READ - How to be successful in anything you do in under 30 minutes.
10 Minute Read
Success. There are not many other words that have such contrasting definitions depending on who is uttering them. It is universal however that no matter how we define success, we want to reach it in anything that we attempt. Whether that be physically, at work, within our closest relationships or just completing an all you can eat challenge (a personal favourite of mine while I was in my 20’s). Now while achieving success is not an easy road, there are ways in which to streamline the attainment of this goal.
So how do I become successful in anything I do?
A big part of my personal successes including qualifying as an elite runner for the Singapore Marathon, working with some of the world’s leading golfers and finding the woman of my dreams, were to find short habits that could make my day feel easier. By short, they are specifically short (30 minutes or less to be exact). This is as I have previously added too much into my day at a prior junction of my life and as a result ended up burnt-out. I found these strategies in a three pronged way.
Firstly, I researched some of the world’s best performers. These were both people I had come into contact with in my personal life and those I found via the library (inc.com in a 2017 book expressed that most CEO’s read a book a week - a great habit in itself even if it is slightly longer). I looked at their personal habits and created a physical list of tasks that could make me more successful.
Secondly, I looked over that list and decided which habits looked as though they may suit me. It is vitally important when choosing these habits that you pick ones that you like because it is highly unlikely you will keep a habit that doesn’t vibe with you. For example, Maria Molland Selby, CEO of THINX Inc uses Sunday’s to plan out her week. Now for her individually this increases focus for her weekly duties to increase her business success and in life. For me, the weekend schedule is more fluctuating than my weekday one, so finding consistency in this type of habit would have been difficult to maintain. By taking this second step I was able to reduce the amount of habits I needed to choose from.
Lastly, taking a tip of success from Tim Ferriss, Author of the 4 hour book novella and infamous self-experimenter, I began a series of tests to see which habits would work in action. This was over a three week period maximum and I analysed at the end how well I was able to maintain the chosen habit, if it was “easy” to perform (i.e. was it easily ingrained into my schedule) and how it made me feel. If you wish to be objective about this you can give each category a score out of 30. For me though I quickly learnt that some habits were not going to stick as I did not prioritise them. I did not prioritise them because I did not see the benefit for me specifically - such as hot showers followed by freezing cold showers in the middle of winter. That is the beauty of self-experimenting as you can, without questionable doubt, learn what works the best for you as an individual.
As mentioned earlier, there was one caveat to this list of habits. Even if I found that one possessed meaningful benefit, it would not become a successful daily habit if it was longer than 30 minutes. I love writing and believe my capacity to be creative during the day improves my productivity in all other aspects of my life. While this is the case I need to be fully committed to the process for about an hour to feel this way. So writing has become a “happiness-hack” for me, something that I employ in circumstances to boost my positive chemicals.
My hit list for ultimate success!
This process of self experimentation lead to my habits that I employ on a daily basis.
# Now here is a point to take closer note...some of these things I can miss from time to time. It is important to be kind to yourself if this occurs (something that one of these habits definitely teaches you) as by beating yourself up you will be likely to lose any positive feelings regarding that habit. When trying to beat pain, it is this strategy that helps one maintain the focus necessary to improve physically.
These habits though I do perform on average at least 5 days per week and more often than not will complete every day of the week. Some people call this discipline but once a habit becomes natural it is just part of who we are, like being hygienic because we brush our teeth, or health conscious because we eat well. We are only thought of as disciplined by maintaining these habits as they seem out of the norm. To be successful in anything you do it is necessary to be a little bit less than normal, otherwise wouldn’t everyone be achieving their goals?
Before I give you my list, here are five honourable mentions with some words from their performers explaining how they incorporate those habits into their daily lives (a full list can be found here).
Get inspired by reading something inspiring.
"It's easy to sometimes get trapped in monotonous work or life patterns which can affect your mood and overall performance. When that happens, read something uplifting. If I'm dragging or feeling uninspired, I try to reset my attitude by reading a book that I find inspiring to give me a boost or just break the cycle of scheduled sameness."
--Josh Sowin, CEO of Brainjolt, a viral content company that makes articles, quizzes and videos for the social-web with content which reaches half the U.S. population and 300 million people worldwide every month
Tell the future you what to do.
"Increase productivity by allowing yourself to focus on the task at hand. An effective way to do this is by splitting your time into two categories: 1) telling yourself what to do, and 2) doing what you tell yourself to do. I use my calendar, email, and a to-do list on the wall to tell future me what to work on. Before the end of every day, I make sure it's updated so that when I get to my office in the morning I know exactly what I need to do."
