There are countless blogs and books on keys to success in business and life. Unfortunately, many of them are either based on sheer willpower or give lots of theoretical ideas that sound good on paper, but don’t translate so well to the realities of life.
If you’re looking for keys to success in business and life that are simple, make sense, and are easy to add to your daily routines, read on. These 3 tips can change your experience and results in ways you can’t imagine (and you won’t have to imagine – the results will be absolutely real).
1 – Focus Determines the Results You Get
There’s a dirty little secret in business and life that all people share regardless of role – you will never get it all done. Never. And yet we judge ourselves mercilessly when we don’t. The trick is to get clear on the things that matter most to us and make sure those are the ones that get our attention and energy first every day. Busywork is not the same as productivity and performance. If we’re not busy on the right things, we’re still not getting any closer to our goals.
Make a list of things you need to do this week. Put a star by everything that is a simple task or busywork. Of the things that are left, which items, if given focus and energy, would move you closer to results that matter? Chances are that you have a lot of busywork on the list. Busywork is not productivity, but we can get stuck there, exhausted and overwhelmed, without moving any closer to our most important goals. Circle the items that deserve your focus. Start each day working on those items first.
2 – Communicate Clearly
George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” How do we make sure what we’re trying to communicate makes it past the modern equivalent of the old Telephone Game?
- Keep it clear and simple. A message is not made more powerful by adding a lot of extra words. Make specific asks instead of assuming the other person will pick up the verbal breadcrumbs you’re leaving and piece them together into the same conclusion you have. If you’re still not sure they understand what you’re asking for, end your call or email with a request for a summary of next steps and times you can expect them to have occurred.
- Don’t bury the lead. Often, we make the mistake of giving too much supporting or foundational information at the beginning. The result is confusion about what’s really important. This is especially true in scenarios where we may be uncomfortable asking for what we want or verbalizing hard expectations. Make sure you get the important part front and center in your communication.
- Have a system for keeping track of communications. It doesn’t matter how well you take notes or how fast you read emails if you can’t find them again when you need them. Find and leverage a system that takes all those challenges into account and get those emails and notes organized!
3 – Access Your Own Superpowers
Everyone has them – those talents that are easy for you and challenging for others, areas that are clearly in your wheelhouse. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge and leverage them to get where you want to go. Success is dependent on mindset. If we believe we can do something, we usually do. Sadly, the opposite is true as well. Best Year Yet founder and author Jinny Ditzler says, “Do what only you can do. Delegate or defer the rest.” No one is meant to be good at everything. That’s one reason we do so well when we get to work with great teams. Your talents are where the bulk of your time and attention need to go. Be fearless and move forward with confidence in your own abilities.
Go back to the list you created earlier. Put an X by each item you can delegate or defer. These are items that you can move off your list altogether, freeing up space for you to bring all your talents to bear where they can have the most impact.
These 3 keys to success in business and life are timeless, effective, and well within your grasp right now. Don’t be afraid to trust yourself, your talents, and your resources – you have everything you need to succeed and it’s available to you today.
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InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, they offer top-rated learning programs including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Their integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, they’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent and energy to produce results that matter most. interaworks.com