7 Habits that will increase your productivity
We’ve all known that person who always seems to be getting things done.
Whether a friend or a colleague, they somehow manage to finish hour-long tasks in 20 minutes. Okay maybe I'm exaggerating.
How do they do it? What do these highly productive people have in common?
It’s tempting to look at highly productive people as machines. But by studying how they work efficiently and overcome the challenges we all experience, it’s possible to boost your own productivity as well.
How do the most efficient people overcome challenges like:
Procrastinating on tasks—both small, nagging ones and large, challenging ones
Boring work that needs just to get done
Responding to email and other messages while working
Staying motivated and energized throughout the entire work day
Focusing and finishing the most important projects on their plates
As much as I would like to claim the status of “highly productive person,” the best I can do is say: I’m working on and getting better at it each day. From reading books, and asking questions of productive people, I’ve pulled together 7 productivity tips that can help you maximize your efficiency — and get more done.
You can’t become more productive overnight. But if you make small changes and put some of these habits into place, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more efficient.
1. Focus on the most important tasks
Every to-do list has some tasks that are more important than others. If you focus on simply checking off to-do list items, you’ll end up with a mix of important and less important tasks completed.
It also exposes you to the potential for procrastination — it’s easy to spend the whole day checking off easy, less important to-dos instead of buckling down on the hard stuff.
Instead, spend a few minutes at the beginning of your day to choose 1–3 of your Most Important Tasks — the things that, no matter what, you need to finish by the end of the day.With a renewed focus on what’s important, it’s easier to create a meaningful to-do list.
2. Get better at saying "no"
It’s so tempting to say yes.
New projects and opportunities crop up all the time. It’s easy to get
excited by the possibilities — and then wind up with too many commitments.
Having less to do means that the time you spend on important things is
more focused and more productive. Too often people think they are becoming more productive by filling up their day with more and more low-value work, but this low-value work takes away energy and creativity that could go toward high-value work.
The most productive and efficient people I know have figured out what they do that is really valuable and they put their effort into doing that to
the best of their ability. Usually, this means that they stop doing some ‘good’
activities in order to focus on the things that are most important for them and for their goals.”
3. Manage your energy (not just your time)
Time management is a huge part of productivity. Many of the productivity
habits on this list will help you manage your time more effectively. But just as important — and often overlooked — is energy management. If you are exhausted and can barely think, it doesn’t matter how many hours are left in the day. You won’t be able to use them productively.
This is the logic of tackling difficult tasks early in the day — by using your peak hours efficiently, you can get more done in less time before you get tired.
Highly productive people know that it isn’t enough to have time to do things. Managing your energy — to ensure that you tackle the most intense tasks while you have the energy to handle them — is an important trick to becoming productive.
4. Know when to ask for help
Smart people ask for help. Productive people admit when they don’t know something. When you ask for help instead of trying to struggle through something on your own, you save time (and frustration). Make sure you know who and what your resources are — and make asking for help a habit.
5. Don't Multitask
With so many distractions in our surroundings, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of multitasking. Don’t. The research on multitasking is clear: people are bad at it. Period.
The reason is that “multitasking” is actually misnamed. When you try to multitask, you aren’t really doing two things at once — you’re rapidly switching your focus between two things.
Every time you switch, you have to re-focus on the new task. Because it takes a few minutes to get up to speed on a task, these “switching costs” make multitasking extremely inefficient. Are there times where multitasking is ok? Yes, but not when both of the task require your full focus.
Avoiding multitasking can be as simple as closing the tabs at the top of your computer and muting text notifications while your working. Eliminating multitasking is one of the most productive habits you can
6. Lean from successes as well as mistakes
One of the challenges of highly productive people is ensuring that fast work is also good work. When you’re working quickly, you open yourself up to making mistakes.
Highly productive people tackle that risk by learning and improving at every possible moment — so that producing good work becomes intuitive.
When something goes wrong, analyzing the mistakes and looking for ways to prevent them is a massively valuable learning experience. When you succeed at something figuring out how to repeat it. What went well and why? What should you take from this experience and use again? Are there elements of a successful project that weren’t as effective and can be eliminated?
Asking these questions helps you go from one success to repeated successes. It also helps you understand your successes on a more intuitive level — which saves you time whenever you sit down to work on a new project.
7. Fill the tank - recharge
Productivity tactics and prioritization are valuable methods of improving your productivity. But they won’t help if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Highly productive people spend time recharging. That means getting enough sleep every night, exercising, and eating healthy.
If you aren’t thinking straight or have trouble focusing, take a look at your personal habits. I know that 7 or 8 hours of sleep just isn’t enough for me — I really need closer to 9, and missing out on sleep affects my productivity for days. Sleep. Exercise. Eat well. Get outside and soak up some sunshine. Taking care of your healthy habits is a crucial part of efficient work habits.
Conclusion: How to be more productive
Highly productive people can seem like magicians or robots. Most of the time, the most efficient people you meet have managed to find ways to overcome procrastination and other challenges.
These productivity tips come down to 4 main things. Here’s how to be more productive:
Manage your time well
Make better to-do lists
Take care of yourself
Learn something new? Don't forget to like, share and comment bellow this post down bellow and over on Instagram. I would love to here any productivity tips you may have that work well for you.