There is a common misunderstanding that highly successful people only do things they want to do and the things they enjoy.
While doing only the things they enjoy may be the ideal scenario, the reality is they still have to do things they don’t necessary enjoy or want to, but have to.
Albert E. N. Gray, who wrote “The Common Denominator of Success,” said that successful people are successful because they form the habits of doing those things that failures don’t like to do.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t like about a particular task or activity, it’s more beneficial to turn it into a new habit so we don’t have to give a lot of conscious thought to it as we do it.
We all have things we’d prefer not to do and the longer we keep putting them off, the more likely we’ll start feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, unmotivated and unproductive.
The more things we can apply to make it easier for us to get these things done, the better state of mind we’ll be in and the better we’ll feel about ourselves.
The idea of automation isn’t anything new. Automation is an integral part of our lives and the more we use it, the easier it will make our lives.
What is Automation?
Automation is the use of systems to control processes, whereby reducing or eliminating the need for human intervention. Put simply, automation is having technology do things for us a lot quicker and easier, so we don’t have to do them ourselves.
From the time we wake up, automation via technology, plays an important part in our lives. A lot of activities in our homes are automated such as lighting, ventilation, heating, and home appliances such as washers, dryers and refrigeration.
In the business world, automation is often a key part of improvement and efficiency initiatives. These may include software programs and new equipment.
While there is always concern about having too much technology and the impact it will have on our overall lifestyle, it’s hard to argue automation does make our lives easier.
Making myself exercise is a battle I have daily. Some days, I’m highly motivated, whereas on other days, I prefer to do something else instead of exercising.
Having gone through a period where I was not exercising consistently, which resulted in significant weight gain, I have now conditioned myself to do some form of physical activity daily.
It’s rare that I will miss a day, which may be because I have an appointment which requires me to leave home early. On those days, I do notice the difference in how I feel throughout the day.
There are various research and advice on when the best time is to exercise, how often should we exercise, how long we should exercise for, and what types of exercises we should do.
We should always get proper medical advice whenever we make any drastic changes to our exercise and diet plan. I personally prefer to exercise in the morning because I’m an early riser so in this article, I share my thoughts on why it’s best to exercise in the morning.
On the down side, not exercising at all can cause us to:
- Feel lethargic and not as motivated as we would like to be.
- Result in physical challenges.
- Not be at our best or do our best work.
- Have low levels of energy.
- Not feel good about ourselves.
The importance of doing some form of exercise or physical activity on a consistent basis cannot be emphasises enough.
We all have things we want to get done but sometimes we struggle to do them as quickly or as efficiently as we’d like.
There are different terms we use to describe how we feel whenever we find ourselves slowing down, such as overwhelm, confusion, uncertainty, lack of clarity, mental fatigue and burnout. All of these, in some way, leads to procrastination.
While we all procrastinate from time to time, the danger is if we don’t address that unproductive behaviour, it can:
- Cause us to miss important deadlines.
- Lead us to missing out on new opportunities.
- Lower our self-confidence.
- Prevent us from taking on new challenges.
- Affect the quality of our work.
Whenever we start noticing we are starting to slacken off and procrastinate, the sooner we can address and overcome it, the better off we’ll be.
As numerous things compete for our attention daily, it’s now more important than ever before to know how to stayed focused on our highest priorities.
There is a saying, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” which really means that what matters most is our main priorities.
As we all have different responsibilities, what’s important to one person may not necessarily be another person’s priority. The challenge we face is to stay focused on what we’re doing because we can easily get distracted with so many things now.
Most adult can easily lose or waste up to fours hours daily because of distractions, which may include watching television, surfing the internet and being on various social media platforms. Over a course of a working week, that equates to 20 hours, and around 1,000 hours per year that’s wasted.
If the average adult works for 40 years, that’s equivalent to 40,000 hours wasted during their adult life because of distractions. This means about 4.5 years of an adult’s life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is wasted as a result of distractions.
If we convert that into monetary terms, it’s not surprising to learn that distractions costs us more than just time. Imagine missing out on 4.5 years of income throughout our adult life. Once we start considering the opportunity costs, or the things we could have been doing instead with that time, it adds up to more than just 4.5 years of income.
It’s time to take back control and be more focused.
