12 things high achievers don’t waste their time on

In today’s fast-paced world, we all have the same 24 hours in a day.

However, some people seem to accomplish more in those 24 hours than others.

What sets high achievers apart from the rest of us is not just their ability to work hard, but also their ability to use their time wisely.

In my research, I’ve found that there are certain things that high achievers simply don’t waste their time on.

These are the things that hold us back from reaching our full potential and living our best lives.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 12 things that high achievers don’t waste their time on, and how you can adopt their mindset to improve your own productivity and success.

So, let’s dive in!

1. Comparing themselves to others 

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

High achievers know that their only competition is their own potential, and they focus their energy on improving themselves rather than trying to be better than others.

When we compare ourselves to others, we often end up feeling inadequate or envious, which can distract us from our goals and hinder our progress.

As a high achiever, I used to think that the only way to be successful was to constantly compare myself to others and strive to be better than them.

I believed that this was the key to staying motivated and achieving my goals.

But what I found was that this mindset was actually holding me back.

One day, I was in a meeting with a colleague who had just received an award for their work.

Instead of feeling happy for them, I found myself feeling envious and wondering why I hadn’t received the same recognition.

It was then that I realized that my focus on comparing myself to others was not only unproductive, but it was also hindering my ability to be truly successful.

From that moment on, I shifted my mindset to focus on my own goals and achievements, rather than comparing myself to others.

I set clear and realistic goals for myself and worked towards achieving them with a growth mindset.

And you know what? I found that when I stopped comparing myself to others and focused on my own journey, I was more successful and fulfilled than ever before.

2. Dwelling on their mistakes

The second thing that high achievers don’t waste their time on is dwelling on their mistakes. We all make mistakes – it’s a natural part of being human.

However, high achievers don’t let their mistakes define them or hold them back. Instead, they learn from their mistakes, make adjustments, and move forward.

Dwelling on our mistakes can lead to negative self-talk, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence.

It can also prevent us from taking risks and trying new things, which can be detrimental to our growth and success.

Remember, it’s not about avoiding mistakes altogether, it’s about how we respond to them that really matters.

The bottom line is this:

High achievers understand that mistakes are not a reflection of their worth, but rather an opportunity for growth and learning.

By embracing our mistakes, we can uncover new insights, develop new skills, and ultimately, become better versions of ourselves. 

3. Seeking validation from others 

Look, it’s human nature to want to be liked and accepted by others, but high achievers don’t let this desire for validation control their actions.

Instead, they focus on their own values and goals, and let their own sense of purpose guide them.

I’ll be honest, I used to be a chronic people-pleaser. I was always seeking validation from others and trying to make everyone happy, even if it meant sacrificing my own needs and desires.

This pattern followed me into my career, where I found myself constantly seeking praise and approval from my superiors.

But the more I relied on external validation, the more anxious and insecure I became. It wasn’t until I realized that seeking validation from others was holding me back from reaching my full potential as a high achiever that I was able to break free from this pattern.

I started to focus on my own values and goals and learned to trust myself to make the right decisions, even if they weren’t popular or approved of by others.

It was a difficult process, but one that ultimately led me to become a more confident, authentic, and successful high achiever.

4. Dwelling on the past

We all have moments in our lives that we’re not proud of, and it’s natural to feel regret or shame about them.

But high achievers know that constantly dwelling on the past won’t change what happened, and it won’t help us move forward.

I know this from personal experience – I’ve made mistakes in my past that I still cringe at when I think about them.

For a long time, I would replay those moments in my head and beat myself up over them.

But eventually, I realized that dwelling on the past was only holding me back from reaching my full potential as a high achiever.

I started to focus on the present moment and on what I could do to create a better future for myself.

High achievers understand that the past is over and done with and that the only way to move forward is to let go of what’s holding us back and focus on what we can control in the present.

So, if you find yourself dwelling on the past, take a deep breath, forgive yourself, and focus on what you can do today to create a better tomorrow.

5. Procrastination

They understand that time is a precious resource that should be used wisely.

Procrastination only leads to stress, missed opportunities, and compromised quality of work.

Instead of putting things off, high achievers prioritize their tasks and take action immediately.

They know that taking action now not only relieves stress but also helps them achieve their goals more effectively.

So, if you want to be a high achiever, stop procrastinating and start taking action towards your goals today.

