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