Our level of creativity often demonstrates how we express our true self and the frame of mind we’re in at any given time.
The more creative we are, the more we’ll feel we’re contributing in some way, while expressing our uniqueness. The truth is we’re all creative, however, we tend to lose our connection to our creativity based on our life experiences, responsibilities and how we think about our lives.
There are many advantages to developing our creativity, which includes:
- Generating more happy thoughts and positive emotions.
- Becoming better problem solvers.
- Achieving objectives or goals faster.
- Being recognised as someone who can get things done, resulting in the potential to earn more money.
- Having a higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence.
The challenge we face is making time to focus on developing our creativity so we can reap its benefits over time.
Have you ever noticed some people tend to be “lucky” consistently, whereas other people tend to continuously attract negative experiences?
Our experiences do not occur by chance or luck. We create our reality based on our thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
If we’re responsible for our reality, then we have the power to create the reality we want. The starting point is being able to condition our minds and our brains so that we maintain a healthy, positive attitude, and direct our attention to what we want to create.
The brain is an organ that’s dynamic and constantly changing based on what we’re feeding our minds. If we’re constantly stimulated in a negative way, then that’ll affect how we see ourselves, others, and how we operate in the world.
On the other hand, if we’re feeding our minds with positivity, then we’ll have a more positive outlook on life. We know there’ll be times when we go off track and get caught up in negativity, but if we’ve trained ourselves to focus on what’s positive, then it’ll be so much easier to shift our focus away from negativity.
Our job is to train our brain in such a way that it’ll be easier for us to focus on thoughts that’ll lead us to where we want to go or what we want to achieve.
It should come as no surprise that the better rested we are, the more alert, focused and effective we are as we go through our day.
The challenge we face is getting enough sleep, but more importantly, getting enough quality sleep, every night. When we don’t get an optimal amount of sleep, we usually feel out of sync and don’t operate at our best.
While getting up earlier may appear to contradict the importance of getting enough sleep, they key point is we want to ensure we get the best rest we can every night.
There are numerous advantages to getting up earlier, however the challenge for those who aren’t used to it, is to consistently do the things that will lead to the habit of getting up earlier.
Getting up even 30 minutes earlier, five days a week, gives us an extra 125 hours of awake time every year. If we get up an hour earlier, that gives us 250 hours of additional time every year.
Just imagine what you can achieve if you used that time intelligently.
An extra 30 minutes per day can be used to:
- Take care of our physical and mental health.
- Develop a new skill over a period of time.
- Learn something new that can benefit us in the future.
- Spend more time with those that matter to us.
- Start our day earlier.
The key is to implement daily disciplines that will lead us to getting better quality sleep.
It’s no surprise that most of us are living busy, hectic lives, and finding time to do all the things we want to, is one of our biggest challenges.
The demands placed on us, either personally or by others, often pulls us in multiple directions during the course of our day or week.
Any advantage we can achieve to gain more time each week can make a huge difference in what and how much we accomplish.
For most professionals, a working week is typically 40 hours, therefore, in order to gain five working weeks over the course of a year, our objective is to save at least 200 hours. If we use 50 working weeks a year, that means we only have to save fours hours per week, which is not difficult at all.
What can you do with the extra hours?
It’s common for busy professionals to give more attention to their career or business endeavours, however there are many other benefits to gaining additional time each week such as:
- Giving more attention to our mental, emotional and physical health.
- Learning new skills.
- Completing an education course.
- Spending more time with family.
- Having more time off to pursue passions or hobbies.
- Starting a new venture or project.
Gaining additional time each week does not necessarily involve making drastic changes. It requires us to become smarter and more intentional in how we use our time.
Not having enough time has become one of the biggest reasons why we don’t do the things we really want to.
The idea that we have to fit in as much as possible into our already busy lives is a dangerous mindset to have. The reality is we have a limited number of hours each day and if we continue to have the mindset that “we can do it all” or “we can have it all,” it can lead to:
- High levels of unnecessary pressure or stress.
- Feelings of overwhelm or inadequacy.
- Mental or emotional fatigue.
- Physical health issues such as burnout.
- Slow progress towards achieving goals.
The key is to change our relationship with time and adopt something new that will enable us to utilise the time we have available better.