This is the 2nd part of my blog series on successful habits that foster motivation and productivity.
Back in 2013, I made the decision to completely change my routine to allow for efficiency. Doing so ultimately allowed for more focus, clairvoyance, and to passionately pursue my goals.
In sharing this with you, I’m hoping that the following habits will improve your life as well.
- 1 7. Set Your Goals
- 2 8. Listen to a Podcast
- 3 9. Read a Book
- 4 10. Start or Attend a Mastermind Group
- 5 11. Take an Online Course
- 6 12. Make a To-do List Find a Productivity Tool
7. Set Your Goals
Goal setting is an absolute necessity in life. The reason why the masses are lost with no real purpose or direction is that they’ve never taken the time to ask themselves what they want out of life.
Consider the following questions:
- What is my ultimate goal in life?
- What would allow me to live my life’s purpose?
- Am I being fulfilled in my daily work in achieving my purpose?
- Where am I heading?
- What are my dreams and aspirations?
Are you waking up motivated and excited to start your day? Have you asked yourself these questions? If not, there is never a better time to start than right now!
This is why so many people end up settling in life. They’ve never asked themselves the right questions or taken the time to set their goals. In the absence of getting the right answers, they end up following the typical “recipe for success.”
This isn’t only because everyone else is doing it, but because we’re conditioned to do these things before we’re even able to speak.
If you haven’t already done so, take some time this week and do some goal setting. Figure out what you want out of life and work your way backward. Set weekly, monthly, and annual goals to get them accomplished.
Michael Hyatt wrote a beginner’s guide to goal setting to get you started. If you really want to go in-depth on goal setting, I recommend the following books:
8. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are a great way to find inspiration, motivation, and even find something you’re passionate about. Finding the right ones can even take you in a whole new direction in life.
Well, it allows you to overlap your time. Have a long commute to work? Skip the music and listen to a podcast. Like books, podcasts allow you to learn and grow. Moreover, they can also help shape your mindset and find your direction.
Actually, the reason I started building my Amazon FBA business is because of listening to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts, The Side Hustle Show.
Find 2-3 podcasts that motivate and inspire you. It should be something that focuses on your goals and passions. For example, I like traveling, poker, and business. So I might listen to a podcast on each topic once a week (or whatever fits your schedule).
If you’re having trouble finding one on your area of interest, you can also do a search on podcasts.com.
Here are some of my favorites to get you started:
NOTE: This should be supplemental to your goals….don’t get stuck in overconsumption mode or information overload.
9. Read a Book
Reading (non-fiction) books has many benefits:
- They strengthen your mind
- Help you to develop your skills
- They aid in making a major breakthrough or transformation
This happened to me when I first read Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I was 17 years old. This book changed my whole mindset and drove me to pursue investing and entrepreneurship in the first place.
Reading can also be a source of inspiration. Consuming knowledge on topics that interest you may move you to implement what you’ve learned.
This is how I got my start in eCommerce. I realized you can sell tons of products completely unrelated to each other on the world’s best online marketplace simply by reading a book.
Browse the books section of Amazon and see if you can find a topic that interests you.
or better yet…
Go to your local bookstore and get out of the house. This will allow you to get a feel for what genre interests you the most since you can wander around and touch and feel the books.
This is something I do regularly and it has helped me grow immensely. I make it a goal to read at least one new book each month.
10. Start or Attend a Mastermind Group
I’m a firm believer in the fact that “you are a direct reflection of the company you keep”…
If you want to progress significantly towards your goals, a mastermind group is definitely the way to go. But what is a mastermind group anyway?
The term “mastermind group” was originally coined by Napolean Hill circa 1925. It’s covered more in-depth in his 1937 classic book Think and Grow Rich…
Some quotes from the man himself:
“When two people get together, a third mind, the Master Mind, is created.”
“A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”
“[to] Maintain perfect harmony between yourself and every member of your mastermind group. If you fail to carry out this instruction to the letter, you may expect to meet with failure. The master mind principle cannot obtain where perfect harmony does not prevail.”
“No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”
Why is this important?
It speaks to the level of importance in that, as Aristotle said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
I don’t know about you, but this speaks to me in the fact that it addresses something that’s missing in today’s society. Except from those who understand the power of this concept:
a sense of community.
