The Habits of Highly Effective People
Some people just seem to have their life together. It’s easy to admire these types - even to be jealous - but did you know their habits all follow a similar style, and that anyone can emulate them?
by Uptime Staff / 2021-08-20
In this selection of books and courses, we dig out some of the habits that successful leaders use to be at the top of their games. Whether you’re a teenager, a young adult, or more mature, there will always be a list of principles that we can learn from. Here are just some of the habits of highly effective people.
How could we start with any other book? Here, Steven Covey explores the incredible power of a habit, good or bad.
The first step to create, destroy, or change a habit is to work from the inside out, according to the author of this book. Staying focused, with a clear goal in mind, keeps us on track to be productive, helping us eliminate unhealthy habits and form better ones.
Many of us focus on being heard rather than listening, but this isn’t our fault. We just never learned to communicate properly. While it is one of our downfalls, we can take action by resisting the urge to give advice and practice empathy, giving others your full attention.
But above all else, no matter how much work we put into forming good habits, none will stick if we fail to look after ourselves. Refilling ourselves emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically helps to recharge our batteries, and only when we are our most nourished can we continue to develop.
James Clear takes a different approach in this book, exploring the cumulative effects of persistent efforts.
According to his work, there are four simple steps that help to form a habit: cue, craving, response, and reward. Each step feeds the next, and so the cycle goes on. Decide what you want to do, and make small changes frequently for delivered rewards.
To build a habit, Clear says that we should make the work attractive. What gets us motivated is the anticipation of a reward, not the fulfilment of one. As such, it’s good practice to adjust your goals as you approach them to give yourself a refreshed outlook.
Holding yourself accountable is similarly important, and keeping a log of progress can be both motivating and rewarding in itself.
Take health and fitness, for example. Reaching your end goal may seem a long way away, but tracking each reduction in body fat, or each increase in muscle mass, can highlight the incredible work you’re putting into your habit. You may notice gym-goers carrying around a notebook with their personal bests - this allows them to continuously improve, making them effective in what they do.
Take action with the four simple steps: take a cue from something and use it to help determine how you want to be; get a craving for that and anticipate the end goal; respond by making small and manageable steps; track your progress; and amend your goal as you approach it as your desires develop.
In this course, Vardy shares a couple of priceless tips to help us be more productive, whether it’s in work or in our personal lives.
Many authors and lecturers that explore habits urge us to keep track of our progress, but Vardy takes this one step further, linking the pleasure part of our brain to the completion of tasks.
Striking through completed tasks helps us feel like we’ve achieved something (in fact, we have) as we visualise what we’ve done and what remains to be done.
If you find yourself with many heavy tasks to do, he recommends that we allocate time to these. Just like we should always allocate downtime to help recharge our batteries (more on that in our work life balance article), it can be particularly useful to dedicate time to certain tasks, and eliminate distractions.
Finally, treat your email inbox as a to-do list: read and flag your emails, and add any outstanding tasks to your list of actions. The same can be said for text messages and social media, too. Take action by planning your day ahead.
This is a course from Pete Mockaitis, host of the How to Be Awesome at Your Job podcast. Contrary to the strict regimen supported by Vardy above, Mockaitis suggests that we practice mindfulness frequently. This will help us find a deeper sense of clarity, with a clearer purpose in sight. Don’t just be mindful of your thoughts - correct your posture, too.
Turn your affirmations into commitments. Rather than convincing yourself that one day you will be a millionaire, commit to doing everything it takes to become a millionaire. Visualise yourself on your journey, and when you begin your journey, it will be familiar and comfortable.
Finally, Mockaitis believes that exercise can help. Exercise your mind through journaling, or learning a new skill, and exercise your body by eating a balanced diet, working out, and sleeping well. In fact, we have an entire hack dedicated to getting fit here.
Graziosi appeals to our inner urge to be successful, targeting his work around the successful habits of millionaires.
If this doesn’t inspire you, we don’t know what will. Graziosi’s motivation comes from an ultimate goal, regardless of your background and upbringing. The goal can be picked apart with one question: why? Imagine a curious child is asking you why. Each time you answer, you delve a little deeper into your true ‘why’.
Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, but Graziosi indicates that focusing on a weakness can be a waste of time. Ask the people nearest to you what your strengths are, and build on these.
Building your weaknesses will help you become a Jack of all trades, but building your strengths will make you a master of one.