Have you ever noticed that there are people out there who seem to get more done than everybody else? While you’re struggling to get through even the shortest of “to do” lists, these high achievers have advanced their careers, undertaken major personal projects, climbed mountains and completed hundreds of other goals – seemingly all before you’ve even had a chance to eat your breakfast!
Here’s the thing, though… These people aren’t “better” than you. While they may have been born with certain skills or inclinations that you weren’t, they still have the same 24 hours in a day that you do. They still have to deal with life’s frustrations in the same way that you do – they’re just better at using the time they have to achieve their goals.
If you want to be a high achiever – whether in real estate or in any other aspect of your life – you can learn to perform this way. All you need to do is keep the following three rules at the front of your mind:
Take a second to think about how you approach the work day. Do you sit down with a list of the day’s highest priority tasks in front of you, ready for your immediate action? Or do you sit down, browse through your email accounts and surf the web before finally deciding to tackle your “to do” list?
Unfortunately, we live in a world that’s full of distractions – including everything from your smartphone to your email account to the hundreds of “cute kitten” videos just waiting to be watched on Youtube. But if you want to be a high achiever, you can’t allow these distractions to set your agenda. Instead, you need to make a conscious effort to spend your energy on focused work – something I like to call, “living by intention.”
Now, I want you to think about some of the world’s fastest runners. When you watch an event like Olympic sprinting, what you have to realize is that the biggest variable in any race is how quickly the runners get off the starting blocks. Sure, a runner’s endurance may play a role later on, but entire races are won based on losing the fewest possible moments at the start of the race.
You need to adopt this mentality of working fast into your own career. Now, when I say to work “fast,” I don’t mean that you should rush or turn in sub-par work. What I mean is that, once you’ve made a decision on how you’ll allocate your time (which comes from being focused on your daily priorities), take action and execute as quickly as possible. Wasting precious time at the start of important projects is one of the fastest ways to tank your overall productivity.
Finally, keep in mind that being focused and being fast aren’t enough to guarantee high achievement. If you really want to move forward with your personal or professional goals, you’ve got to be just as committed to finishing what you start!
Far too many people are perfectionists when it comes to their work. They’ll start projects, only to hem and haw over whether they’re “done” or whether their work is “good enough.” As a result, they never get to cross items off their “to do” lists – meaning that they never achieve much of anything at all.
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to nip this temptation in the bud is to assign a time limit to every task you undertake and then set a timer to keep you aware of your deadlines. Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will expand in importance relative to the time allotted to it – meaning that if you give yourself only a short period of time to get something done; you’ll find a way to finish it within your set window. Setting good deadlines forces you to start fast and focus on your top priorities, so it’s a great way to bring all three of these principles of high achievement into play.
So now, with these three rules in mind, what I want you to do is to take an index card and write, “Focus, Fast, Finish” on it. Post this card somewhere on your desk where you can see it, and then make extra copies to hang in your bathroom, on the fridge or in any other place in your home where you can see it. By constantly reminding yourself about what it takes to become a high achiever, you’ll begin to adopt these principles into your daily routines automatically – leading to higher productivity and greater all-around success.