List the top 5 to 10 things that you do almost every day that help you to be successful. They can be anything at all, but they have to be things that you do at least 4 or 5 times every week. Anything less than that may be a hobby that helps you out, but we are after the real day in and day out habits that help you to be successful.
Source: Miguel Guhlin responding to Ed Tech Journeys' Guest Blogger, Sylvia Martinez (GenYESBlog) writing on this meme by Thea Westra, Simply Successful Secrets
Meaningful Conversation and Laughter
I always have at least one meaningful conversation laced with laughter and joy with each of my four kids and other loved ones per day. Each day I look for small ways to put them first and let them know they are important. This includes allowing them to hold me accountable and to spend some time laughing at myself. Through these connections I have learned to not take myself too seriously. I also make myself available to my students each day online and find that I always learn more from them during the informal discussions than they ever learn from me.
Touch Each Communication Only Once
Whether it is checking my email or opening surface mail or looking through the tons of papers on my desk I only touch each communication once. I act upon it then or put it in the que of "to do" for that day on my desk. I am not afraid to delete email or throw away pieces of paper. I never print out digital communication unless I have to fax something. I make calls related to communication right then. By not opening and reading and then coming back to it later I save time.
Lists and Piles
Keep a running list of "to dos" in sequential order and color on a white board near my desk. As I accomplish a task I erase it from the list. It keeps me motivated to stay on task and I get satisfaction from having tangible evidence of what I am accomplishing. I do the same things with piles in the house.
Consciously Network and Look for Possible Collaborations
Everyday I make myself available to others on and offline and seek out new connections and collaborations. I typically chat with or converse via a blog with someone new each day. I invest time in people, ideas, and relationships. I ask more questions than I give answers and I listen intently. Then I look for ways our missions intersect and suggest ways to collaborate. I seek out those who are highly creative, deeply passionate, or very different from me.
Read, Read, Read
Everyday, throughout the day, I am reading, reading, reading. I make notes in the books, magazines and online as I read. The notes are ideas that emerge from what I am reading, how they connect to other ideas, who I should contact about the idea and why. Then I write, write, write.
Work Hard/ Play Hard
I have been told I am goal oriented and driven. I guess it is true and most of the time I feel it is a strength. I keep focused on excellence. I have very high standards for myself, but I try to be tolerant and forgiving of others. I am honest with myself about wanting to change the world for the better. I think about it each day in specific ways. I try to determine what I say yes to based on how it loosely aligns with the dreams I have. I am a goal setter, actually we all are. My kids and I set clear goals and discuss them on Sundays when we meet as a family. We have daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and long term goals in five areas- Spiritual, Personal, Professional, Family, and Finance. The goals aren't just work related, some are play type goals. For example, I have a running list of 100 things I want to do before I die and it changes as I grow. When I am playing, I focus on play and play hard. When I am working it is the same.
Get Up Early While it is Quiet
I work best in the early morning hours. I am able to focus when everyone is asleep and I can think without the phone ringing or being interrupted. I get up early, take some quiet time to pray and focus and then go at knocking things off the list. I am most productive at 4 or 5am.
Everyday I have to spend sometime outside. It might be walking around the block, riding my bike, going to the beach, or sitting in the back yard. But each day to truly be successful I have to breath fresh air and move.
Now they aren't secrets! Hope someone finds them useful.