12 Shortcuts That Can Actually Make You More Successful, According To Science

Who doesn’t strive to be more successful in their career? Likely, the answer is not many people. A lot of us spend a great deal of time wondering what we can do to propel ourselves forward. Did you know there are scientific shortcuts that can make you more successful? The topic has long been examined by experts and researchers, and over time these bright folks have discovered some very handy tricks for getting ahead.

If you have ever been in a situation when you are completely driven to succeed, but can’t seem to get out of your own way to actually make things happen, fear not. Some of why you’re not succeeding might simply have to do with the attitude that are trying to succeed with. As we’ll talk about, being positive and happy in the workplace can be a really easy (and even fun) way to achieve success. Other factors could be how you interact with those around you in the office. Are you an office politician? Do you tend to steer aware from social interaction? Are you not one for networking? All of these things could be playing against you without you even realizing it. To get you on the right road to success, I’ve rounded up some of the top shortcuts I could uncover, and hopefully they’ll prove helpful to you in your journey. Now, get out there and succeed. Here are 12 shortcuts that can actually make you more successful, according to science.

1. Stay As Positive As Possible

Being happy can mean a lot of great things for us, but did you know staying positive as such could also have benefits on our ability to succeed when it comes to our careers? According to a study conducted by the University of California, happy people are better at their jobs, and are more satisfied with them as well, when compared to their less happy counterparts. Happy people, the study said, are also less likely to be unemployed.

2. Pick A Job You Understand

Research has shown that the most successful businesses are not run by the greatest managers, but rather by those who are experts in the field (i.e., tech geniuses running tech businesses). While being a good manager is definitely of importance, try to hone in on the areas where you know you really excel in terms of talents, and watch as success follows.

3. Get A Mentor

Finding someone to mentor you isn’t just a myth or a networking tactic. It can actually help, according to research published in The Journal of Vocational Behavior. The study showed mentoring is associated with positive effects in behavior, attitude, motivation, and career outcomes.

4. Cut Out Information Overload

It might seem that if you want to succeed you also might want to know as much as possible, especially about your area of focus. However, overloading yourself with information can do more harm then good. According to a Lexis Nexis survey, information overload can kill your productivity. Participants in the survey noted it was killing productivity because they couldn’t sort through the information quickly enough.

5. Avoid Office Politics

Those coworkers of yours that can’t seem to stop with the office politics? It might actually be harming their ability to succeed, so don’t follow in their footsteps. As discussed by the British Psychological Society's Research Digest blog, research shows this type of behavior in the workplace can lessen outcomes at work, like job performance.

6. Amp Up Your Social Skills

Did you know the most successful business people are those with solid social skills? It’s true, according to research out of the University of Santa Barbara. The research found that when good social skills are coupled with cognitive ability, the combination breeds the most success.

7. Keep Your Doors Open

Let’s continue on that social skills point here for a second and discuss your network. Likely you’ve heard again and again how important networking is, but it’s no exaggeration. According to a study out of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, keeping your door open by not closing off people in your network can help advance your career, as it plays into factors including promotions, compensations, recognition, and more.

8. Be Specific In What You Want To Achieve

Being as specific as possible when setting goals to success is another tactic, according to experts at the Australian Institute of Business. Based on their findings, they advised prioritizing goals so that you can stay as clear and focused on them as possible. They also recommended out your goal in a thoughtful and reflective manner.

9. Try Setting “SMART” Goals

Building on the idea of staying specific, let’s chat for a second about the “SMART” method of goal setting, as defined by Scranton University psychology professor John Norcross in USA Today. SMART stands for the following: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-specific. According to Norcross, this method of setting goals allows for success in actually achieving them.

10. Recognize The Needs Of Others

According to TIME, experts in the field have noted the need to recognize what those around us need in order for us to be successful. This is a way of getting a better understanding of how we can, in turn, have influence over them and communicate with them in a way that allows us to sore, the outlet added.

11. Manage The Naysayers

Some say to ignore those standing in your way, but according to Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises Lloyd Shefsky, who spoke to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University about it, you should learn to manage them instead. Shefsky recommended knowing your business or service as well as you can so that you can determine what parts of naysayer comments to ignore and what parts might be helpful to you in making things better and succeeding even more.

12. Keep Track Of Your Progress

Norcross also recommended to USA TODAY that beyond setting goals using the SMART method we discussed earlier, you should be sure to self-monitor if you want to succeed. Norcross noted a calendar is a good way to do this. Norcross told the outlet of tracking, “It also can show you what the triggers of your behavior are and it can alert you to any early slips.”

As you can see, there are plenty of small changes we can make to become more successful. By practicing some of these scientifically proven habits, we can start taking strides to success in our careers just like that.

Images: Pexels (13); Isla Murray/Bustle