Do you feel like you are productive during your day? Are you moving forward in your studies or your business? Or are you just staying busy and doing things that are distracting you from moving up to the next level?
On today’s MD Minute, I’m bringing you the top six things that high achievers do to be successful and reach their goals. I’ve been asked many times how I manage to exercise five times per week, eat well in pregnancy, tackle all my chief resident duties, and build a residual income with a business while still making time for my family and friends.
Well, I’m here today to share my secrets with you! They’re actually not secrets at all — just simple things that take repetition, discipline, sweat equity, and drive. Many people may tell you that success is based on luck, education, or a pedigree. But that’s simply not true.
As someone who did not inherit wealth or have family members that went to graduate school, I know from experience that you can do, be, and have anything you want. You just have to have the right mindset and work ethic to get there!
Since both my parents were immigrants to the U.S., I had to create exceptional habits and eliminate any excuses to get to where I am today. And those habits are exactly what I want to share with you right now.
To quote business philosopher Jim Rohn, “Success is nothing more than just a few simple disciplines practiced every day.” I believe that discipline is a learned behavior — it comes through constant repetition of the habits that YOU choose to form.
If you want to improve your productivity and structure your day to be as efficient as possible, get your pen and paper out and join me on this MD Minute as I share the top six things that high achievers use to maximize their efficiency and improve their lives. When I stick to these habits, I find myself living with the most happiness, joy, and success. I know if you incorporate them into your life, you will see the same results!
#1: Preparation Breeds Productivity
When you were a little kid, did your mom ever set out your outfit for school the night before? She definitely thanked herself for it in the morning during the chaos of getting out the door on time. High achievers do the same thing — just with tasks instead of T-shirts.
The first habit that high achievers incorporate into their day is preparation. A high achiever does not start their day without being absolutely clear about what they want to accomplish. They understand that their long-term goals only come to fruition if there are daily actions that align with these goals. So they know exactly what these daily goals are before the day even begins!
Every night before I go to sleep, I lightly pre-plan my day by writing a short bullet list of the top things that I want to get done the next day. This helps me know exactly what I want to prioritize to reach my goals, and it also helps me eliminate non-essential endeavors and say “no” to the things that aren’t serving me. Believe me, I know this isn’t easy to do. But getting rid of the things in your day that aren’t helping you achieve your goals is essential to being productive.
I highly recommended getting a day planner that separates the day into hours and pre-planning what your day will look like because when you know what you’re doing every hour before the day begins, you are going to wake up and already be successful! Speaking of waking up, that brings us to the second habit that high achievers master: their morning routine.
#2: The Importance of a Morning Routine
You don’t usually find high achievers waking up ten minutes before a business meeting or school day. Instead, you’ll find them waking up at around 5 AM. That’s because high achievers have extraordinary morning routines that set up their days for success.
So what is my morning routine? Ideally, I wake up at 5:30 AM every morning, although I gave myself some grace when I was pregnant. The first half-hour of my day is reserved for prayer, gratitude, and affirmations. This gives me so much joy and helps me to find the mental clarity that I can use for the day, no matter how hectic it turns out to be.
Do you feel like you never have time to meditate, exercise, or journal without kids or plans getting in the way? Getting up just 30 minutes earlier will give you this time, and with it comes so much joy. Even being a resident, I always make time in the morning to clear my mind and do the things that are essential to my wellbeing, whether it’s writing in my gratitude journal, working out, or having a quick prayer meditation.
Creating that extraordinary morning routine will prevent the day from getting the jump on you, and it’s something that high achievers master every day!
#3: Eliminating Distractions
We all lose focus sometimes. It’s natural. But you can be deliberate about not getting distracted, and that’s exactly what high achievers do. They have a plan for the day written down the night before, and they intentionally execute it without getting distracted.
High achievers make a habit of knowing which task needs to be prioritized and then focusing completely on that task. They know which tasks can wait for another time, and they first tackle the things that are going to help them get ahead.
For example, a high achiever who has a business will prioritize the tasks that are going to bring in the most money before anything else. They stay organized and focused. Whether it’s in their business, studies, or careers, high achievers avoid the things that will distract them and deliberately focus on their plans for the day.
#4: Setting Boundaries
This one is so important — I can’t stress it enough. Setting boundaries is often very difficult for many people to do, but it is something that high achievers put into place. I had to learn to do it too!
So why is setting boundaries so important? It’s because time is finite. You hear so many people saying, “I wish I had more time to get my goals done.” But the problem isn’t that time is intentionally running away from us. The problem is that we often don’t unapologetically set the parameters of where our time goes.
High achievers value their time and set boundaries with it. They set boundaries with meetings, people, and even themselves. They are very clear about the desired outcome for each and every action that they take, and they are able to make others understand the value they place on their time. Do you set intentional boundaries with your time?
#5: Working in Time Blocks
While we’re talking about time, let’s dive into the fifth thing that high achievers do to maximize their productivity — working in time blocks. The truth is, you can’t work 24/7. Nobody can do that, and trying to is just a shortcut to burnout.
So how do you get the most out of your time without trying to be a machine? The answer lies in time blocks. High achievers stay efficient by setting apart specific amounts of time to work and then taking breaks in between those time blocks.
The system that works best for me is working in 90-minute intervals and then taking a break. The particular time block might look different for everyone, but anyone can do it! Whether you are studying, attending business meetings, or sending emails, working in time blocks will not only help you be more efficient but will make you happier as well.
Working in time blocks increases your focus, but it also reduces stress because you are able to give your brain the rest it needs during your breaks! High achievers are aware of this and structure their time accordingly.
#6: The Importance of Winding Down
So you’ve prepared for your day with an extraordinary morning routine and maximized your efficiency through focus, setting boundaries, and time blocks. Might as well keep going and push the day to its greatest potential by working into the night, right? Not quite…
It’s actually not a good idea to continue working until the last minute of the day. That’s why the final thing that high achievers do is to have a winding down routine. For me, this is a long walk with my husband in the neighborhood. We don’t discuss anything work or business-related, but instead, we just take time to enjoy each other’s company and wind down from the day.
I also often write and reflect on my day in my gratitude journal, taking time to be thankful for the friendships, relationships, and positive interactions that I had throughout the day. Or I read a light book, the Bible, or anything that helps me relax. This is also the time that I use to practice tip #1 and pre-plan my day!
How Will You Plan Your Day Tomorrow?
I really hope that these six tips are helpful to you! I know so many of my high-achieving business partners and friends that use them to be successful, and I have seen amazing results implementing them into my own life!
Of course, I’m not perfect at it, and that’s okay! It’s impossible to get everything right 100% of the time. But I’m constantly working to be better at each of these six things every day. It’s so exciting to see results as I reach my goals, and I know you can use them to succeed too!
I am so thankful for your love and support. If you found something in this episode that helped you or inspired you, please share it on Instagram and tag me, @drnikoleta, and text it to a friend who might need it to help motivate them through a tough time.
We all need each other, and I’m so grateful to be able to be here with you today to help you discover a better you. As always, it would mean so much if you could leave the Millennial Doc podcast a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts — this helps us build a community and share this message with more people like you! And you can also find more free resources and inspiration on my website!
I love you all! Until next time, remember to Step Out with Confidence® and follow your passion!
Disclaimer: The Millennial Doc® Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not medical advice. Please consult with your doctor on these topics. Copyright Dr. Nikoleta 2019.