By eliminating as many bad habits as possible. Here are a few you may hot realize you have:
Letting interruptions take control
Interruptions are a productivity nightmare. Studies have shown that hopping on your phone and e-mail every time they ping for your attention causes your productivity to plummet.
Getting notified every time a message drops onto your phone or an e-mail arrives in your inbox might feel productive, but it isn’t. Instead of working at the whim of your notifications, pool all your e-mails/texts and check them at designated times. This is a proven, productive way to work.
Nothing turns people off like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone. When you commit to a conversation, focus all your energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them.
Not able to say no
Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress. This includes burnout and even depression, all of which erode self-control. Saying no is indeed a major self-control challenge for many people.
“No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments. It also gives you the opportunity to fulfill them successfully.
Just remind yourself that saying no is an act of self-control now that will increase your future self-control. It does this by preventing the negative effects of over commitment.
Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Remember, you only have 1,440 minutes in a day. Don’t give them away easily.
Pay attention to this: Secrets of Managing your Anger When No One Else Cares
Not writing it down at the time
Richard Branson has said on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes. He knew the value of writing it down.
In one interview, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, “Always carry a notebook. Write everything down… That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!”
Ultra-productive people free their minds by writing everything down as the ideas come to them.
Letting the bad guys get to you
There are always going to be toxic people who have a way of getting under your skin and staying there. Each time you find yourself thinking about a coworker or person who makes your blood boil, don’t give in. Instead, practice being grateful for someone else in your life.
There are plenty of people out there who deserve your attention. The last thing you want to do is think about the people who don’t matter when there are people who do.
You should never give anything half of your attention, especially meetings. If a meeting isn’t worth your full attention, then you shouldn’t be attending it in the first place. If the meeting is worth your full attention, then you need to get everything you can out of it.
Multitasking during meetings hurts you by creating the impression that you believe you are more important than everyone else.
Little life prioritization
Intel’s Andy Grove once said, “There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.”
Highly successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. They know success is a ‘whole life’ metric. There is no right answer. For many, these other values include family time, exercise, and giving back.
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Follow him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.