After all:

Procrastination is not just a productivity problem, it’s a vulnerability issue. It’s a way for us to protect ourselves from the discomfort of taking action towards our goals, but high achievers know that the only way to truly achieve greatness is to face that discomfort head-on and take action. 

6. Make excuses

Look, it’s easy to come up with excuses for why we’re not where we want to be in life.

Maybe we don’t have enough time, or we’re not smart enough, or we don’t have the right resources.

But the truth is, those are just excuses that hold us back from achieving our full potential.

High achievers understand that success is not about having the perfect circumstances or resources – it’s about taking action and doing the best with what you have.

They don’t make excuses for their failures or shortcomings – instead, they take ownership of their mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

So, if you find yourself making excuses for why you’re not where you want to be in life, remember that the only thing holding you back is yourself.

Take ownership of your situation and start taking action towards your goals – you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you stop making excuses and start taking action.

7. Focusing on things that don’t matter

You know, one of the things that set high achievers apart is their ability to focus on what truly matters to them.

They don’t waste their precious time and energy on things that don’t align with their goals and values.

If you ask a high achiever what they’re passionate about, you can bet they’ll have a clear answer for you. They know what they want, and they go after it with everything they’ve got.

For me, that thing has always been writing. Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been obsessed with putting words on paper.

I remember spending hours in my room, scribbling away in my journal, lost in my own little world.

And as I grew older, that passion only grew stronger.

When I decided to pursue a career as a writer, I knew it was going to take a lot of hard work and sacrifice. I had to make some tough choices along the way – saying no to social events, skipping out on TV shows and movies, and spending countless hours at my desk, staring at a blank screen.

But you know what? It was all worth it. Because I knew that every word I wrote was bringing me closer to my goal.

And when I finally published my first book, it was one of the proudest moments of my life.

So if you’re a high achiever, remember to stay focused on what matters to you. Don’t let yourself get distracted by things that don’t align with your goals and values. It may be tough at times, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

8. Focusing on what’s outside of their control

When it comes to high achievers, they know that focusing on what’s outside of their control is just a recipe for disappointment.

They understand that no matter how hard they work, there are always factors beyond their power that can influence the outcome of their efforts.

For me, as a writer, this means that I can’t control whether or not people will love my work.

But what I can control is how much I invest in my craft. I spend hours researching, practicing, and honing my skills. I immerse myself in the world of successful authors and learn what I can from their experiences.

It’s not about trying to please everyone or predicting what the market wants. It’s about doing my best and improving with every project.

Because at the end of the day, the only thing I can control is the effort I put in, and that’s where I choose to focus my energy.

9. Engaging in Negative Self-Talk

High achievers understand the power of words and the effect they can have on our mindset and performance.

They know that negative self-talk can be a major roadblock to success.

This can result in self-doubt, low self-esteem, and decreased motivation.

Therefore, they choose to foster a positive internal dialogue.

They uplift themselves with words of encouragement and affirmation.

Instead of berating themselves for their shortcomings, they celebrate their progress and use constructive criticism to fuel their growth and development.

By cultivating a positive mindset, they are able to boost their confidence and resilience, leading to better performance and greater success.

10. Wasting Time on Unproductive Activities

Time is one of the most valuable resources we have, and high achievers are particularly mindful of how they spend it.

They understand the importance of prioritizing their time effectively to get the most out of their day.

Instead of getting lost in unproductive activities, such as mindlessly scrolling through social media or binge-watching TV shows, they focus their energy on tasks that contribute to their goals.

This doesn’t mean they never take time to relax or engage in leisurely activities.

Rather, they balance their work with rest and play, ensuring they have time to recharge and avoid burnout.

11. Living in a Comfort Zone

High achievers know that growth and success are often found outside of one’s comfort zone.

They understand that taking risks and facing challenges is part and parcel of the journey to achievement.

Living in a comfort zone may feel safe and easy, but it also limits our growth and potential.

High achievers embrace discomfort as an opportunity for personal and professional development.

They take on new challenges and learn new skills, constantly pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone to reach new heights.

12. Not Prioritizing Self-Care

Being a high achiever doesn’t mean running oneself ragged in the pursuit of success.

They understand the importance of self-care and making time for rest and rejuvenation.

High achievers recognize that in order to operate at their best, they need to take care of their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

This might mean regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy eating, mindfulness practices, or spending time with loved ones.

By taking care of themselves, they ensure that they have the energy, focus, and resilience needed to pursue their goals and achieve their full potential.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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