Advertising
Advertising

7 Things The Most Productive People See Differently

7 Things The Most Productive People See Differently

We all get 24 hours in a day. Yet some people seem to accomplish so much more. Its because they know how to optimize their day for better performance. There are seven things the most productive people see differently.

1. They see the long term effect of every little thing they do through the day.

Daily routines and habits are important. It’s been proven that we have more willpower in the morning or as soon as we wake up. Every little decision you make from the time you wake up to when you go to bed will deplete the amount of willpower you have. Productive people have an investor’s mindset with almost every action they take.

Just take a look at how Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg almost wear the same shirts everyday. They know better than to waste their willpower and time on deciding what clothing to wear. They know it won’t matter in the long term.

President Obama said “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Focus on the things that will actually help you in the long term as soon as possible. Which brings us to our next point.

Advertising

2. They see the hardest tasks as top priority.

They know their willpower is at it’s highest as soon as they wake up and they use that to their advantage by tackling the toughest tasks first. Productive people also know that putting off the hardest things for last will become a habit and carry over to other areas of their life.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe puts it “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”.

Don’t do the easy things first. Save the easy tasks for last when your willpower has gone down and you are tired.

3. They see learning how to learn as an important skill to master.

The most productive people know that continual learning is important for their own personal success.

Benjamin Franklin said “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”.

Highly productive people take learning a step further and implement memorization techniques to help them retain more information, speed read, and they use the Pareto 80/20 principle to their advantage. For example when reading a book, read the table of contents, the back cover of the book, the beginning, the end, and whatever parts in between that sound interesting. It’s been said that one should never read a book from cover to cover unless they enjoy it.

The 80/20 principle can be applied to your schedule and your income as well. Use this to your advantage and put more focus on the 20% of things that generate 80% of the results. Also, read books about how to learn faster and apply what you learn.

4. They see technology as a tool.

Tim Ferriss wrote “Get on a strict low-information diet and focus on output instead of input; your wallet and weekends will thank you for it”.

Many of us today simply let technology distract and control us. We let the funny viral videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram suck away massive amounts of our time. We let our phones constantly steal away our attention with emails and text messages. They are all time drainers. Stop checking your news feeds. Turn off the television. Set up an email auto-responder. Choose specific times to check email and other messages so they won’t steal your focus away at random times of the day.

5. They see even the worst days as days to make the right choices.

In his book, On Writing, Stephen King said “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work”.

Productive people find ways to get their work done regardless of whether they feel like doing it or their circumstances. The process of getting where you want to be or finishing work will not always be smooth sailing. Highly productive people stay focused on the long term result and not on short term relief.

They know that everything we do either brings us closer to our goals or farther away from them.By law if you are not moving in one direction you must be moving in another. Work to acquire the self-discipline to persevere and stay focused even in the worst of times.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it “Do the thing and you will have the power”.

Consistent good habits are one of the most important things that separate productive people from procrastinators. Produce good results, not excuses.

6. They see the value in getting help from other people.

Highly productive people don’t waste time doing things they could get someone else to do. Bill Gates said he never did anything alone.

Advertising

Neil deGrasse Tyson said “I have a personal philosophy in life: If somebody else can do something that I’m doing, they should do it. And what I want to do is find things that would represent a unique contribution to the world – the contribution that only I, and my portfolio of talents, can make happen. Those are my priorities in life.”

This one definitely applies to entrepreneurs and business owners. You can’t do everything yourself. Put as much focus as you can on the high priority tasks that generate the most results.

7. They see the benefits of daily meditation and routine breaks.

Jon Kabat-Zinn said “Most people don’t realize that the mind constantly chatters. And yet, that chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel”.

When we practice meditation and mindfulness, we are actually becoming aware of this chatter and stilling our minds.

Lao Tzu said “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place”.

Even though mindfulness originated in Buddhism, it has little or nothing to do with religion. The benefits of mindfulness and meditation are grounded in science. Daily meditation practice can help us stay focused longer and therefore allow us to get more done. Being a workaholic and trying to plow through work with no breaks actually makes you less productive and is bad for your health in a multitude of ways.

You may think you are too busy to meditate, but that is all the more reason to start doing it. Sit down somewhere comfortable, close your eyes, get into a rhythm of breathing, and focus on the feeling of the air entering and leaving your body for about 10 to 20 minutes. This will relax you, reduce stress, quiet your mind, and will eventually make you an overall more productive person. Practice meditation everyday.

More by this author

3 Things Life-Long Learners Do Differently To Make Them Learn Unremittingly 30 Quotes From Buddha For Wisdom and Peace 6 Things To Remember After a Break Up 7 Things That All The Best Leaders Do 7 Things The Most Productive People See Differently

Trending in Communication

1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

Advertising

Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

Advertising

How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

Advertising

Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

Read Next