WARNING: If you study the habits of top performers, you may not like what you find.
- They only talk to people they know and like – Successful people value their time so highly that they don’t spend time with people they don’t love. They constantlyremove people from the list when they don’t enjoy those people anymore, too – nobody wants to hear that, but it’s true.
- They a lot of spend time alone, at the expense of other fun activities – This is two parts: mindfulness and deep work.
- Mindfulness = a habit what allows you to clear your head and think – could be running or a drinking tea or sitting alone in a dark room.
- Deep work = hours of uninterrupted hard work on a difficult project.
- For most successful people, this time alone means they will not schedule meetings, events, dinners, time with friends, etc. Everything gets sacrificed for the one goal.
- They read more and are smarter than you are – The good news is that with a growth mindset, you can eventually be as smart as them. Top performers read a lot to learn new things. I’ve found, on average, the most successful people read 50+ books per year. (Most successful people do not consider reading blogs or news as real reading.) That’s about a book per week.You should probably read twice that many just to catch up. Read 100 books/year and soon you’ll be an expert.
Here’s what I recommend.
This is so simple. Get a notebook. Every evening, think about the day ahead. What task, if completed, would ease your mind, forward your career/business, and add to your health the most. If you could only do one thing tomorrow, what would it be?
- Write that thing down in your notebook.
- Go to bed.
- Wake up tomorrow and do that thing before anything else.
Do not check your email. Do not text anyone. Do not post to Instagram. Do not check Reddit. Wake, shower, drink some coffee, and get to work on the one thing.
By doing the most important thing first, you’ve freed up the rest of your day. No matter what, today will have been productive all because of the thing I got completed before 10am.
Use the rest of your day to read your 100 books/year that you need to catch up on.
This front-loading of work is the key to building anything: a creative project, a business, an impressive intellect, a supportive network.
The benefits of one daily practice can be huge. After a year, you will have changed as a person. After 3 years, you will have reinvented yourself and become an expert.
Get the most important thing done first. Do that every day.
Meditation, reading, language learning, gratitude, writing, meeting new people. On any given day, these may be “the most important thing” – after a while they, too, can become everyday things.
Never sacrifice the most important thing. Get up earlier if you have to.
This will transform your life.