8 Secret Habits of Highly Successful People (That Most People Don’t Know About)

A lot has been written in the past about habits of highly successful people. But beside the obvious, there are secret habits highly successful people have which most people don’t really know about. Though very busy for instance, the president of the United States finds time to play golf, while many working dads hardly find time for a family dinner.

Similarly, there are many things these people do habitually to achieve more in little time. And somehow they are able to also maintain a healthy balance in their health and family life. Let’s take a look at some of these below:

  1. They are Early To Rise and Early To Plan

The early morning hours are what I call, ‘think time’. Successful people know this, and they maximize it. For instance, they never check their emails first thing in the morning. This is the reason they don’t have hassled days nor do they appear rushed.

To be successful, take a while to think, plan, meditate and pray early in the morning. This way you start your day with a clear picture of what the day will look like. Keep it reasonably flexible, but keep it clear.

  1. They Prioritize and Schedule their Work

Deadlines have a way of sifting your work and separating the trivial from the essential. Having deadlines set for each task has a way of reducing the lull in your brain when you consider all you have to do and helps you focus on a task per time.

Successful people understand this and they always work with schedules.

To practice this habit, you need to start prioritizing properly by asking yourself, “If I had just a year left to live, will I be spending time on the things I am doing today?” It works every time.

  1. They find the Balance between Hard Work and Too Much Work

Work doesn’t get done if nobody is doing it. And if you have got a lot of work to do, it stands to reason that you have to work a lot.

Working hard is good. It is necessary for successful people to push themselves and to learn to cope with a little stress and discomfort. A little stress is necessary for peak productivity so long as it doesn’t become “distress”. Finding the balance is a function of our body systems and capability. Successful people understand this. They work hard, but they don’t do it to the point of breaking down.

  1. They take Effective Breaks throughout the Day

One of the typical mistakes many people make when faced with a rather daunting volume of work is to push back their recess times till there is nowhere else to push it to. A survey has shown that employees who tend to take 17 minutes of break time for every 52 minutes of work are more productive.

Our minds ability to focus on a task is like a muscle. It wanes with time and constant exertion. What this means is that the longer we focus on a task without a break, the less we achieve.

Taking a break is one thing, but making it effective is a whole other story.

Most successful people make it a habit to do something different that doesn’t remind them of work during their breaks. They don’t spend their free time immersed in work. Richard Branson’s favorite sport for instance is kite boarding.

So, take a break before you break down. Take a walk, jog, go see some nature, grab a coffee or some chocolate. Watch a funny video or catch up with an episode of a movie if your break can take it.

  1. They use Stress Deflectors

For many people, some soft music in the background of the working environment is all they need to overcome any volume of work and still not be stressed. For others, productivity comes to its peak when they work in a natural environment, like a garden. And when they can’t go all out to embrace nature, they put flowers and green plants in their offices or get a fish pond.

Do the same thing. Find out what helps you deflect stress and maximize it for success. This may be all you need to help you work better and achieve a lot more.

  1. They Delegate and Team up

When you have done all you humanly can, you can only achieve a fixed amount. The simple reason is because you are human. To be successful usually means achieving an amazing lot in little time and this requires some insight into the art of teamwork.

Successful people are people that trust others to do what they cannot afford to do themselves. They pay people to do what they cannot do and they work with people who know what they do not know.

Bill Gates, doesn’t know a quarter of all the technical and administrative stuff that goes on in Microsoft. And he doesn’t do a lot too, he simply delegates effectively. He doesn’t have to know so much. He just has to know what he has to know.

  1. They take Virtual Vacations and Lots of Sleep

Most successful people understand that it is necessary to have productive nights, if you are going to have productive days. And the productivity of your night is measured by how much sleep you get at night, seeing as the night is meant for mainly that.

It also helps to make sure that your sleeping time and the early hours of the morning coincide with a virtual vacation and a technology free period. Turn off your phone, no beeps from IM’s or emails.

This way you can actually rest while sleeping.

  1. They are disciplined

Self-discipline is one of the qualities that greatly differentiates successful people from most other people. Success requires discipline and applying these tips will bring success. So you might want to explore ways of building your discipline levels.

Success doesn’t fall on people…generally success is cultivated. Do your best to cultivate these habits too. I hope you enjoy the process.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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