Your Ability to Focus Determines Your Ability to Succeed
Success is a relative concept. It means very different things to different people.
For some, success means making a lot of money. For others, it means achieving a goal that they've been working towards for some time. For still others, success is having the time to enjoy life, and to help others enjoy it, too.
Whatever success means to you, one way of figuring out how to accomplish it is to analyse the behaviours and attitudes of successful people.
What do they do – and NOT do – that enables these people to maintain their focus and be consistently productive, when so many around them are not? And what can you learn from these successful people that can enable you to become successful yourself?
What is success and how to succeed
As stated earlier, the word "success" has many possible definitions. Ask 100 successful people what "success" means to them, and you're likely to get 100 different answers.
That may sound confusing, but if you think about it, it's also liberating. There is a secret embedded in this over-abundance of answers, so if you remember nothing else as your "takeaway" from reading this article, please remember this:
IN THE END, THE ONLY DEFINITION OF SUCCESS THAT MATTERS IS YOUR OWN.
Interestingly enough, successful people tend to agree with this statement. In fact, while researching this article, we found that one of the statements made by almost every person who was asked about the reasons for their success was: "I never allowed anyone else to define what success was for me. I invented my own definition."
So we're not going to spend a lot of time trying to define "success" either. If you close your eyes and listen to the promptings of your own heart, chances are you already have a pretty good idea what "succeeding" in life would mean, for you. So let's focus instead on what you need to do to realise this inner definition of success, and make it happen.
So you want to be successful? The key to success is productivity
One of the things that struck us while researching this article on How To Be Successful, which involved reading through literally dozens of other "Things That Successful People Do" pieces, is that there DOES seem to be a common denominator, a quality that makes successful people different from less successful people.
None of these successful people thought that their success was due to being smarter than the people around them or working harder than the people around them. Instead, they attributed their success to being more productive than the people around them.
Successful people work smarter, not longer
In interview after interview, it became obvious that the people who had become successful had done so because they figured out how to increase their productivity. They developed work behaviours and attitudes that enabled them to keep their physical energy high and their mental energy focused and sharp. This allowed them to become more productive, and the increased productivity is what made them a success.
Naturally, this appealed to us here at Utmost Me, because we are, after all, in the business of helping people keep their physical energy and mental acuity as high as possible.
So here are a few of our favourite tips and techniques from successful people on how to be a successful person yourself. We pass them along in the hope that you can use some of them to increase your own productivity, and thus faster enable your own success.
How to be successful: Productive behaviours and attitudes
Many of the tips about how to become successful in the articles we read were pragmatic time-management skills. Like the "80-20 rule" which states that 80% of your outcomes are the result of only 20% of your actions. So you prioritise, and focus on the actions that contribute directly to achieving your goals.
But you can read about those in any business theory book. We were more interested in some of the other, more personal insights provided by successful people. So here are some of our favourite tips about attitudes and work behaviours they developed that helped to make them more successful.
5 things that successful people do
1. They set realistic goals that they can accomplish.
Successful people tend to set goals that are focused and that are obtainable, given their own strengths. They avoid "pie in the sky" projects and put all their energies into completing realistic ones.
2. They get enough sleep.
Very few successful people brag about how they "get by" on only a few hours of sleep per night. There's a reason for this. People who are chronically sleep-deprived rarely become successful, because their bodies and their brains aren't working efficiently enough to be productive.
3. They "own their mornings."
Successful people don't start their days reading their email. They put it off until later and, after eating a healthy breakfast to provide the necessary fuel they need, they focus on their most challenging work while their brains are fresh. They save "busy work" and meetings for the afternoons.
4. They do more than what is asked of them.
Successful people don't become successful by limiting themselves to what it says in their job description. They're constantly looking for ways to contribute, from taking on additional projects to just helping out with tedious work that no one else wants to perform, just so it gets done.
5. They spend more time creating than consuming.
While most of the people around them are busy reading email, watching TV, and listening to podcasts, successful people are busy creating new tools, presentations, and ideas. Instead of just consuming other people's content, they create their own.
5 things that successful people DON'T do
1. They don't rely on luck. They know that what many people call "luck" is really the result of hard work and focused productivity.
2. They don't make excuses for failures. Instead, they accept the responsibility for them, learn from them, and move on.
3. They don't equate success with money. Some of the world's most successful people aren't rich, but they're usually happy.
