'Editor' may not suit you and your line of work, but there is a lot that you can glean from studying the working style of high performers.
The most successful people tend to share a striking number of similar habits that help them maximise their productivity and effectiveness.
Here are the top 5 things you can learn from the daily habits of the most successful people:
The early bird really does catch the worm! It's no coincidence that many of the most successful people wake up early, many of the world's top CEOs are well known forgetting up as early as 430am.
Quite apart from giving you more time to get stuff done, getting up early sets a positive tone for the day - it's satisfying to quell the inner voice that's asking for 'just 5 more minutes' in bed.
Joel puts a lot of stock by:
1 - Getting to bed early every night to make sure you get enough sleep (he makes sure he gets around 7.5 hours a night)
2 - Waking up early on weekends - if he's not up around 6am he finds it hard to keep up his routine
You may not need to be up quite so early every day, but establishing a routine to help you get a jump on the day and give yourself a little extra time should definitely help you become more efficient.
Quite apart from staying in shape, keeping your body active also goes along way to helping you feel more alert during the day.
Exercise increases the blood flow to your brain, keeping you sharp and helping you stay on top of everything
It's also proven to keep you happy! Working up a sweat releases Serotonin, the neurotransmitter in the brain that sends messages to your body to stimulate mood and emotion.
It's not just happiness though, studies have indicated that there are a range of other cognitive benefits:
The benefits are so clear that, no matter how busy you are, you should always try and find the time. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour commits to playing tennis for one hour every day - if she has time so do you!
It might be tempting to try and maximise your daily productivity by doing as many things as possible, but sadly this only reduces efficiency and effectiveness (multitasking may even be bad for our brains!)
Instead of flitting between different tasks and trying to do everything at once, take the time to plan your day. Work out the 3-5 things that you need to accomplish over the course of the day and focus on them first. This will help you cut down on all the extra work that seems important but gets in the way.
I would advocate setting aside time the night before to think through the your major goals for the next day - I scribble mine down before I go to bed in my notepad. It's the first thing I look at when I wake up and it helps me get my day off to a good start.
Many highly successful figures also point to meditation as a great tool to increase focus - Oprah Winfrey for example, finds time for two daily 20 minutes sessions of yoga and contemplation despite her packed schedule. She uses this time to focus and help our prioritize different tasks and projects.
We all make mistakes, it's inevitable. What separates the most successful people though, is their ability to constantly learn from their mistakes.
It's easy to blame other people when things start to go wrong - throughout life (school, family and work) we're taught to feel guilty about failure, so it's no surprise that people are keen to pass the buck.
Smart people tend to admit their mistakes easily - it's the first step towards understanding what went wrong, and it's this understanding that helps you make positive changes to your life.
Take this quote from basketball legend Michael Jordan:
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
It's ok not to be perfect, no one is. What's really important though is that you're constantly focused on learning how to get better.
The world's most successful people are always prepared to invest time and resources in their own personal development.
If you stripped someone like Bill Gates of his assets and dumped him on the street I'd be willing to bet he'd be ok - he's constantly invested in himself and built up huge reserves of human capital, major companies would be falling over themselves to offer him a job.
Not everyone can hit the daunting heights that Gates has reached, but we can all work on ourselves and become invaluable to whatever business we're involved with.
This can seem daunting initially, but there are a few good ways that you can kick off this process and start investing in yourself:
We're often too caught up in life that we fail to step back and look at the things that are most critical. Try setting 2-3 weekly goals and reviewing your progress every Sunday.
Make a list of the most experienced people in your industry, read everything they right and reach out on Twitter to start a relationship. Once you have a healthy amount of back and forth dialogue, ask for feedback on your career and your goals.
The advent of social media makes it easy for anyone to become an industry expert. Start a blog, promote your work and engage with other influencers to develop your personal brand. You need to be careful here - there are a lot of people using Twitter to talk about how great they are, try and be different.