New year, new me? We are now four months into the new year and, for most people, nothing would really have changed. Generally, we all have the best intentions for change but then we charge into January, get pummelled by the realities of life, and start performing exactly as we did the year before, making exactly the same mistakes.
After being involved in so many people’s journeys on their way to success, there are some common themes I see from the high-performers who also portray a sense of balance in their lives.
They look after themselves.
Yes, they do work incredibly hard; that is practically a prerequisite for success (don’t believe those who tell you otherwise – they are trying to sell you a course). However, they also take really good care of themselves and realise that to sustain high performance over a long period, you have to look after yourself.
Most successful people seem to have a hobby they love, or a means of escape. For me, that escape is reading, and I’ve got a business partner who gets close to having a breakdown if he’s not on the golf course each week. The trick is to work incredibly hard within work hours (whatever ‘work hours’ work for you) and then completely tune out when you are not. This allows you to always be present in whatever you are doing, be it in your work or your personal life. Your business is there to enhance your life, not be your entire life.
I bet you’re sick of hearing about diet and exercise, but guess what? You need to move and eat well. We are designed to walk around and eat fresh foods that we have hunted and gathered. Make sure you make an effort to move every day and don’t eat processed junk. The lifts in energy I see from clients that make a concentrated effort in this area are remarkable.
They make sure they are productive when they are working.
You aren’t going to be in a good state of mind if you are working 50+ hours every week. The trick is that you aren’t actually productive, or working for the full 50 plus hours, and you don’t need to do those crazy hours to be effective or productive, it’s a myth.
Most people are finding things to fill their day – refreshing emails constantly, having pointless meetings, and whipping themselves into a frenzy of being ‘busy’. Drop all of this and be productive. Use your calendar to record tasks, use task management tools to ensure tasks are dealt with effectively and in the right order, only check emails a few times each day, cut out meaningless phone calls and meetings.
When you take control of your week and know what you are doing and when, you will see amazing results. Suddenly the 60 hours you thought you needed to work has dropped back to 40 hours; and you have been productive in this time, rather than having your precious time wasted by yourself.
They keep learning.
Successful people never stop learning. Immerse yourself in books, watch videos, go to conferences, talk to people further along in their journey than you.
Always take the verified shortcuts to get to your success, you don’t always need to do everything the hard way. We should always be innovating and thinking up new and better ways of doing things, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also learn lessons from those who know, have been there, and have presented their case studies of success.
Reading will broaden your mind and give you tips and hacks from those with experience to follow. Many business books are junk; we all know that, but lots aren’t, and even a bad read will usually give you a nugget or two of great information.
Take the time to improve yourself, and your business will follow. Success is built from doing a bunch of the right stuff, consistently, over a long time. It’s always a long-distance race. Look after yourself and you will be much better equipped to survive the barrage of difficulties and challenges that will invariably crop up on your way to success.