4. They don't sit at their desks for hours on end. They work in short, focused increments and take breaks between them. They get more done in less time.
5. They don't think that they know everything. They're very aware that there is a lot they don't know yet, and they're anxious to learn it. They're thirsty for knowledge, and they're very respectful of co-workers who know more than they do.
Nutrition and its relationship to productivity
Some of the successful people who contributed their tips and techniques to this article are close to our heart because they're fellow nutritionists and food scientists.
They know how important proper nutrition is for productivity. They also know how poor dietary habits can affect your work performance and lead to:
- Fatigue and reduced energy levels
- Decreased mental effectiveness
- Irritability, higher levels of stress and depression
- Reduced ability to think clearly
- Decreased ability to perform your job effectively
- Decreased productivity
Nutrition and cognition
Poor nutrition lowers productivity not just because it reduces our levels of physical energy. Nutrition also affects our moods, our mental alertness, and our creativity. So what tips do successful nutrition scientists recommend for how to keep your productivity high?
- Eat a healthy breakfast. A productive workday begins by taking the time to consume the right foods to fuel it. A donut and coffee are not "brain food." What your brain needs to stay alert and productive all day is a balanced mix of whole grains (cereals, bran muffins, etc.), fruits or fruit juices, dairy, and protein.
- Don't skip meals. We all know how tempting it can be to skip lunch to squeeze in a few more minutes of productive work time. Don't do it. Skipping lunch will hurt you later in the day by robbing your body and brain of the nutrients they need to stay productive.
- Pack healthy lunches and snacks. If you're often tempted by fast food or the office vending machine instead of a healthy lunch, start bringing your own. Pack sandwiches on whole-grain breads, and with protein sources like tuna, egg, chicken, or turkey. Bring small reusable containers of chopped vegetables, fruits, and nuts to snack on during the day to keep your energy high.
Neuro Focus Plus and productivity
If you want to up your nutritional quotient even more, to boost your productivity and become more successful, we recommend you look into Neuro Focus Plus. It's our most popular nootropic(brain-enhancing) formulas. And it's perfect for you if your goal is to keep your brain healthy and alert so you can stay at your most productive all day, every day.
The ingredients of Neuro Focus Plus have been found to increase Alpha wave activity in the brain. This is important for success because researchers have associated those frequencies with higher levels of creative thinking, with being able to concentrate more effectively during periods of stress, and with increased production of neurotransmitters that keep our brains alert and highly focused.
Neuro Focus Plus ingredients, and what they do for you:
- L-Tyrosine, an important amino acid that increases mental clarity and attention.
- Rhodiola, an adaptogenic herb that helps to combat stress and is a powerful nootropic "brain booster" that improves your ability to concentrate and focus.
- Green Tea, which increases energy, focus, and overall mental function. Our concentrated extract provides 50mg of the active natural plant compound EGCG.
- Curcumin Focus® Our high-quality turmeric extract boosts the active ingredient of curcumin to significantly boost attention and performance on memory tasks.
- Caffeine & Kola Nut provide a richer, more nutrient-dense source of caffeine for those afternoons when you need an effective, short-term energy enhancer.
- L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. When combined with caffeine, it gives you the benefits of increased focus for long periods of time.
- Zinc is found in leafy greens such as kale, and aids optimal cognitive function.
- D-Biotin, the naturally occurring, biologically active form of the B vitamin Biotin, helps to convert other nutrients into energy that can be used by the brain.
- Soya Lecithin is a key part in our nutrient delivery and absorption system.
- Blackberries, an extract of the fruit that works synergistically with Bioperine® to help your body increase absorption and utilise all the nutrients.
- Bioperine®, found in black pepper, is another essential component of our trademarked delivery system, which aids absorption of key nutrients.
- Brain Vitamin Complex, a combination of essential vitamins that work together with other ingredients to support the production of neuronal energy.
We recommend taking one to two 200mg capsules in the morning with food to help you remain sharp, focused, and productive all day.
Because we here at Utmost Me are also in the business of helping you to get the restful sleep you need, however, we don't recommend taking Neuro Focus Plus after 2 PM, because the caffeine it contains can interfere with your sleep at night. Taken as described, Neuro Focus Plus can become your secret weapon to give your brain the boost it needs to stay productive all day, so you can achieve all the success you deserve.