Do you run your day?
Let me ask you a question, do you run your day? Instead of letting it run you, do you act instead of reacting? So many people trudge through their days without having any clue as to the purpose of doing it, other than to make a bit of coin and continue living, so that they can do the same thing the next day. Now regardless of whether you like your job or not, if you don’t know what your true purpose in life then you will never reach your own idea of true success. You may absolutely love your job but if you believe that you were meant for more you will always be wondering “what if?”
I believe in planning for success and knowing that you are planning your days for maximum effectiveness to reach an end goal, so I want to run through exactly what it means to plan for success, whether your goal is to run a highly successful business, or build a great relationship with your family, there are things you need to do every day, or at least on a regular basis to achieve it. Let’s take a look at what some of the most successful people on this planet do to run their days to maximum effectiveness..
Have a pre-determined purpose
Going back to the point I made in the introduction, if you have a pre-determined purpose for working hard at something, your motivation will always be there to get things done. Success isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and if you aren’t packing the right kind of mental attitude, generated from having a purpose, you are going to fall at the first hurdle. For example the guy who wants to shift some weight, undo 50 years’ worth of bad eating habits and not exercising, he looks in the mirror after a week of dieting and working hard in the gym. He looks at himself and thinks, “well this isn’t working, I still look fat, stuff it, I’m done with this”, he’s thrown in the towel before his body even has a chance to change, he didn’t have a purpose for changing. If the purpose of your change is to look good for the girls on the beach, or to look like all the models on the covers of men’s health or women’s magazine, you’ve got no fight and you’re going to drown. That guy didn’t have a strong enough purpose to keep him moving towards his weight loss goal, if he had thought of a strong enough reason for losing that weight, it would have seen him though the entire journey and carried him though the good and the bad times.
Plan your day hour by hour
Sounds like hard work doesn’t it? Well guess what? Reality check it, it is hard! It’s incredibly hard to plan your day and stick to it rigidly when so much can happen in 24hours. So many things change during the day and you are forced to adapt to those situations, but it’s how you react to what happens that truly counts. But if you are sitting down the night before and planning what you are going to do hour by hour, you give your day structure, you know what you have to do and you get it done. Sit down and write out all of the things that you need to do, the daily activities and the odd things that crop up too, work related and personal, then pencil them into your diary when you are going to complete those tasks. If you don’t get everything done that’s absolutely fine, I don’t always get everything completed when I say I’m going to complete it but I make a note of what needs to be followed up on, then I can simply slot it into the next day and get it finished then. Plan your day or I promise you now, your day will run you and you’ll have nothing to show for it.
Keep a journal
You know it is strangely liberating writing down everything that you did during the day and everything that happened, maybe it’s just me but it makes me feel like I am unloading all of the stress of the day and reflecting on all of the good things that happened too. By writing down the events of the day, you can track your efforts and determine where you could have spent more time being productive, determine what works and what doesn’t and tweak things so that you become more effective in your daily efforts. Keeping a journal also helps you become more grateful for everything too, as you can reflect on and appreciate all of the good things that happened and believe me, everyone can find some good in their days, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first glance.
Plan to fail
You have to realize from the start that you are going to run into stumbling blocks and you’re going to be tested. Not realizing this is naïve and it will set you back big time unless you accept it. The way to look at this is in a completely different light, people see failure as a bad thing, thinking it is making them weaker when in actual fact, you are becoming stronger and stronger through your failures. I love failure! Every successful person in this world has failed and I bet if you asked them, they would tell you they failed more times than they would care to mention, but it is through that failure that they became stronger and learnt what they were doing was obviously not the best course of action. Plan to take the hits and don’t point fingers, trying to shift the blame onto someone or something, accept it, learn from it and move on.
Plan your own development
What a lot of people fail to do is improve on themselves, they are so fixed on their work that they forget to take the time to learn new things and develop their own mind set for success. I’m sure everyone has different amounts of time that they can devote to personal development, but personally I find listening to something constructive for 30 minutes every day and reading something constructive for 30 minutes every day is sufficient to improve upon yourself, but if you can dedicate more then do it. Successful people realize that the amount of success they have and the indeed the amount of money they earn, is directly related to how much time we put into our self-development. “We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace” (Jim Rohn), I think this quote says it all, you get out of any endeavour the amount of effort you put into it, but also how much time you spend becoming a better person to go after that endeavour.
Separate emotions from business and work
There is a bit of a catch with this one so let me explain. Business and work is not worth getting upset or overly emotional about, the only emotion you should carry into your working environment is that of passion. This was actually echoed by Martha Stuart, the first female to reach billionaire status and she talks about it in this video where she explains some of her rules to success, which can be applied to business and life in equal manner. You need to become conscious of your emotions when you are going about your day, don’t let yourself become too emotional when something happens during the day which at first is perceived as negative. Take a minute to think about it and turn it on its head, look at it in a positive way. You can do this with anything, it may not be easy at first but you can do it, but that first step is becoming aware of your emotions during the day and separating them from work because it just isn’t worth it. We all have a limited time in this world, so why spend it getting upset and worried about something which isn’t always going to be.