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Productivity Hacks of 8 Famous Thinkers and Leaders

Productivity Hacks of 8 Famous Thinkers and Leaders

History is filled with men and women who got significantly more done on a daily basis than seems strictly possible. The legendary production of people like Leonardo DaVinci and Benjamin Franklin is mind boggling, and more than a little humbling to those of us who struggle to get to the gym three times a week or pick up our dry cleaning on time.

How did they do it?

What superhuman traits did these super-productive few wield that we can learn from? For the most part, nothing that you and I can’t put to use on our own on a daily basis, though there are more than a few unexpected hacks that can supercharge your productivity in ways you might not expect.

Here are 8 such hacks and the famous men and women who used them to do all the amazing things they did.

Leonardo DaVinci

davinci

    Leonardo DaVinci was a maestro of productivity. Just look at the man’s list of accomplishments and you realize he must never have slept.

    While there are numerous unproven myths about how DaVinci got so much done in his lifetime — from sleeping for 20 minutes every three hours, to clever variants of outsourcing — we know one thing for certain: he was an active man.

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    There is no point in the recorded histories of DaVinci’s life that we see him inactive — not pursuing a new trade, completing one of his masterpieces, or developing a theorem. There is something to be said for downtime, but so, too, is there something to be said for finding the things you love in life and pursuing them daily.

    Benjamin Franklin

    ben-franklin-a-moderately-handsome-portrait

      Ben Franklin is one of America’s most prolific politicians, writers, and inventors, having been instrumental in the American Revolution, the building of American government and inventing numerous useful tools in his life.

      His 13 virtues are legendary for laying out how to live one’s life to maintain temperance, order, frugality, sincerity, justice and more.

      If you are looking for a key to understanding how he got so much done in his life, those 13 virtues are a perfect guide.

      Nelson Mandela

      nelson-mandela

        Nelson Mandela is not the only person on this list to get up early each day, but his early morning walks are somewhat legendary in their own right — a time for him to think about what the day might hold, to process the day before, and to appreciate the freedom to enjoy that time.

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        Whether you go to the gym, read the paper, or go for a long walk every morning, getting up early and triggering the physical and mental processes that will lead to greater productivity is a sure fire way to get more done.

        Sylvia Plath

        sylvia-plath

          Sylvia Plath famously woke up early to write every morning, getting as much done as she could before her children woke up.

          The same is true of many writers, thinkers, executives and statesmen and women. There’s something about those first two to three hours of every day when no one is awake and the world is yours.

          If you frequently find yourself interrupted by distractions, phone calls, family members or something else that keeps you from getting work done, consider waking up earlier and getting the most important tasks on your to do list done before anyone else is even awake.

          Thomas Edison

          thomas-edison

            Thomas Edison was a famous napper. Every day he would settle down for an hour or two to nap, recharging his mind and body for greater productivity later in the day.

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            He isn’t the only one. Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy both took naps as well — a must for anyone who essentially works from morning to night.

            Winston Churchill

            Winston_Churchill

              Speaking of Churchill, this was a man who took great care with his personal time. Despite running one of the most powerful countries in the world during its most trying times, Churchill would set aside hours every day to nap, take a bath, dress and eat his evening meals in peace.

              He credited his routines for keeping him focused and sane through what would be the hardest period of leadership in Britain during the 20th century.

              Henry Ford

              Henry-Ford

                Henry Ford revolutionized productivity on an industrial level, introducing the methods that ultimately enabled mass production of everything from his Model T automobile to jetliners.

                One of his many sayings (and there were many) was that the “Greatest thing in life is experience. Even mistakes have value.” He believed that if you are going to fail, you should fail fast and learn from that failure.

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                In short, you should constantly be doing something — working toward something that will allow you to accomplish your goals, even if failure is a risk.

                Albert Einstein

                Albert-Einstein-Wallpapers-2013

                  Einstein is one of the most important thinkers of the last two centuries, revolutionizing science, enabling the atomic age, and becoming synonymous with great intellect.

                  He was also a very productive man, capable of narrowing his focus for long periods of time on very important tasks.

                  His belief was that to be truly productive, you should focus your energies on a small number of very big things rather than the human tendency to focus on a large number of very small things.

                  Finding inspiration in a way that suits you

                  Inspiration and productivity are closely related. It’s hard to be productive when you have no interest in what you’re doing. At the same time, without productivity, inspiration can wane.

                  Productive men and women like those listed above were able to get more done in their lives because they found something important to them and focused all of their energies on those pursuits.

                  And when they couldn’t find more time, they found ways to squeeze more energy and more inspiration out of their days. Find those same triggers and you’ll be astounded at how much you can get done.

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                  15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                  15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                  You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                  Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                  A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                  Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                  So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                  1. Purge Your Office

                  De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                  Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                  Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                  2. Gather and Redistribute

                  Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                  3. Establish Work “Zones”

                  Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                  Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                  4. Close Proximity

                  Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                  5. Get a Good Labeler

                  Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                  6. Revise Your Filing System

                  As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                  What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                  Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                  • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                  • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                  • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                  • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                  • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                  • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                  • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                  Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                  7. Clear off Your Desk

                  Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                  If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                  8. Organize your Desktop

                  Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                  Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                  Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                  9. Organize Your Drawers

                  Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                  Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                  10. Separate Inboxes

                  If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                  11. Clear Your Piles

                  Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                  Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                  12. Sort Mails

                  Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                  13. Assign Discard Dates

                  You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                  Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                  14. Filter Your Emails

                  Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                  When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                  Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                  15. Straighten Your Desk

                  At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                  Bottom Line

                  Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                  Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

                  More Organizing Hacks

                  Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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