--Matt Schlicht, cofounder and CEO of Octane AI, a technology company that makes social concierge bots for ecommerce businesses including L'Oreal, GoPro, Royal Caribbean, and Warner Music Group
Let music influence your mood.
"When I'm in the car to and from work each day, I blare my music and make sure to sing along with whoever I'm listening to. Great way to gear up for the day or wind down after a particularly long one. Only downside is that it gets a bit awkward at a red light when you catch the next car staring at you while you're belting out to Ed Sheeran."
--Aaron Zarraga, cofounder and CTO of Sensel, next generation touch technology allowing limitless open-source creative expression for makers and creators
Accept that one amazing thing will happen every day.
"When I wake up in the morning, I remind myself that no matter how impossible things seem, there's going to be at least one really awesome and unexpected thing that's going to happen that day. This really helps me get going, and 99 percent of the time, it turns out to be true."
--Ilya Rosenberg, cofounder and CEO of Sensel, next generation touch technology allowing limitless open-source creative expression for makers and creators
Put in extra effort to stay organized.
"Making lists and setting daily goals helps us stay focused each day. There are so many fires to put out each day when you own your own business and working to stay organized and task oriented helps us stay on track and meet our goals. We also have planning meetings to map out our vision and goals for the next six and 12 months. This helps us focus on the big picture of growing a new business and measure our success and failures over the year."
--Melissa Blue, cofounder of gluten free Meli's Monster Cookies
And here are the 3 things that I do in 30 minutes or less that allow me to be successful in anything:
Keep Some Balance In My Life
This is the habit at the top of my list because it now embodies both my personal and professional life philosophy. I spent a large majority of my life in my 20’s striving for career success and while I hit many goals, not maintaining balance and thus looking from outside of myself lead me to being naive in some business choices. While I always theoretically understood the importance of balance, it was only through professional hardship that I was able to see the true strength in relationship investment. I now make daily choices based on three aspects of myself - personal growth, professional development and relationship strengthening. By doing each of these for 30 minutes a day I am able to ensure no area of my life is neglected and that thus I am making holistic choices that will affect all three. For me these 30 minute activities can include playing cards with my family, going for a run, watching a TED talk, reading quietly and cooking.
Keep A Daily Journal
Journal writing for me is a process of reflection and projection. The reflection process is being able to look at the decisions I have made from the long lens away from the emotion that is wrapped up in them. From there I can analyse why I may have made certain choices and how those choices could have been different in different circumstances. It is not a case of judging if a decision was write or wrong but understanding why the decision happened in the moment. I can then project what my day, week and, in the long term, my life will look like in the ideal world. Once something is written on paper it is more than just a thought, making it possess more energy in the world. The key to shaping your ultimate future is having it alive in the universe and this is one way I do that.
Start My Day with Meditation
The process of being mindful is one that allows my hectic brain to slow down and be appreciative and grateful of the things that I possess. By placing good intentions into the world it is possible to both give and receive positive energy, the cornerstones of putting yourself into a successful position. There are many ways to meditate and you have to experiment with what will work for you. My trick is that if you master the art of mindful breathing first, then you can meditate no matter where you are. This could be out on a two hour run, stuck in rush hour traffic or working at your computer. By listening to the simplicity of your breath you will begin to relax and feel the smile come to your face.
So there you have it, my expert tips in how to be successful at anything in 30 minutes or less. If you have any habits you do on a daily basis that have made you successful, share in the comments section below. I love to get your feedback and hear other habits that may help improve my life. If I get 50 likes across all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube) and receive 10 habit suggestions, I will post a video diary showing me attempting all of them. Remember - “With passion and creativity comes energy and happiness”!
Your advice today is coming from Bryce Finck. The "Optimal Tech Health Coach" - Bryce uses the power of technology along with his unique combination of “Empathy, Energy & Elite Knowledge” to successfully empower his clients. Bryce has helped fuel the success of high-achieving people around the world from LPGA tour winning golfers, to Olympians and industry changing CEO’s. His mission is to have the ability communicate with his clients digitally from any location, successfully forging lifelong relationships that drastically improve people’s lives.
If you wish connect with Bryce personally and join the community of thousands he has helped achieve optimal personal performance, sign up at Stack Health and receive your complementary 15 minute video chat.