Wednesday, 10 August 2016 23:12

Daily Success You Never Learned In School

Small Daily Success Leads To Massive Success

On this site, I usually talk about success in big ways.

When you think of success, you're probably drawn to thoughts of lots of money, big houses, fancy cars and perhaps, even some amount of celebrity status. 

It's not often that we think of success on the daily, or even hourly level.

Intellectually, I think we all know what small, daily successes are. From completing those grueling TPS reports to surviving rush hour to see another day.

Daily successes are so vitally important to you, even if you don't realize it.

Repeated Success keeps you motivated.

Acknowledging your successes on a daily basis helps to keeps you optimistic and focused the next day.

Find daily success during your day

It's much the same as compliments. When you hear people compliment you on your new haircut all the time, you believe you have a really good haircut. If everyone compliments you on your organization skills then you become a great organizer and people start coming to you for advice.

The way it works with success bears the same principal. Once you start identifying small successes throughout your day, you'll see the evidence and believe that you can be progressively successful.

What Are Daily Successes?

While I already mentioned a couple above, daily success can be defined as the accomplishment of either singular or multiple tasks in a satisfactory manner. Sure, completing a report is a success, but did you know, failure can also be a success?

While some people might have a hard time wrapping their heads around this one, the success comes from what you learned from the experience. Perhaps you took way too long in your research, and got hung up over a small detail you could have handed off to someone else. It could be that you were editing the report as you wrote it (which is highly inefficient). 

If you fail, and don't have a take away, or something that you remember to do differently to increase your chances of success next time, then you truly do fail.

But if you evaluate yourself and your work, taking note of what you could have done to complete the work faster and with better results, then even though you might not have won this battle, you still created a successful outcome from the failure.

failure quote henry ford

How To Create Daily Successes In Your Life

Daily success all begins with knowing what you need to get done and then getting it done as quickly and efficiently as humanly possible. 

Let me give you my daily routine as an example:

Leaving the house for work in the morning, I usually plug my phone into the car audio and either listen to Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Eric Thomas or something else that's motivational. Listening to motivational speakers helps me get pumped up for the day. I've spent a lot of time listening to them and have a standard playlist that I go through depending on my mood and energy level.

Once I get to work, before I even turn my laptop on, I will take a moment to organize my desk, pull out the essentials from my backpack and get my work area optimized for the most efficient work possible. Sometimes it's nothing more than sharpening six to eight pencils that I'll use througout the day, other times it might be putting relevant sticky notes that I created the day before on my desk so I can see what was left over and needs to be done.

As the laptop boots up, I pull out a notebook. Nothing fancy, just a black 5.5 X 8.5 inch lined, easily found at Office Depot or Barnes and Noble. I put the date on the top right of the right hand page, and then take a ruler and divide the page into two parts.The top part are tasks that have to be done TODAY, and the bottom half are notes that may include things that need to be done later on in the week. I stick the sticky notes that have tasks that need to get done on the bottom of the right page so I can pull them off when completed and toss away. I put things that need to get done that aren't on post-it notes (via email or verbally) into that top box on the right page. I put meeting times and notes on the left page, using the right bottom under the to do's as my overflow when I have too many notes for that full left side.

Throughout the day, as I get the tasks done, I put a tally in the upper right, but just to the left of the date. The more things I accomplish, the more tallies I'll have up there. 

When I get done with everything that possibly can get done for that day, I put the completion time to the left of the tallies. 

I have two things that I focus on:

  1. Optimizing the workflow so that things get done fast without sacrificing quality of work
  2. Cutting unnecessary downtime to a minimum.

The first takes a bit of thought. If I know that I need someone else's report by 2PM, lets say, I'll email them first thing in the morning as I'm putting together the day in the notebook with nothing more than:

"Good Morning Bob! I am completing the marketing report today and need to include your part on social media by 2pm so we can get it in on time. I'll be away from my email today, so if there's some reason that you can't get it to my by two, please call me instead."

I did two things here:

  • I included Bob when I said "we can get it in on time". This subliminally obligates Bob in a non-confrontational way into the responsibility of getting the report done on time with me. He will unconsciously feel like if he doesn't get his stuff to me by 2pm, he'll be responsible for the failure to meet the deadline.
  • I let him know I'd be away from email. This ultimately stops Bob from jotting a quick email back saying he's got other things to do, effectively putting my work to a halt. He will have to find my desk phone extension (I remove it from the signature of my internal emails), then he has to pick up the phone and call me with an excuse. You know as well as I do it's a lot harder to deny anybody what they need in person. Most of the time, the other person just gets things done and sends them over when I need it.

Why this works: Most co-workers are friendly enough to not want to let you down on something. You're asking them for an item that they committed to do for the project. You're also gently letting them know that you're driven to get things done (looks good to the boss) and are on a tight timeline because you're so busy. You'll find that quite often, you'll get what you asked for because they either don't have the heart to say no, or you've given them a time frame (which they might not have had previously) to get their part done.

With each task that I complete, I take a moment and really enjoy the satisfaction of getting something done (even if it's pretty minor), and being able to add a tally to my notebook as something I successfully finished.

You Will Find You Have More Daily Success Than You Thought

I would invite you to try the tally system. You don't have to do all the other stuff, of course... that's just the way I work to stay focused and get things done.

I bet that you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish, even if your only goal is to get as many tallies as possible