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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 November 12, 2020

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

The truth about many of our failed goals is that we haven’t achieved them because we didn’t know how to set and accomplish goals effectively, rather than having not had enough willpower, determination, or fortitude. There are strings of mistakes standing in our way of accomplished goals. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to fall victim to these mistakes for 2015. There are many common mistakes we make with setting goals, but there are also surefire ways to fix them too.

Goal Setting

1. You make your goals too vague.

Instead of having a vague goal of “going to the gym,” make your goals specific—something like, “run a mile around the indoor track each morning.”

2. You have no way of knowing where you are with your goals.

It’s hard to recognize where you are at reaching your goal if you have no way of measuring where you are with it. Instead, make your goal measurable with questions such as, “how much?” or “how many?” This way, you always know where you stand with your goals.

3. You make your goals impossible to reach.

If it’s impossible of reaching, you’re simply not going to reach for it. Sometimes, our past behavior can predict our future behavior, which means if you have no sign of changing a behavior within a week, don’t set a goal that wants to accomplish that. While you can do many things you set your mind to, it’ll be much easier if you realize your capabilities, and judge your goals from there.

4. You only list your long-term goals.

Long-term goals tend to fizzle out because we’re stuck on the larger view rather than what we need to accomplish in the here and now to get there. Instead, list out all the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal. For instance, if you want to seek a publisher for a book you’ve written, your short-term goals might involve your marketing your writing and writing for more magazines in order to accomplished your goal of publishing. By listing out the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal, you’ll focus more on doing what’s in front of you.

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5. You write your goals as negative statements.

It’s hard to reach a goal that’s worded as, “don’t fall into this stupid trap.” That’s not inspiring, and when you’re first starting out, you need inspiration to stay committed to your goal. Instead, make your goals positive statements, such as, “Be a friend who says yes more” rather than, “Stop being an idiot to your friends.”

6. You leave your goals in your head.

Don’t keep your goals stuck in your head. Write them down somewhere and keep them visible. It’s a way making your goals real and holding yourself accountable for achieving them.

Achieving Goals

7. You only focus on achieving one goal at a time, and you struggle each time.

In order to keep achieving your goals, one right after the others, you need to build the healthy habits to do so. For instance, if you want to write a book, developing a habit of writing each morning. If you want to lose weight and eventually run a marathon, develop a habit of running each morning. Focus on buildign habits, and your other goals in the future will come easier.

Studies show that it takes about 66 days on average to change or develop a habit.[1] If you focus on forming one habit every 66 days, that’ll get you closer to accomplishing your goals, and you’ll also build the capability to achieve more and more goals later on with the help of your newly formed habits.

8. You live in an environment that doesn’t support your goals.

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, The One Thing, state that environments are made up of people and places. They state that these two factors must line up to support your goals. Otherwise, they would cause friction to your goals. So make sure the people who surround you and your location both add something to your goals rather than take away from them.

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9. You get stuck on the end result with your goals.

James Clear brilliantly suggests that our focus should be on the systems we implement to reach our goals rather than the actual end result. For instance, if you’re trying to be healthier with your diet, focus more on sticking to your diet plan rather than on your desired end result. It’ll keep you more concentrated on what’s right in front of you rather than what’s up in the sky.

Keeping Motivated

10. You get discouraged with your mess-ups.

When I wake up each morning, I focus all my effort in building a small-win for myself. Why? Because we need confidence and momentum if we want to keep plowing through the obstacles of accomplishing our goals. Starting my day with small wins helps me forget what mess-ups I had yesterday, and be able to reset.

Your win can be as small as getting out of bed to writing a paragraph in your book. Whatever the case may be, highlight the victories when they come along, and don’t pay much attention to whatever mess-ups happened yesterday.

11. You downplay your wins.

When a win comes along, don’t downplay it or be too humble about it. Instead, make it a big deal. Celebrate each time you get closer to your goal with either a party or quality time doing what you love.

12. You get discouraged by all the work you have to do for your goals.

What happens when you focus on everything that’s in front of you is that you can lose sight of the big picture—what you’re actually doing this for and why you want to achieve it. By learning how to filter the big picture through your every day small goals, you’ll be able to keep your motivation for the long haul. Never let go of the big picture.

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13. You waste your downtime.

When I take a break, I usually fill my downtime with activities that further me toward my goals. For instance, I listen to podcasts about writing or entrepreneurship during my lunch times. This keeps my mind focused on the goal, and also utilizes my downtime with motivation to keep trying for my goals.

Wondering what you can do during your downtime? Here’re 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time.

14. You have no system of accountability.

If you announce your goal publicly, or promise to offer something to people, those people suddenly depend on your accomplishment. They are suddenly concerned for your goals, and help make sure you achieve them. Don’t see this as a burden. Instead, use it to fuel your hard work. Have people depend on you and you’ll be motivated to not let them down.

15. You fall victim to all your negative behaviors you’re trying to avoid with your goals.

Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a list of all the behaviors, patterns, and thinking you need to avoid if you ever want to reach your goal. For instance, you might want to chart down, “avoid Netflix” or “don’t think negatively about my capability.” By doing this, you’ll have a visible reminder of all the behavior you need to avoid in order to accomplish your goals. But make sure you balance this list out with your goals listed as positive statements.

How To Stop Failing Your Goal?

If you want to stop failing your goal and finally reach it, don’t miss these actionable tips explained by Jade in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

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Bottom Line

Overcoming our mistakes is the first step to building healthy systems for our goals. If you find one of these cogs jamming the gears to your goal-setting system, I hope you follow these solutions to keep your system healthy and able to churn out more goals.

Make this year where you finally achieve what you’ve only dreamed of.

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Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

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