When it comes to achieving success, there’s a lot of focus on the things that you need to add to your life, like learning a new skill or finding a mentor. The thing is, there will also be times when you need to let go of certain things in your life if you want to achieve success, like the following 16 items.
1. Your bad habits.
We all have bad habits and vices - even if it’s sneaking a piece of candy every night after dinner. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a temptation occasionally, giving up an unhealthy lifestyle is the first place to start if you want to be successful.
Whether it’s watching too much TV, not eating a balanced diet, not exercising, or only getting a couple hours of sleep each night, these bad habits sap your productivity. And, if you’re not productive, then how can you become successful?
2. Doing everything by yourself.
No matter how intelligent, knowledge, or dedicate you are, you simply can’t do everything on your own. In fact, it’s one of the most common behaviors that block people from becoming successful .Successful individuals realize the importance of delegation. They also know how to surround themselves, whether through hiring or outsourcing, with talented individuals who are more knowledgeable in areas that they’re not so that they can continually move forward.
Successful people don’t point fingers. They don’t blame their economic status, weaknesses, or past failures. They hold themselves accountable. And, instead of making excuses, they focus on what they can do to become more successful.I could have made excuses when I had a bad construction accident in my youth that covered why I couldn't work for months or that my life was over. Instead, I used the time to build a business from my bed while I also learned to walk again.
4. Your SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome).
We’ve all been guilty of chasing that shortcut to success. But, those quick rich schemes never work. Being successful isn’t about making money quickly. It’s having the ability to not get distracted by new ideas, trends, fads, or a quick surplus of cash. It's keeping your head down and working that keeps the distractions away. The successful people are there because they know how to stay focused on the bigger picture.
Every now and then it’s alright to indulge in guilty pleasures. The problem is that we use these bad habits as band-aids, whether it’s drinking, smoking, eating junk, or having sex, to cope with things like stress or sadness. They may provide satisfaction. But, it’s only for the short-term.
Successful people focus on the long-term. They may have some wine after a long week or after sealing a business deal, but they’re not going to drink a bottle of Pinot Noir every night in order to deal with a problem. They fix the problem because that’s going to positively impact their long-term success.
6. Always showing up late.
If you ever visit Lambeau Field, you may notice that the clock outside is deliberately set 15 minutes ahead of the correct time. That’s because of legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi and ‘Lombardi Time.’ Lombardi expected his coaches and players to arrive 15 minutes early to meetings. Even if they arrived on-time, they were still considered late.
Arriving early to meetings, appointments, etc. ensures that you don’t run late and it gives you the chance to mentally prepare. And, most importantly, it will set the precedent for not being that person who is perpetually late.
Despite the misconception that doing several tasks at once can increase productivity, multitasking is a habit which has been proven to actually detrimental to productivity. This is because when we multitask, our brains are shifting focus from one task to another. As a result, we’re not going to be dedicated - 100% to any particular task.
I have been guilty of this as well because technology makes it so easy to jump between multiple projects, but I realized I was falling farther behind and not doing anything particularly well.Instead, successful people choose a single task where they place their focus -- on one task -- and then move on to the next. You can, of course, use automation to handle certain tasks for yourself, including sending invoices and getting paid .
8. Approval from others.
Don’t waste your time seeking validation from others. It’s time-consuming, drains your energy, and kills your freedom. While you should listen to the advice from those who you trust, like your mentor or spouse, at the end of the decisions you make are yours. It’s ultimately up to you, not anyone else, who will determine your happiness and success. Just make sure these decisions are right for you and then stick to them.
9. Your fixed mindset.
Based on the work of Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, people with a fixed mindset believe that traits like intelligence or talent are fixed, which means that they can’t change these traits. As a result, they devote their time in documenting these traits, instead of developing them.
Those with a growth mindset believe that traits can be developed or improved through dedication and hard work. Because of this, they’ll invest in learning and acquire new skills.
10. Hitting snooze.
When you set your alarm, you’re making a commitment. You’re committed to waking up at a certain time so that you can get your day started on the right foot. When you hit “snooze” you’re breaking that commitment. What happens next? You then jump out of bed because you overslept and are now rushing out the door. That’s not exactly how you'll want to start your day.
11. Saying "Yes".
How are you going to be able to accomplish your goals if you’re always saying "yes" to every request from family, friends, or colleagues? Sometimes, even if you feel a bit guilty, you’re going to have to say "no" when you’re asked to help with a certain task or activity.
Let’s be honest here. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll never be satisfied. I'm entirely guilty of this for the very trait I have for wanting to constantly tweak things, but I've had to learn to "let it go." And, when my daughter came along, I realized children are the best medicine for curing the perfectionist virus.
You’ll keep second-guessing your work and will make a million changes to something that doesn’t need to be changed. If you want to make sure that you remain productive, accept that great is good enough so that you can move on to the next task or project.
13. “Hanging out”.
“Hanging out” with other people is a luxury, like a glass of wine. In other words, it needs to be kept to a minimum. Just “hanging out” on a daily basis is a major waste of time since it distracts you from working towards your goals. BTW, this includes hanging out with the TV. While you don’t have to become a recluse, you should spend time with people who are also working towards similar goals.
14. Trying to be clever.
By all means, be different and innovative. But, don’t try to be too clever. It’s been found that even the smartest of people are prone to making silly mistakes because they’re overconfident, lack emotional intelligence, have a hard time listening to feedback and tend to throw in the towel when they fail.
Never let your intelligence block you from becoming successful. Use those "smarts" to your advantage , and you can be sure that you’re more honest with yourself when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses.
15. Waiting for luck.
Successful people don’t sit around waiting for luck. They go out and work to make their own luck by always being prepared, optimistic, and open-minded. They’re ready to seize the next opportunity when it appears. Abraham Lincoln said, "I will prepare and my day will come." In other words, prepare, study, learn — and the right person or right situation will show up — and you will be in a position to recognize it because you will have prepared for that right time.
16. Spending money carelessly.
Successful people are known for being frugal. When they do spend money, it’s so that they can make even more money . For example, paying off your debts so that money you’ve been paying in interest can now be used to invest in your business or an online class that will enhance your skills -- as opposed to buying tables at a club to impress your freeloading friends.
No one can do everything all at once to get rid of habits that are sucking your productivity, however, you can take on one or two that you want to get rid of. Pick the one that you believe will make your life better the quickest.