College students are often viewed as lazy procrastinators. I always say, “Takes one to know one.” But that isn’t very productive is it? My point is that everyone can be a highly effective and productive individual, it just takes a little bit extra. Here are some things that highly effective people don’t have or do.

Messy desks

If you’re an effective and productive person, you can’t work with clutter all around you. If there are a pile of books, accompanied by various things like writing utensils spewed all around your work space, three pairs of sunglasses, papers all over the place, and your leftover food that you reheated up to eat while you’re working, chances are you’re not going to be very productive. Some of the most effective people know how to clear their workspace off and have a clean place to foster thought and productivity. Unless you’re a freak of nature, I don’t know if you can work with so many things on your desk.

Solution: Figure out exactly what you need to be on your desk while you’re working. You probably don’t need all of the books at once. Nor do you need more than a couple of pens/pencils. The food can go on the table. Once you figure out everything that you direly need, get to work.

Vague goals

No highly effective person will tell you that they have been successful without a detailed to-do list. Creating vague goals is something that invites a lack of productivity in many respects. One technique that I use for my goals is called SMART, which means that all of my goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. There are other techniques that you can use but this one is proven to work just as long as you’re willing to work to achieve your goals.

Solution: When setting your goals, use the SMART system. Instead of writing down “get healthier,” write down “go to the gym 3 times a week for at least an hour each time” or “run 3 miles a week.” This will help you achieve your goals.

Playing the “blame game”

Highly effective people own up to their own mistakes. They don’t have to blame other people if something happens and it’s their fault. For example, if you liked to play the blame game, you would cite other people or things as reasons why you couldn’t cross everything off of your to-do list.

Solution: Take responsibility for your own actions. I know it might be hard at first and it may seem like the world may be ending because something is your fault, but you’re far better off owning up to your own faults. You are the reason why you’re in the position that you’re in right now. So live up to your own skills and characteristics.

A bad attitude

This one is simple. Highly effective people have a great attitude all of the time. When something bad happens, highly effective people are able to adapt and find a plan B. You can’t get anywhere if you have a bad attitude all the time.

Solution: This is simple as well. Figure out a way to keep a good attitude. Don’t make rash decisions because you might do something that you regret. Find the best in all situations, all the time.

What are some other things that highly effective people don’t have?