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7 Things Successful People Do Every Day to Stay Productive

7 Things Successful People Do Every Day to Stay Productive

Do you have a productivity problem?

You know; you procrastinate, you’re unfocused, and you quit on your goals.

At the same time, to become successful, you need to figure out how to become productive.

Fortunately, others are leading the way. Successful people like entrepreneurs, top politicians, and other thought leaders have figured out how they should manage their time to achieve what they set out to do.

So how do you move forward on your goals? Read on to learn what successful people do every day to stay productive.

1. They love what they do

Do you think people like Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton or Elon Musk would be where they are today if they didn’t truly enjoy what they do?

Probably not.

It’s incredibly hard to push through if all you can think about is how boring or meaningless a task is.

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In fact, research shows that employees are 12% more productive if they’re happy. This goes to show that work satisfaction does have a huge effect on how productive you are.

2. They wake up early

People who’re productive tend to get up early in the morning. Take Benjamin Franklin, Richard Branson, or Barack Obama. They all had or have a habit of rising early.

It’s evident that getting up in the wee hours is good for your productivity. The reason is simple: you usually have more energy and self-control right after you wake up.

But how do you ensure a productive morning?

Easy, develop a morning routine.

This could be a quick 15-minute exercise session. Or it could simply be a shower, stretching or a cup of coffee.

3. They work less, not more

In this day and age, business is a badge of honor. The busier you are, the better.

While it might intuitively feel like you get more done if you work more, the reverse is true. You get more done by working less.

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According to a famous study by K. A. Erickson, elite performers rarely work for more than 4.5 hours a day.

They batch their tasks into 90-minute sessions. Between these sessions, they have 20-30-minute pauses. This way, they can focus solely on the task at hand, instead of becoming tired and unfocused.

So start tracking the amount of time you spend on your tasks. Start with your most important work in the morning, work in sessions and leave all tasks that don’t require much willpower or focus to the afternoon.

4. They take care of themselves

In the same sense that we glorify business, we tend to assume that successful people don’t take care of themselves.

But the opposite is true!

One of the main reasons successful people are so productive is that they take care of themselves. They know that the key to productivity and success is to keep everything from your health to your finances in check.

For example, exercise has a massive impact on your productivity and financial stress makes it almost impossible to function in a productive way.

So make sure to first take care of yourself and only then focus on being productive and successful.

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5. They keep track of their goals

Successful people don’t work aimlessly on a project. Instead, they set goals and work systematically to achieve them.

Instead of having vague goals that they might achieve in the future, they sit down and plan goals for the day, week, month, year and beyond. Once they have their goals figured out, they come back to their goals on a regular basis.

You should do the same. Start today by listing goals you want to achieve tomorrow, next week, next month, in a year and in 5 years. Then keep track of them as you move forward.

6. They don’t multitask

Successful people master the art of focus. One way of doing that is to never multitask.

Studies show that your brain gets overwhelmed when you’re working on multiple tasks at the same time. Instead of focusing on one task, it divides its attention between all the tasks.

This is a major problem in our digital age.

In fact, a study by the University of London shows that your IQ suffers more if you multitask than if you smoke marijuana.

Want to be productive? Focus only on the task at hand.

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7. They see the big picture

It’s easy to get stuck on details. But too much focus on the details means that you lose sight of the big picture.

Successful people know this to be true. Take Jason Fried. He admits that details are important, but getting stuck means that you lose momentum. You become de-motivated and you quit.

Instead, you need to ship early. Focus first on the big picture and only later on the details.

Over to You!

We’ve looked at 7 things successful people do every way to stay productive.

Now there’s just one more thing to do:

Apply what you’ve learned!

Take a few minutes to brainstorm how you can become more productive with these tips.

Successful people use them every day. If you want to achieve your goals, you should too!

Featured photo credit: Dan Cooper via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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