Many Ways to be Successful

Posted by on Jan 2, 2016 in Productivity | 2 comments

Many Ways to be Successful

My sister, Ann Marie, and I both have a history of being successful in the work that we do. And we do it so differently!

Some examples of how the world shows up differently for us:

  • Ann Marie was writing in a very cool journal that allows for a short response to the same question over five years. She received it for Christmas in 2014 and began writing in it on December 26th. That freaked me out! There is no way I would have done that – I would have waited until January 1st. She got me one for my birthday which is January 18th. She was smart enough to give it to me on December 30th so that I could start at the beginning of the year!
  • My spices are alphabetized. How else are you supposed to find them? My sister’s spices are categorized by how she uses them.
  • If something unexpected comes up, I will sometimes write it on my to-do list after I have done it just so I can mark it complete. I use lists all the time. My sister doesn’t. Somehow she still manages to get the right things done. I don’t understand.

Are you more like me or more like Ann Marie?

The danger in acknowledging Ann Marie’s success is that she doesn’t typically follow the “standard” principles of time management and prioritization. But, remember that I started out by sharing that she is very successful. She has found her own methodologies that work, but many people who don’t use the standard principles struggle with their productivity but will use the “but that’s not me” reason for not giving them a try.

If 2016 has much to offer and you want to make sure that you benefit, consider one or more of these ideas. But the point is, do something to move yourself down the path:

  • Play with both a pen and paper way of being organized and an electronic version. I am very comfortable and proficient with computers and my phone, but I still strongly prefer paper and pencil for managing my day and priorities. What works better for you?
  • Do you know what you want out of the year? I wrote down twelve goals on a whiteboard in my office that will stare me down through the whole year. That motivates me. If you are creative and artistic, take some time to make your list attractive. Make it your wallpaper on your computer if that’s where you spend your time. But, knowing what you want is a big part of getting there! The goals don’t have to be huge. One of my goals is to clean my basement. Another is to enroll 50 subscribers to my blog. (Consider helping me out with that one!)
  • Consider having different methodologies for work and home. I use the same planner for both because I work at home and my day is so fluid. But, if you want some better separation of work and home, make a home version fun and homey and separate from work tasks.
  • Read something about organization, prioritization, goal setting – there are so many good resources available on LinkedIn or just Google it. Choose just ONE thing to try. You don’t have to do it forever – but give it three weeks. That’s how long it takes to form a habit.
  • It’s legitimate to have a task of cleaning your work space…the first three things I did in 2016 (the first three prioritized items on my to-do list!) were 1) my 2016 calendar and January planning; 2) Update my White Board with my monthly projects, projections, and 2016 focus; 3) Clean and organize my office. That took some time. And when I was done I managed to complete 7 other tasks (several of them significant) partly because I felt good about where I was organizationally.
  • Know what success looks like to you. My success is often defined by my client’s success. My sister’s looks different. You may connect success strongly to your career. Others may define success more on community impact, happiness of your family, or living a healthy lifestyle. Regardless, what are you intentionally doing to move towards or maintain that success?

Whether you are Mary Beth or Ann Marie or somewhere in between (we have a sibling after all!), it is important to combine your natural tendencies with good practices to ensure a successful venture into the new year!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Wishing you a healthy, happy, and successful 2016.


Mary Beth

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