1) Be positive – Part of having a winning day is that you think like a winner. Don’t project negative thoughts into your day. Rather than envisioning negative things happening in your day, concentrate on the opportunities that lay ahead and how you might be able to take advantage of the moment. With a positive attitude, comes confidence. People feel secure in what is said when it comes from confident people.
2) Welcome change – Change is not your enemy. Change is your friend. People need someone to guide them through change. You want to be that pathfinder! Leaders lead from the front. You have to embrace and own change in your organization. Then, whenever change comes, you are seen as the “go to guy”.
3) Rest and exercise – You should sleep a minimum of seven hours a night. Every day is a journey and you wouldn’t start a journey with a half a tank of gas, right? Exercise not only burns calories and tones your muscles, but it also gives you energy to help you last a full day. Try to exercise one hour a day five days each week.
4) Don’t fear failure – You’ll never be able to swing at a ball if you don’t get off the bench and step up to the plate. We know that look from our peers that means, “Why in the world did you take on THAT project?”. Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out or reach out of your comfort zone. It’s only when we try new things that we have the opportunity to learn. If you pass up opportunities, you’ll regret it in the long run.
5) Don’t place blame – It’s not important who’s fault it is, what’s important it that the lesson is learned to prevent it from happening again. If you do feel it’s necessary to speak to an individual, make that a one-on-one meeting rather than in a group setting. If something is your fault, claim it so others won’t feel they need to share the blame. People respect others when they own up to their mistakes. Make sure you include the preventative measures to prevent reoccurrences!
6) Schedule everything – Put everything into your calendar. Place personal events into a personal calendar, family events into a shared calendar and work events in a work calendar. Meetings REQUIRE an agenda. Configure your devices to show all the calendars (they’ll do this and give them different colors) so you can see at a glance what your day, week or month looks like. Schedule tasks that you need to do each day. If you do a lot of project work, you may find it more helpful to use a tool like Asana rather than a simple calendaring program.
7) Focus like mad – Don’t be distracted by phone calls, texts or emails. Don’t be that person with their head stuck in their phone! Schedule a time to make and return calls, texts and emails. You’re more productive when you are doing these in bulk rather than trying to multitask. Be on the lookout though for things that might notify you that you need to handle something right away. Unless it absolutely urgent, continue on with your task at hand and take care of it during your scheduled time for that activity.
8) Be punctual – Be on time for meetings and expect others to do the same. The same applies to scheduled calls and web appointments. Keep meetings going smoothly by providing an agenda for meetings. Once you’ve finished the agenda, end the meeting. Don’t give in to “what do you guys want to talk about now” just because there’s twenty minutes left. You have important things to do! Move on to your next scheduled task.
9) Stick with the winners – Surround yourself with positive people who have lots of energy. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Seek out mentors. People who can help you get to the next level. In the same token, look for people that you can mentor. Helping others achieve success can also help you achieve success.
10) Learn to say NO – You cannot do everything. You don’t have the time, talent or desire to run yourself ragged trying to do it all. You cannot be all things to all people. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Good time management means understanding the time it tasks to complete your tasks thoroughly and allow room for critique and follow-up. Saying no isn’t a negative and sometimes saying NO means “not right now”. Let the person making the request know that you are interested in what they want done but that you don’t feel that you have time in your schedule right now to do the job well and they would be better served asking someone else who can complete their task within the given time frame.