“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle,” said Abraham Lincoln.
Indeed, successful people are the ones who hustle hardest, reach highest, and think greatest.
However, there are other habits of theirs that the rest of us would be wise to adopt. What is it that these people do differently that makes them who they are?
Here are thirteen things highly successful people do differently than the rest of us:
1. They keep their energy levels high.
Wellness makes us more productive. Successful people prioritize the health of their mind and body. Their sleep, nutrition, and stress management methods are optimized to keep them working at full capacity.
2. They practice a morning ritual.
A well designed morning ritual will engage and awaken the mind, body, and spirit. Try one that involves light exercise and good nutrition. It should also include some sort of meditation, reading, reflection, journaling or prayer.
3. They complete it and forget it.
A successful person won’t read a memo, go do other things, think about it again, respond to it later, and then revise it still again. They will read, react, and reply right away upon opening it. When faced with a short task, keep it short. Deal with it once and let it go.
4. They delegate.
Nobody “does it all” on their own. Successful people nurture a team that they trust, and delegate tasks to them. This allows them to focus only on high-level issues.
5. They believe in “good enough.”
Perfectionism wastes time and increases stress. Most successful people accept this, and actively avoid falling into the “perfection trap”. As Salvador Dalí said, “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
6. They follow the Pareto Principle.
This dictates that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort and activity. Successful people identify that important 20% and put their focus there. Then, they cut as much of the 80% as possible.
7. They do not feel guilty about saying “no”. They do it all the time.
Successful people do not jump at the chance to “touch” every project they can get their hands on. Instead, they choose two or three, and they do them very well.
8. They avoid meetings whenever possible.
Most meetings move slowly, include too many topics, and generally waste a lot of time. Many things can be done more quickly through a strategic set of phone calls and emails.
9. They “batch” their emails.
Highly successful people do not stay glued to their inbox. Instead, they set aside a specific time – or a few throughout the day – to read and answer their emails. This allows them to operate free from distraction. Then, when they do respond, they are able to do so in a focused way.
10. They grow a thick skin.
As Herbert Bayard Swope said, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”
11. They treasure their notebook.
Successful people write everything down.
12. They embrace a balanced lifestyle.
Successful people maintain a life outside of the office. They may spend time with family, train for marathons, or volunteer in the community. This allows them to stay motivated and fight burnout.
13. They choose calendars over to-do lists.
Don’t focus on what needs to be done. Focus on when you will do it. Rather than adding a new task to their already lengthy list, a highly successful person will put it on their schedule and deal with it when the time arises.
“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be,” wrote Zig Ziglar. Use the tools outlined above, and strive to become your most successful self.
Don’t do it for the money, the power, the ego boost, or even the admiration of others.
Do it for yourself.