For whatever reason, we have gotten away from this ideal over the past few decades.
This comes back to surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people.
As an example, you can join a [mastermind] group of web developers if you’re learning how to code. A real estate group when working on your investment portfolio. A group of bloggers when taking your content marketing to the next level.
I think you get the idea.
You can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and grow together. If you’re stuck on something or not sure what the next step might be, you have someone who’s been there before who can help you out. It allows the individuals to balance their strengths and wekanesses to that of the enitre mastermind group.
Here in Chiang Mai, at the time of this writing, I’m a member of a large group of successful entrepreneurs. If I’m not sure how to do something, I’ve got tons of information at my disposal. Not to mention, it’s a great source of inspiration and idea generation.
See if you can find a group in your local area. Search on meetup.com for a group that actively meets about a topic or skill you’re looking to improve. You may need to filter through the attendees to find your mastermind group.
11. Take an Online Course
I’m a firm believer in acquiring new skills to catapult your success to extraordinary results. Oftentimes you hear entrepreneurs struggle with issues such as:
- “I don’t know how or where to start”
- “I’m not sure what I should be doing”
- “I Want to do X but I don’t know how”
In the information age, you don’t have to know!
Because you can learn!
With the advent of information products and online courses on sites such as Udemy, Teachable, and other similar avenues of digital learning, this is no longer an excuse.
You can learn about pretty much anything from how to feed your cat to how to build an empire…
From affiliate marketing to Zoom video conferencing…
If you can dream it up, there is probably an online course that teaches you how to excel at it.
Go to any e-learning platform and look for courses that may interest you. Read the reviews and take a course that will help you develop a marketable skill. This will not only allow you to pursue something you’re passionate about but will also give you another revenue stream should you ever need it.
12. Make a To-do List Find a Productivity Tool
In regards to productivity tools, let’s first address the elephant in the room:
The to-do list.
While I used to recommend this tactic for productivity, I’ve come to the realization that it isn’t a productive tactic at all.
Consider the following about to-do lists:
- instead of getting reduced, the list gets longer over time
- typically, you don’t complete everything
- the list creates a sense of overwhelm
- your tasks generally roll over into the next day
- instead of celebrating your wins, you feel shame about incomplete tasks
There are actually many more psychological reasons this type of workflow isn’t effective. I’ll cover this in a separate post.
For now, just understand this…
In general, to-do lists make you busy, not productive.
How do we fix this?
The first thing we need to do is stop creating busywork. In order to do that, you need to recognize 2 things:
- Not all tasks are created equal.
- Being process-oriented creates better results.
Instead of trying to tackle your entire to-do list, create a success list:
“To-do lists can tyrannize your days with tasks if you don’t vet them. You feel an obligation to do everything on the list, rather than the things that really matter. You should have a “success” list, rather than a to-do list”
Gary Keller, The ONE Thing
What does this mean?
Focus on your 1-3 most important tasks for the day. The ones that will get you the most results and move the needle forward.
Instead of just stating the fact that it needs to get done, focus on the process.
There are actually many productivity tools on the market that allow you to do this.
Personally, I use monday.com. There are other tools, but I recommend this for a few reasons, it allows you to:
- Get a high-level overview of your work and stay focused on the bigger picture
- Automate manual tasks and streamline processes to drive efficiency and save time
- Zoom into the process and seamlessly keep track of every detail.
- Integrate with a lot of other tools keeping everything organized in one place
Being organized is a huge key to being successful. Trust me, I get distracted by shiny objects all the time, but when it comes to staying focused and improving your quality of life, a little organization goes a long way.
Something as simple as a productivity tool can really help you increase your productivity and be your guide to progressively hitting your milestones on the way to achieving your ultimate goals.
It doesn’t matter which tool you use as long as you can focus on your main priorities and use a process-oriented method. If it declutters your life, even better!
Find a productivity tool that will allow you to streamline your workflow process and get more done in less time.
Here are a few that I like:
This is the second of a 3 part blog series on successful habits, check out the other posts here:
- 18 Life Changing Habits Essential For Success Part 1
- 18 Life Changing Habits Essential For Success Part 3
What about you? Do you use anything mentioned above? Do you have any habits that you’ve made a part of your routine that has impacted you in a positive way? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!