How to harness your inner overachiever

There are three types of people in this world: those who lay back, those who achieve, and those who overachieve. If you find yourself part of the first variety, you might be completely content with your laziness, or you might be wondering what is separating you from the kinds of people that achieve their dreams and more.

The problem comes when you believe work ethic to be an unchangeable given, that you are forever destined to be on the local train instead of the express. But a few changes of mind can help shine a new light on your productivity.

The enemy of productivity is distraction. And in our age of stimuli-overdrive, distraction is an easy rabbit hole into which to plunge. But you're one Tasty video away from complete detachment. Distraction is a double-edged sword. In one sense, it gives us a mental break from whatever task we're doing, and in another sense, makes it even harder to refocus. But as humans, we sabotage ourselves by even allowing ourselves the option of getting distracted.

When you add up the 30-second bursts you spend speed-scrolling in a moment of creative distress, it can amount to hours in your day. That's why, when you have a task to do, it will take you less time to do it in one shot then to break it up into a million little pieces. Turn your Internet off. Install parental controls on yourself. Set a timer, and give yourself a reward for getting through your assignment within the parameters. Eliminating distraction requires discipline.

Discipline is the next aspect that underachievers lack. But this time, you won't be motivated by good or bad grades. You will, however, be motivated by a paycheck and an overall feeling of value. Discipline is the ability to rein in your desire to do something else, and to find pleasure in the challenge of staying on task. When we're alone, however, this can be difficult to keep accounts on. That's why it's often useful to tell others about your goals, to add another level of accountability. Pressure is always a good thing.

The last aspect that separates the underachievers from the overachievers is their cognizance of what others are doing. While it's an inherent human quality to compare oneself to others, it's unproductive and can cloud your individual goals. Just because everyone else is starting a business doesn't mean that you have to, or that that's even the right path for you. If you dwell too much on what others are doing (via social media, or what have you), then it's often more of a distraction and depressant than it is a motivator.

The road to becoming an achiever or overachiever is a long one, but one that can be accomplished with a lot of effort, motivation, and drive. So put those blinders on and go!

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