There are general rules, but there are no hard and fast rules. Tea ‘things people do every day to be successful‘ in what they do has so many variables.

Some wear themselves out from morning coffee, others from a 20-minute nap. Give or take, that’s almost always the story. Like I said, variables.

Routine, or better yet, discipline is what makes people successful. I will never pretend to be a ‘successful person’ but what HAVE been doing is working from home for the last 18 years. I hope you can share HIS story about how you smooth out the rough edges of your daily work week too because it helps. Every bit of advice helps, really, because most successful people listen.

1. No emails: Most people start their days rolling out of their beds while everyone yells at them. Your alarm is screaming. Your boss is screaming, your kids are screaming, your email is screaming. So one of the things I DON’T do early in the morning is check my emails. People who know me know not to expect an instant response from me early in the morning. That’s when I’m trying to get my shit together so I can do things for you throughout the day. So, no emails in the morning. Only coffee is allowed.

2. Stay dressed: This one is for those who work from home. One of the things I’ve noticed in almost 2 decades is that I dress for work (even if I’m going to be in my home office or living room) the entire time I’m going to be working. I don’t know about you, but the moment I put on my cute, comfortable clothes, my zest for life and my roaring enthusiasm for getting things done slide off me like a layer of dead skin cells.

3. Meditate – Oprah said it. So did Deepak Chopra and Cameron Diaz. It’s not the woo-woo-woo thing, believe me. It’s more like sitting there in complete silence or soft music gently caressing my ear, or just sweeping the floor (the movement is meditatively repetitive, try it!). Instead of thinking of it as a ‘new age fad’, think of it as Loading your gun ready to break down the gates of the world. Badass when it’s reformulated, huh? I use an app to ‘help’ me: Insight Timer. It has music, guided meditation and… well… complete silence.

4. Don’t multitask – It’s something I was very proud of and multitasking was the only way I could move forward when the to-do list got too long. I don’t do it anymore. Instead, I find doing things in a rush is much more productive. An example would be that if you vacuum the floor THE daunting task of the day, you would consciously vacuum the living room and save the bedrooms and kitchen for tomorrow.

It’s a silly example, I know, but when applied to work, it’s pretty amazing when you give the tasks at hand short bursts of active, productive attention. When I’m tired, I’ll come back with so much more to contribute. LATER I have dealt with my brain fog instead of fighting it. I mean, who am I to argue with the chemicals in my brain?

5. Coffee – I’m just going to leave this here. Explaining it further is going to make me angry if you don’t understand. It’s my survival poison.

6. Laugh a little: A sense of humor provides a buffer against the buildup of stress and anxiety in your system. So every once in a while, load up your Tumblr or Twitter (where you’re encouraged to follow people like 9gag, just a personal preference, of course) and have a few laughs.

Experts say that humor provides a powerful buffer against stress and fear. “Humor is about playing with ideas and concepts,” said Martin, who teaches at the University of Western Ontario. “So every time we see something funny, we see it from a different perspective. When people are stuck in a stressful situation and feel overwhelmed, they’re stuck in a mindset: This is terrible. I have to get out of here. But If you can take a humorous perspective, then by definition you’re looking at it differently: you’re breaking out of that rigid mindset.”

7. Be understanding: I know this doesn’t fit the normal mold of “things people do to be successful”, but I think it’s pretty important. Because most of us work with other people, whether in the office or remotely, we often assume people are mean or bad when they are a little less nice to us. Sometimes, it’s because they’re tired like you, exhausted like you, overwhelmed like you, have bills to pay like you, are worried about their kids/parents like you, or just had an argument with a friend/spouse like you.

I think this point is particularly important in the digital world. With the digital divide, we sometimes forget that we are dealing with human beings. Like you.

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