and recount several things you did well and several things that you would do differently.
4. Finally, while maintaining the deep breaths, list several things that you’re grateful for.
5. If you feel like it, remain here and focus on your breaths for a few more minutes.
Steps for a 5 minute meditation courtesy of my buddy David at HowToBeast.com
Do The Hardest Thing First (Eat That Frog)
Studies prove that our willpower is at its highest within the first couple of hours of the day.
Getting started with the minuscule tasks may leave you feeling good first thing in the morning however as the day progresses and you begin to slow down you’re only just beginning to approach your hardest and most important tasks… this is a recipe for failure.
Hard tasks require willpower.
Willpower is at it’s strongest early in the morning.
Do your hard tasks first thing in the morning while your willpower is strong.
Batch Task (Master Productivity!)
Batch tasking is the simple process of combining similar tasks into batches and then performing all the tasks in a batch in one sitting.
Whether you’re a salesmen, a writer, an artist is irrelevant – batch tasking can be applied to any discipline and any form of task.
Instead of going about your day or your to-do list ad-hoc you’ll save time (which in turn allows you to produce more!) not to mention the quality and depth of the work you’re performing will be of a higher standard because you’ll be entering the flow state.
For example, right now I’m in my office writing this article on batch tasking – it’s early in the morning and the hardest part is always getting the first paragraph or two started… that’s the resistance that’s always apparent off the starting line, and it’s the same battle every single day… because I know that I batch task to increase my efficiency. After this article I’m not going to call it a day and go and hit the gym just yet, because if I do I know I’ll lose productivity in my writing. I’ve got another article on the agility ladder drills I’ve been performing as of late to write and I’m not leaving my office to hit the gym until It’s done.
That’s batch tasking in its simplest form.
Here's a few examples of successful batch tasking...
When I’m preparing for a photoshoot or event my workout regime often consists of cardio and heavy weight training on the same day. I used to perform my cardio early in the morning then return to the gym later in the afternoon to hit the weights, separating the two definitely has its benefits… but the time it takes to drive to the gym, get warmed up, get changed out of my gym clothes etc. twice a day simply isn’t worth it for me at the moment.
Hitting them both in the morning so I only have one commute and one warm-up allows me to get so much more done in the day.
This is a classic example of opportunity cost – the benefits of separating the two workouts, at this point in time are not worth the sacrifices I’ll need to make (e.g. eliminating other tasks because I wouldn’t possibly have enough time to get them done) that day.
#MealPrepMonday exists for a reason.
Nobody wants to buy ingredients, cut, season and cook your meals every single day of the week.
Instead of doing your dishes doing every evening why not prep all your meals at once?
It only takes me slightly longer to prepare 7 chicken meals and freeze them than it does to prepare 1 chicken meal and eat it then and there.
Spend a little bit more time today to save a ton of time later in the week.