One of our readers asked us a great question recently: Out of all the success tips available, if you had to pick the top 3 to focus on daily, what would it be?
Now that really set us thinking. After much research and debate, here’s our pick of the top 3 success tips. If you apply nothing else, apply these and we guarantee you’ll see progress. And it’s important to remember this: Even if you’ve heard of these concepts/tips before, you don’t really know them until you’re actively applying them yourself. So the key is to put them to practice!
1. Harness the Power of Compound Effect
This is one of those concepts that is often-heard but seldom applied. The simple idea is this: if you start with 1 cent and double it daily, by the end of 31 days you’ll have more than $3 million.
The concept is indeed sound, and can be applied to any aspect of life, be it wealth, relationships, career etc. But here’s the catch. To achieve the compounding effect, you need to (a) do something consistently without breaking the momentum and (b) make sure what you’re doing is creating growth and value.
So, it won’t work if you try something for a week then break for a few weeks before resuming. Nor will it work if you’re consistently doing things that are ineffective. The good news is, once you gain the momentum, it will continue to carry you forward for a while. You can get more ideas from: The Compound Effect book summary and The Slight Edge book summary.
But, how would you know which activities will create the compound effect and which ones won’t? That’s when Principle #2 comes in:
2. See Everything Through the 80/20 Filter
Most people have heard of the 80-20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, i.e. 20% of what you do will bring 80% of your results. Yet, how often do you use it in a typical day? Let’s look at some ways you can use the 80-20 filter:
• Identify your 80-20 goals. We tend to have so many goals in different areas of our lives that we end up neglecting most of them. Identify the 20% of your goals that’ll give you 80% of your happiness and satisfaction. Be honest with yourself–what are the 20% goals that are truly critical and vital to you? Identify just 2-3, then force yourself to choose 1 top priority to focus disproportionately on, for at least the next 6-12 months. If the goal is too big (e.g. “travel around the world”), define a milestone that will make the biggest leap toward this big goal.
• Define your 80-20 path & actions. For every goal, there are multiple paths you can take. Use the 80-20 filter to help you focus on the path/option that will give you the highest reward for the lowest amount of effort.
• Apply it to all key aspects of life. You can use this filter to refine any aspect of your life in your typical day. What are the 20% power habits that will help you create 80% of the value in your life? Which 20% of your foods/activities contribute to 80% of your health goals? Which are the 20% of your relationships that contribute to 80% of your happiness (vs the 20% of your relationships that give you 80% of your problems)?
There are 2 sides to this filter: (a) focus on the 20% that gives the bulk of your desired, positive outcomes, and (b) eliminate the 20% that gives you the bulk of your problems and negativity. When you train yourself to think using the 80-20 principle, you can’t help but get better results. You can get more ideas from: The 80/20 Principle book summary, The One Thing book summary, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book summary.
But, what if you still aren’t exactly sure which 20% to focus on? This is where Principle #3 comes in:
3. Experiment, Track and Refine
Most tips that you can find online or in books/courses will work to some degree. The only way is to what works best for you is to try different approaches yourself. Track the results/outcomes, test out different combinations and figure out which ones work for you. If you’re already groaning and thinking, “oh, that sounds like a lot of work”, well actually the opposite is true. By identifying what works for you and removing what doesn’t work, you save more time and effort in the long run. Have a little fun and make it a game to beat yourself… you’ll be surprised at how satisfying that could be!
Let’s say you’re trying to improve your productivity and time management. The first step is to track how you’re spending your time daily. Then, research on a wide range of time-management and productivity hacks or tips. Each author or program will claim his/hers approach to be the best. Don’t simply take their word for it; try it for yourself. Use the research to narrow down to the 20% of techniques/approaches that are most likely to deliver results, and start with those. Chances are, you’ll end up with a blend of methods that’s uniquely your own.
So there you are, our recommended top 3 success tips that’re guaranteed to change your daily habits and results–if you apply them. In fact, if you do all 3 for the next 12 months, we’re pretty confident you’ll have some amazing success stories and insights by the end of the 1 year. So go ahead and give it a try :)Do check out our recommendations of the Top 5 Books that will transform your next 12 months, check out the summaries in our store, or get more success tips sent to you via email!