We all know that person don't we, who no matter what life throws at them, always appears to have it together and takes everything in their stride? You might even have thought that there must be a secret they know that you're missing out on or that it must be simply down to plain old luck.
Well the good news is that you're not missing out on any big secret and it's not down to pure luck. Indeed, although there isn't a blueprint you can follow to become your most effective, there are however several habits that effective people adopt that help them to become more effective.
- Sleep is vital - now this is something we all know but is probably one of the hardest to achieve, especially if we have young children. However, there is no getting away from the fact that a lack of sleep impacts our memory, mood and ability to think creatively. No matter how hard it is we have to prioritise sleep and never believe that by sleeping less we can be more effective as we have more hours in the day.
- Become an early riser - again if you have young children you will already be living this one, however studies have shown that the most effective people rise at least 3 hours before their workday begins. With this time they make time for themselves and exercise and above all else get a head start on the day. To get into the habit it is suggested that you set your alarm 15 minutes early each week, so that after a month you will be getting up an hour earlier and hopefully will have more 'me' time.
- Exercise is key - we all know the benefits of exercise including stress reduction and more creativity and productivity, however effective people make it a priority and a non-negotiable. The early risers who are most effective use that time they gain in the morning to exercise. Indeed US Vogue's Anna Wintour plays an hour of tennis in the morning and Richard Branson says that his morning routine of waking up at 5am to play tennis or take a bike ride doubled his productivity
- Time out is essential - the most effective people realise the benefits of taking time away from their hectic days and prioritise the need to allow their mind to quieten down so they can reflect on their day. This allows them to feel less over whelmed and reduces stress.
- Read for self-improvement - interestingly the most effective don't read for pleasure but self-improvement through reading and learning about the habits and mistakes of others by reading biographies. Microsoft's Bill Gates reads for an hour before bed and Warren Buffet, a leading investor, has said that reading has been the most crucial habit he's developed.
- Ask and accept help - we could all question how much of the above list is truly possible for anyone without help from others. It is essential that you get the help you need to make sure that you can be the most effective version of you.