Our habits make a very powerful impression on our lives, our personality and our character. Have you taken an inventory of your habits? Habits are something that we often overlook; they become a part of us, unnoticeably. How has your habits shaped your life? Have they affected your ability to be effective or efficient?

Have you thought about what it means to be effective? Have you thought about what it means to be effective and efficient?

According to Business Dictionary, effectiveness is “the degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved”. Ultimately, effectiveness + efficiency means doing the right thing and doing it “right”, but the key to efficiency is to “do it right the first time”!

Often times we are in a rush to get things done and because we believe we can do it quickly, we overlook the fine details. These are not the details of the task itself, but the process by which you follow intrinsically to be effective and efficient. Hone in on these intrinsic habits and processes, and evaluate for yourself whether or not they help or hinder!

Here are 10 habits of highly effective people.

  1. Develop an early morning routine.

Have you ever heard the saying “the early bird catches the worm”? The bird is able to catch the worm because it is already there when the worm decides to come out. If the bird had been late, the worm would have already been well on its journey– right? The same concept applies with people. Now, no one is saying that you have to be wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at 4:30 am – ready to conquer the world…BUT, remember that some people are! It is important for you to develop your own early morning routine. Create an empowering routine. No one knows you better than you. What motivates you to get going in the morning? Meditation? Coffee? Whatever the routine, make it count, make it powerful, and make it a positive healthy habit!

  1. Define Yourself.

“If I didn’t define myself for myself I would be crunched into other’s peoples fantasies of me and eaten alive”. – Audre Lorde

The only way to be effective, efficient, or both is to be you. Do not try to be something or someone that others may want you to be. Be comfortable in your own skin. Only you can decide and define who you are. Stand in your truth. Always be the “authentic you” and you will succeed in being effective and efficient. When you are putting on a mask to become someone else, you lose your way and forget who you are, thus performing and functioning at a level to which you are not comfortable. This opens the door to ineffectiveness and inefficiency to name a few.

  1. Goals and Purpose.

Goals begin with dreams. This is a very powerful process that sets you on your journey, your life path. Be deliberate with your goals, not frivolous. For example, if your goal is to make one million dollars – why? Is it to buy material things? To shower yourself with the finer things in life? Or…is there a deeper meaning behind this goal? Perhaps to build a school in an area of need. When you have a purpose for your goals, you have direction and dedication. This is your road to success. Decide what success means to you at this moment and follow your purpose as you strive to reach your goals.

  1. Yearn to Learn.

Arm yourself with knowledge. Knowledge is power! Strive to learn something new everyday. In fact, even if you don’t intend to, have you realized that you do actually learn something everyday? It may be the smallest thing, but it is new knowledge. The key is to pay attention to it and arm yourself with it. You do not have to be enrolled in school to learn new things. Be creative; read a book, research something of interest, study the world around you. Sharpen your thinking and use learning to accelerate your creativity. Your greatest strength lies within your mind, which is why we work to “Empower Divine Mindz”!

  1. Be courageous.

Believe in yourself. Always strive for the best. Do not allow fear to hinder your progress of moving forward. JUMP! We all know that taking the plunge is not easy, if it were, everyone would do it. Stand up and stand out. No one can believe in you and support you more than you! Be willing to fail to succeed!

  1. Focus – get rid of multi-tasking!

Often times people pride themselves on being a “multi-tasker”. Now, while, this is not a bad thing – it can be very distracting and can also slow down productivity, as well as result in poor quality. You don’t need to be nor work on a “buffet” of skills, instead, concentrate on completing 1 thing at a time. Remove the distractions of your television, cell phone, and emails. Prioritize and re-prioritize when the need arises in an effort to “get ‘er done”!

  1. Practicing the 3 S’s: Self-control, Self-discipline and Solitude!

As I have studied and surveyed people, there are so many varying definitions of self-control and self-discipline. In fact, many people feel they are one in the same; however, I’m going to tell you that they are NOT the same.

One of the main ingredients to self-control is the ability to control your reactions to actions, and the ability to control your emotions instead of letting your emotions control you.

Self-discipline is the ability to control your impulses. It is your ultimate will power. Self-discipline is your inner strength, perseverance and endurance.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though…you need self-discipline to have self-control and you need self-control to have self-discipline. Can you have one without the other? Some think you can but if you lack self-control, then you lack self-discipline, and vice versa.

To have and exhibit self-control and self-discipline is a display of self-consciousness. Be aware of, accepting of, and in control of yourself. This all leads to effectiveness, efficiency, and success!

Don’t be afraid to go into solitude at times. Give yourself time to recharge. Enjoy your “me time” and make it a priority as often as you feel it necessary. This is your time of reflection and is a great time to meditate. Process your thoughts of the day, week, even month and reflect on everything that is happening to you and around you.

  1. Don’t’ be afraid to ask for help

Asking for help is a sign of strength! This goes along with being courageous. You may think that if you ask for help people will see a sign of weakness, but this simply is not true. There are many things that we cannot do alone and the best of them have asked for help at one point or another. Do you think that Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt, Daymond John, or any other infamous people have never asked for help? Help can come in all forms from different people, so don’t be afraid to ask. Remember, your strength, vigor and courage comes in what you are willing to do!

If you have heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Communication is the key to ALL success. It is the foundation by which you share meaning and understanding, but also by which others perceive you as it represents you. Have you ever dealt with someone who did not communicate with you at all, or even effectively? What were your thoughts of them? Did you wonder whether or not they were capable of preforming at a level to which you needed them? Did it make you question or second-guess your interactions with them? 9 out of 10 times the answers to those questions are “yes”. The same goes without speaking when it is you who does not communicate. Always keep the door to communication open, whether the circumstance is good or bad. People will respect you for that.

  1. Know your worth!

When you do not know your worth, you are susceptible to fall for anything. Knowing your worth is displayed in everything you do from your displays of internal and external habits to the company that you keep. Do not only associate your worth or value with work, associate it to everything in life. This goes for relationships, personal and business, as well as what you will and will not accept. For example, if a friend is constantly taking from you because you are a giver and never gives in return, do you value yourself enough to turn the tides and stop giving or do you care that he/she may turn negative! Your worth shows in your self-esteem or your self-sabotage.

“When you refuse to settle for less than the best…the best tends to track you down.”  ― Mandy Hale

– Dr. Lisa Y. Guerrant