I loved going to college. I learned a lot and grew a lot while I was there. In addition to all the facts and figures, I also learned many intangibles – how to communicate with very intelligent people, how to do real research, and how to solve difficult problems (to name just a few). But there were a few things I either missed or was never exposed to in my four years.

During my 20 years in corporate management and 10+ years coaching, I found many different themes bubbling up to the surface time and time again. When it finally cut through my thick irish/polish/russian head, I made it a point of learning the best way to do them and then built each one in as a daily behavior. Here are my Top 8 (not 10, 16 or 20 – the best 8):

1. Change your game often.

Most people get stuck in rut — doing the same things day in and day out. Successful people in business are constantly assessing and changing what they do.

Read this: How To Successfully Change Your Game

2. Staying focused: the Pareto Rule.

If you are not reviewing your daily/weekly/monthly activities, you’ll never get a good handle on streamlining your tasks and focusing on the important stuff.

Read this: How To Be Successful Every Day Extra credit: How To Be More Effective On The Job

3. Effective time management.

If you don’t have control of your time, the days will fly by and you’ll be wondering where all the time went. Just a few minutes a day will change the way you work.

Read this: Control Your Time By Designing Your Schedule

4. Communicating with difficult people.

It’s a fact of life at work — you are going to run into people who are difficult to work with. They can be disagreeable, they can cause problems, or they can be your arch-enemy.

Read this: How To Deal With Very Difficult People

5. Recharging my enthusiasm daily.

No one likes to spend time with a negative person. Let’s be honest, we don’t like to spend time with neutral personalities either. Who do we love to spend time with? People who energize us — people with enthusiasm.

Read this: If You Aren’t Fired With Enthusiasm, You’ll Be Fired With Enthusiasm

6. Being proactive (not the face-cleanser).

Don’t procrastinate and take charge of your career — what needs to be done and what can you do right now to ensure everything flows smoothly?

Read this: No Time? Focus on the Important

7. Keep people happy — under-promise & over-deliver.

This is a really hard one to overcome because we are trained at an early age to please other people for acceptance.

Read this: How To Make Your Boss & Clients Happy All The Time

8: Don’t be so hard on yourself.

We drive ourselves hard and frequently pick on our actions – “That was stupid!” or “I can believe I did that!”. As I tell my clients, there’s a level where internal ‘pushing’ is good and then there’s a level where it becomes a negative force in your life. If you make a mistake the first time, treat it as a learning experience. Hold off the self-recrimination for the 2nd or 3rd time you do it.

Read this: How To Never Make A Mistake At Work