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Strive for success: 5 little things to do every day

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

Whatever stage you're at with your career, there are little things that you can do every day to make your life better, brighter and more successful.  As to how you define success – well that’s up to you. Whether you’re striving for small accomplishments, great achievements or both, here are five little things you can do every day to enrich your life.

1. Get up early

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is up and firing off emails at 4.30am. The Obamas are known to hit the gym in the early hours of the morning and Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue is famous for rising at 5am to fit in a spot of tennis before her blow-dry at 6am every day.

Yes, that’s every day. Getting up early gives you time to get ahead. Whether it’s conquering work emails, revision or just having time to plan your day, rising early means you get a head start. When you first try it, there is no denying it can be a tad tiring… so ease yourself in gently. But once you’ve re-tuned your clock, you’ll feel positively empowered. And if you want to take it one step further, why not turn to William Blake for inspiration:  'Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night.' (Christie’s CEO Steve Murphy apparently does).

2. Get in touch with someone you have not spoken to in a while

Be it a friend or potential professional contact. We are all guilty of being too consumed in our daily lives. You might be focused on a big project that sees you working ludicrously long hours, or studying for that all-important exam.  In a recent interview, the rower James Cracknell said that the unqualified regret he wishes he could amend was ‘letting key friendships drift because of my dedication to rowing and the Olympics.’ 

When you speak with older generations, so often when they look back, it’s not that they wished they had worked more, it’s more that they wish they had spent more time with the people that matter. Ask someone how they are. You never know, you might be just the person they need.

3.  Get on top of the news agenda (preferably early)

BBC Radio 4’s The Today programme really is your one stop shop for this. However you are going to spend your day, knowing what’s going on in the world makes you a much more informed and interesting person and you’ll be able to seize any potential opportunities that the news agenda throws up.

And if you’re a real keen bean, why not partake in a spot of exercise while listening to the Today programme – now that’s real dedication and multitasking in action.

4. Write a hand written note

Say thank you. Say sorry. The message is up to you. This small gesture takes a matter of minutes, but will make someone very happy and remind you of how important it is to think of others. And sometimes it's just good to pick up an old-fashioned pen. You might be surprised how it makes you think differently about what you're writing. 

5. Stay connected... but not in the way that you think 

As a child, did you find unequivocal joy crunching autumn leaves under your feet? If so, the chances are, you still find this remarkably satisfying. Staying connected with your inner-child pleasures and the simple things in life… can really help you when you're getting sucked into the chaos of a university term. This won't turn you into an overnight success, but it'll certainly make some days a lot more fun.