The term overachiever often brings up negative connotations.
Those overly eager people you’ve met and crossed paths with throughout your life.
The classmate who just had to be the best at everything.
The colleague who throws a hand up for everything that comes their way.
The friend who is always pushing towards bigger and better goals.
For someone who isn’t an overachiever, these people can come across as highly annoying.
They’re constantly leaving you behind. You feel like you can’t keep up no matter what you do.
Half the time you aren’t even interested.
You’re there to do the bare minimum and go home and these people simply get in your way.
But the truth is: overachievers get the job done. Without fail.
As a result, they are highly valued by workplaces and other areas in life. These are the people that are getting ahead.
So, you might be at the stage of your life where you’re wondering how you can prop yourself up on the same level as them.
It’s time to get competitive and discover exactly how you can set yourself apart. Here are 10 things overachievers do (but never talk about).
10 things overachievers do (but never talk about)
1) Work a typical 9 am to 5 pm day
It seems counterintuitive. Overachievers are always putting their hand up to do more and more in life. Yet, believe it or not, they aren’t actually working longer hours.
Because they get more done in a lot less time by working at times that suit them and breaking free from the traditional workday.
They ignore the standard 9 am to 5 pm work time and take advantage of all the hours in the day to work as effectively as possible.
People often work best first thing in the morning. Overachievers recognise this in themselves and get up even earlier to accomplish more when they’re at their most productive.
The key is knowing what you have to achieve and planning your day to meet those deadlines. By prioritizing tasks and scheduling meetings at times that suit you, it’s the perfect way to get even more out of your day.
It all comes down to flexibility, and thankfully, workplaces are starting to realise just how important this is in modern times.
It may mean you need to open that conversation with your boss and show all the advantages that come with working flexible hours that cater to when you work best and around other commitments.
So yes, overachievers are getting more done in the day.
But, they are getting it done in a lot less time than other people because they are using their time much more efficiently.
2) Enjoy some time out
Believe it or not, rest is just as important as doing. If you don’t give yourself time to disconnect and completely relax, you will burn out.
Overachievers recognise this, which is why they schedule some rest alongside their work schedule.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to fit your oxygen mask before you can help others”? Of course, you have, it’s one everyone has come across at some point.
And it couldn’t be more true for everyday life.
If you don’t look after yourself and give yourself time to rest and recharge your batteries, how can you expect to operate at prime effectiveness to get things done?
Overachievers definitely keep this secret to themselves.
This is why they are always ready to dive into the next activity and give it a go.
Unlike the rest of us who are plodding along just trying to get up with everyday life, they get in, perform effectively, jump out again and recharge. It’s effective. It’s efficient. It’s smart.
Naturally, they like to rest in an overachieving way as well. While the rest of us are chilling on the couch and binge-watching the latest Netflix TV show, they are off soaking up documentaries.
While the rest of us of heading out for a quick job, they are off climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
But, the way you choose to rest is completely up to you, just recognise how important it actually is.
3) Thirst for knowledge
If you’re like me (an underachiever over here), you’re happy just scraping by, doing the bare minimum that is required from you.
New knowledge? Completely not necessary, unless you’re going to actually use it. Those years of schooling were more than enough, thank you!
Well, I’m sorry to tell you that if you have set your sights on switching into overachiever mode, then it’s time to embrace knowledge as much as you can.
Overachievers surround themselves with like-minded people that they have can have intelligent conversations with and challenge on a daily basis.
They understand that knowledge is power, so they strive to soak up as much of it as possible.
This is why they put their hand up for every task. They may not be an expert on the matter they’re volunteering themselves for, but they know they will be in a matter of days. It’s this dedicated drive that helps them get ahead in life.
They love diving into online courses that further their knowledge. Watching documentaries that help them understand things better. Heading to museums and exhibitions that open their world view.
For an overachiever, every opportunity is an opportunity to learn, and they use their time wisely to achieve this.
Next time you’re cuddled up on the couch and watching Netflix with your other half, maybe consider switching to something a little more educational?
4) They ask for help
This is something many people don’t expect from overachievers.
And it certainly isn’t something they advertise loudly and openly.
But the fact is, overachievers are all too willing to ask for help when they need it.
After all, spending an hour searching for something on Google is a lot less effective than simply asking someone for a quick tutorial.
Overachievers know just how valuable time is and they spend it wisely. This is why no matter how much they are at the top of their game, they’re never too proud to ask for help.
Many people think asking for help is a weakness. Overachievers are able to look past this and see how it will help them reach their end goal faster. If we spend too much time being focused on what others think, we miss what is right in front of us.
The next time you’re struggling with a task or to get something done, consider reaching out to someone who can lend a helping hand. You’ll learn much faster and achieve so much more.
At the same time, many hands make light work.
By outsourcing jobs that they find difficult and time-consuming, overachievers can focus on other areas and achieve so much more.
It’s about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and tailoring your work towards them. Make use of those strengths and know when to ask for help when it comes to your weaknesses.
5) Set clear goals
We, underachievers, get through life jumping from one activity to the next without a clear goal in mind.
On the other hand, the overachievers know exactly where they are headed. They have a goal that is the drive of every single thing they do.
With every job they take on and say yes to, they are doing so with purpose and drive towards an end goal.
For instance, they might be keen to make their way up the rungs of the business and are taking on tasks to impress their boss.
