We all know that one person who seems to have it all – people who take on multiple roles at home and at work, and do a good job too! We’re often left wondering how they manage to juggle everything without getting overwhelmed or overworked. The answer is in a single word – productivity.
In today’s digital age, we have a lot going for us. We have smartphones with apps for nearly everything, automated payments and all kinds of services that are available online. However, all the tech in the world cannot help you if you can’t manage your time productively. The secret to productivity lies in a few easy steps, which appear simple but can have a profound effect on our professional and personal lives.
7 Things Productive People Do Differently
1. They identify their priorities
One of the biggest tricks to have a productive day is to ‘eat your frog’. Productive people know this, and they do it by choosing their frogs, or their priorities, the night before. They then tackle it first thing in the morning, moving on to lesser priorities as the day progresses. This way, even if they can’t finish everything they planned, they’ll at least have the satisfaction of having completed their most important tasks.
2. They focus on one thing at a time
Multitasking isn’t as much of a super power as one might think, and often leads to low productivity. A productive person knows that doing anything once is worth doing it right, so he focuses all his energy on the task at hand. This kind of uni-tasking not only guarantees higher quality output, it also reduces the stress associated with rework.
3. They have a solid morning routine
Productive people don’t just plunge headlong into their day; they have a specific plan for it. Most successful people start their mornings early, and often have a fixed routine that includes time for meditation, reading, exercise and breakfast. Starting their mornings like this makes them feel in control and keeps their mind clear to work and enjoy the rest of their day.
4. They invest time in Quadrant II
If you’ve read Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, you’ve heard of Quadrant II. It refers to the time spent on important but non-urgent functions like exercise, building relationships or making goals. Productive people make the time to spend on such activities that reap benefits in the future and eventually save time in the long term.
5. They schedule time for email and social media
One reason why all those gadgets and apps are hindering productivity is because they are immensely distracting! Every squeak or ping from our phones breaks our train of thought, and it can take up to 25 minutes to get back on track. Productive people avoid this by setting specific times in their day to check their emails and social media. Turning off notifications also goes a long way in eliminating distractions.
6. They delegate
Make a quick list of every single thing you do in a day, and examine it. Do you really need to iron all the clothes and cook dinner and answer customer emails? Productive people know what they’re good at and stick to those activities. The rest are delegated to other people, so that their valuable time and mind space can be used for more important tasks.
7. They say ‘No’
Last but in no way the least, saying ‘No’ is one of the most important habits of productive people everywhere. Some even go so far as to have a ‘to–don’t’ list, where they jot down things that they will most certainly not do. As time management experts say, saying ‘Yes’ to unimportant activities means saying ‘No’ to the important ones; so choose how you want to spend your time carefully.
We all have just 24 hours in a single day, but an intelligent use of just 8 of those hours is much better than randomly slogging your way into the night! Some of these tips can seem a little hard for us, especially if we’re used to controlling everything or have a people-pleasing nature. However, with persistent effort in the right direction, we’ll soon be super-productive people too, and may even end up being in awe of ourselves!
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