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gari jenkins



Make decisions often

Most people take too long to make decisions, and then change their mind often.  Successful people do the opposite.


They tend to study the pros and cons of a situation, then decide quickly.


There’s an old saying about this matter, 'You don’t have as many problems as you have decisions to make.’ I think you’ll find it’s true.


Make the decision and life usually becomes so much simpler. Fail to make it, and there’s always uncertainty and lack of commitment.


Kevin Roberts, the chief executive of one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies, Saatchi and Saatchi, is famous for making fast decisions. ‘I figure that even if a few of them are wrong, I’ll have made more progress than if I’d done nothing.’ . . .

 . . . heed that wisdom.




Keep a 'Things Achieved’ list

Ever think you’re making no progress in your life? Create a ‘Things Achieved’ journal.


At the end of each day, write in it what you achieved – the big things and the little things, in your business life and your personal domain.


It’s a great way to feel better about your life, because inevitably you realise that you’re achieving far more than you expected. Plus having the journal on your desk makes you very achievement-orientated, knowing that you have to fill it.




Learn how to come up with ideas

Take it from somebody who’s made their whole career out of conceiving good ideas.


Creativity is not just something you’re born with, you can develop it. The trick is to learn some creativity techniques. Here are two quick ones:


Dictionary method: Open a dictionary and pick a simple word out of it. Then relate your particular problem to that word. What ideas does that word give you? You’ll be amazed at the results.


What would my competitor do?: Pretend you’re the competition. If they were running your company, what decisions would they make? What directions would they go?


With elementary techniques such as these you can become a veritable fountain of ideas.




Associate with the kind of people you want to become

If you want to be a great musician, hang out with great musicians. If you’d like to be an excellent mother, associate with terrific mothers. If business is your thing, you’ll profit greatly by socialising with good business people.


Remember, you become like the people you associate with, and as the saying goes, ‘If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.’


Take a good look at the people you spend the most time with. Do they lift you up or tiring you down? Do they inspire you or do you have to do all the inspiring? Are they quality people or riff-raff?

Be careful who you associate with. Your friends can affect your life more than you may realise.




Be part of the 3% who write down life goals

Here’s a fascinating study.


In 1952 some researchers interviewed the graduates of Yale University, one of the USA’s premier Ivy League universities."

Amongst many other questions, they asked each of them whether they had a written goals plan for their life.


Ninety-seven percent didn’t.


However, 20 years later, the researchers returned to interview the surviving members of that class. Incredibly, they found that the 3% who did write down their goals not only reported better all round life satisfaction, they also earned more than the 97% who didn’t put it together.


Write down your goals, and read them daily. As the great human potential expert Brian Tracey once said, ‘I know of very few poor people with goals and very few rich people without them.’




Visualise daily

Spend five minutes a day seeing a ‘movie’ in your mind of how you’d like your life to be. The brain is 88% subconscious, and the subconscious cannot tell the difference between an event vividly visualised and one that has actually happened. Therefore if you consistently ‘see’ yourself performing a certain way, you’ll begin to perform at that level in real life.


Ask any gold medal Olympian, visualisation works. The fact that most people in business don’t visualise opens up a treasure chest of opportunities for you.


Not only will you think better, you’ll be much more pleasant to be around.




Write your 'To Do’ list the night before

These days most intelligent people create a daily ‘To Do’ list. But many of them write theirs once they’ve arrived at work.


There are two problems with this. Firstly, you’re often writing it under pressure, already being hounded by workmates and deadlines.


Secondly, you don’t feel nearly as organised and on top of things as if you do it in the peace and quiet of your study or bedroom at home the evening before.


‘To Do’ lists are important. Maximise their effectiveness by getting them done early and properly.




Model successful people

There are two major ways to reach the top of your chosen field.

The first is to learn by your own experience. This works well but can be very slow, and can lead to making a lot of mistakes.


The second is to model people who are already at the top of your field. Take them to lunch, read about them, study their work habits and thinking – then emulate them.


Copying the success strategies of people who are at the top is quick and effective. In fact few people ever make it to the top without choosing the second route.





Have no more than three major goals a year

There are hundreds of ‘success’ books on the market telling you to make a list of scores of things you’d like to achieve, then go make them happen.


But they usually never happen, and here’s the simple reason: You can only do a few things well, so much concentration and effort do they require.


Trust me, for ten years I tried to work on ten goals for the year and I only ended up getting depressed with my failures.


Pick just one big thing you’d like to achieve for the year, and maybe just two smaller things you want to do or get, then focus on those. Unless you focus your energies like a laser in one major area, success will most likely elude you.


That is the cold, hard truth.




Don’t work past 7 p.m.

Long hours are a corporate disease, and usually lead to low effectiveness and poor time management.


Most people who work late do so for two reasons. Either they’ve got too much work on, or they don’t get enough done during the day.

In the case of the former, you’ve probably got too much to do because you’re not focusing on the important, high-leverage activities and are instead getting caught up in minutiae.


In the case of the latter, you probably spend too much time in meetings, travelling, lunching or just plain procrastinating.

Get hard on yourself. If you can’t get it done in ten hours a day, you’re just not being effective.


Try this radical test: Attempt to do your entire job in four hours a day. Most people will be stunned that when push comes to shove, it can be done. Do this test and you’ll never look at your usual workday the same way again.


Uncommon Sense

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