Or, perhaps they are hoping for a transfer to another country, so they are paying particular interest to this area of the business and upskilling themselves to get ahead.
They may simply want to buy a home in a particular suburb and taking steps to get themselves in the best financial position to do so.
Having a clear goal in mind is what gives them their drive each and every day. And you can’t compete with someone’s drive unless you have one of your own.
It’s time to get a drive. Find something that motivates you and set yourself clear and achievable goals. These will get you out of bed each morning and give you so much more focus in everything you do.
Back to that documentary on TV. Perhaps your drive is to one day enter into Marine Biology. Time to switch over to the National Geographic channel and fuel that desire of yours.
Are you beginning to recognise how everything an overachiever does is related? Everything they do has a purpose to it, ultimately giving their life a purpose.
They aren’t just overachieving for the sake of it. They are constantly working towards something bigger and better.
And once those goals are met? They simply move the goals posts and start again.
When it all gets too exhausting, they rest!
6) They’re detail-focused
Looking at the bigger picture can be overwhelming.
We have all been there before, completely and utterly daunted at the prospect of the task at hand. Well, not overachievers.
It’s because they are focused on the details, rather than the bigger picture.
This means in their heads, projects are instantly broken up into smaller, bite-sized goals that are so much easier to achieve.
They don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture because they don’t tend to pay attention to it.
Instead, everything is in those teeny tiny details most of us overlook.
While the rest of us are off stressing about whether or not we could possibly meet the deadline in a few months’ time, the overachiever is already diving into the first task of reaching out to the client and getting the ball rolling.
They ask the right questions, they take notes and they create a step-by-step timeline for any projects they are working on.
They know exactly what that end goal is, and they know exactly how they are going to make their way there.
Meanwhile, the rest of us as simply flailing about in the dark, hoping to reach light soon.
See the difference?
It’s time to forget the big picture and start putting some effort into those small details that will get you there.
7) They’re organised
Organisation is key to being an overachiever.
How can you expect to put yourself out there, working towards different goals, and taking on any tasks that come your way without a degree of organisation up your sleeve?
It’s just not possible!
It’s like juggling 20 different balls at the same time and waiting for them all to come crashing down. No overachiever would risk this or put themselves in this position.
So, it all comes down to being very, very organised.
If this is foreign territory to you, then it’s time to do your research. Just as any overachiever would do if they came across something that was new to them, but stood between them and their goal.
Start by clearing your workplace (and in turn, your mind) and get to work on your first to-do list. Think about that end goal of yours, and now plan what actions you’re going to take today that will contribute to it.
Being organised feels great! You will feel so much more in charge of your life and the direction it is headed.
8) They inspire
As I mentioned above, many hands make light work – and overachievers know this. They acknowledge that in order to reach their goal, it’s going to the help of others to achieve their goal.
As a result, overachievers know exactly how to inspire others, encourage them, and persuade them into a common goal with them.
If you think back to those overachievers you’ve crossed paths with throughout life. You no doubt felt frustrated with their drive to perfectionism. Their ability to always take the leading role. Their stubbornness and attention to detail.
But, you no doubt also felt in awe of them at the same time. You felt in awe of their amazing vision and how driven they were to a particular goal.
This is how an overachiever gets people to work alongside them to achieve a common goal. It lightens their load, with the focus still going to achieving that end goal of theirs.
9) Failure isn’t in their vocabulary
We all know that failure happens in life from time to time. It’s unavoidable.
To everyone except an overachiever that is.
Many overachievers are actually driven by their fear of failure. They are willing to do anything and everything to make sure they avoid failure. No matter how much they have to push themselves and sacrifice in the process.
This is why many overachievers tend to get take even the smallest setbacks to be a huge failure on their part.
This is why overachievers also need to be productive and manage their time wisely (as we mentioned above). If not, their fear of failure would be enough to drive them to be very unproductive, and in turn, not achieve anything.
So, it all comes down to balance.
Taking failure out of vocabulary is a great start, just don’t let it take over.
Instead, strive for success and make sure no matter what setbacks comes your way, push through to stay productive and on course for achieving those goals.
10) They aren’t driven by money
This last one is important.
In a society that is all about earning a living and getting ahead financially, this isn’t what drives an overachiever.
Instead, they are driven by their goal.
If that happens to be ‘get rich’. Then they know what sacrifices they have to make to get there. Instead of letting the money drive them, they are more willing to pass up big dollars for an opportunity that will get them closer to their goal.
It’s about focusing on the end goal and where you want to be, and being willing to make monetary sacrifices to get you there.
When we are blinded by money, we lose sight of our goal.
The truth is, goals are always linear. It may take a pay cut to get to that end goal of being rich.
Being able to recognise this is what sets an overachiever apart from the rest of us.
Start overachieving today
Are you ready to get onto the path of overachieving?
Don’t try and change your life in one day.
Overachievers have generally been overachievers their entire life. It’s almost ingrained into them.
Start by working out what your goal is and writing it down. Paste it up somewhere are a constant reminder of what you’re working towards.
This will help to motivate you each and every day to make sure you stay on track when it comes to reaching your goal.
Nobody is perfect. Not even the overachiever.
So take your time, make the changes and the rest will follow.
You will soon be that person you used to roll your eyes at.
And you will be loving the success that comes with it.