16 Habits of Highly Productive People

Increase productivity and become highly efficient with these habits: Focus on most important tasks first. Cultivate deep work. Keep a distraction list to stay focused.

Additionally, according to productivity coach and author Hillary Rettig of the soon-to-be-released book The Seven Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block, they know how to “say no, and maintain healthy boundaries.” Productive “people control their schedules so they can find time for important activities,” according to Stack They know they can’t be available to everyone every day. ”.

Sometimes we put off buying a better computer, a nicer website, a business coach, or (insert any other good or service you’ve been waiting to use) until we’ve truly made it or accomplished a certain goal. According to Rettig, productive people surround themselves with the appropriate tools and workspace.

Being disorganized causes “you to relinquish your focus” because it takes more time to find a phone number, email address, or specific file. In her e-book, SuperCompetent: The Six Ways to Perform at Your Productive Best, Stack writes that once something is gone, it takes time to get it back, and that’s where the real time is lost. (You can check out her books here).

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The benefits of being highly productive

Being highly productive entails completing significant tasks with accuracy and promptness. The more effective you are at work, the more likely it is that your supervisors and coworkers will believe in your abilities, which could result in rewards like bonuses, pay raises, and better benefits. Furthermore, high productivity can give you a sense of accomplishment, which may influence your general happiness and job satisfaction.

16 habits of highly productive people

Here are 16 habits that people who are highly productive frequently share:

1. Exercising, eating right and getting plenty of sleep

Productivity is a holistic process that starts before you even know what tasks are on your daily to-do list. Your energy levels throughout the workday can be impacted by your activity level, diet, and sleeping patterns. Try eating healthily, going for daily brisk walks, and aiming for eight hours of sleep each night to stay awake and productive.

2. Planning ahead and expecting obstacles

You can better prepare for the work you have to do each day by being aware of how many tasks are on your agenda and what they might entail. Try to list everything you hope to accomplish by the end of the workday before it starts, including lunch and your commute. For each item on the list, a timeline might need to be created.

But there might be things that happen at work that you can’t plan for, like a traffic jam on the way to work or an unplanned meeting with a manager. Try to include these in your strategy by allowing 30 to 60 minutes for unforeseen circumstances.

3. Keeping a tidy, organized workspace

Tidiness can boost productivity in multiple ways. Finding crucial papers and items is simpler when your space is organized. Since you won’t have to waste time looking for what you need, this organization can also help you feel less stressed and focus better. Throwing away unnecessary documents, putting items you use infrequently in a junk box, labeling file folders and drawers, putting important documents in trays, and tying cluttered cables together are some organization tips.

4. Having a pre-work ritual

Your mind can become more focused by engaging in an activity or series of activities for a predetermined amount of time before work. Consider allocating 15 to 30 minutes to yourself each morning to do whatever you want. You can do anything you like that helps you decompress, such as read a book, take a walk, or listen to music. After 15 to 30 minutes, you realize it’s time to concentrate on your work.

5. Setting small, attainable goals

It can be helpful to divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable goals because they often feel a little overwhelming. If you have a presentation to give, for instance, the following week, consider breaking your work up into smaller pieces and making a little progress each day. For the first three days, you could finish one-third of the slideshow each day. The final two days, you could devote 20 minutes to practicing your presentation. The overall assignment may seem more manageable if the task is divided into smaller components.

6. Following the 80/20 rule

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that only 20% of an endeavor’s efforts will yield 80% of the results. As an illustration, let’s say that you typically finish 80% of your daily tasks in the first 20% of the workday. This might happen if you feel more awake in the morning than you do in the late afternoon as the workday winds down. In this situation, concentrating only on the most crucial tasks during that time and delegating the rest for later in the day could increase your productivity.

7. Starting with the most challenging task

Starting the day with your most difficult task can help you accomplish more in general. Crossing the task off your to-do list early in the day can make the rest of your goals seem easier in comparison because your energy and focus are typically at their highest levels for handling challenges. This method can also help you avoid procrastination because it gets rid of tasks you might have wanted to put off for another day.

8. Taking breaks

It can be difficult to concentrate for more than 90 minutes at a time, so it’s beneficial to take frequent breaks to rest and refuel. Some advise taking breaks every 25 minutes, while others advise doing so once every hour. Whatever the time frame, try to set aside five to ten minutes for a relaxing activity, such as playing a game, going for a walk outside, or closing your eyes to rest.

9. Removing distractions

Things or activities that prevent you from being productive are called distractions. Getting rid of distractions from your workspace can help you concentrate on the task at hand. Try to keep all distracting objects out of sight when there are no breaks. For instance, it might be beneficial to turn off your phone and keep it in a drawer or bag, use earplugs or headphones to drown out background noise, or download a site-blocking app to prevent you from visiting social media and other distracting websites while working.

10. Writing efficient emails

Email is a common communication medium in the workplace. Determine which emails need responses and which don’t in order to improve communication. To avoid the need for additional questions, try to include as much information as you can when writing responses. For instance, when trying to arrange a meeting with a coworker, be sure to include your agenda for the meeting and any potential meeting times. This reduces the time that might otherwise be spent writing additional emails to fill in the information gaps.

11. Avoiding multitasking

Multitasking may cause you to interrupt one task to work on another because it’s not always possible to focus on more than one thing at once. Focusing on one task at a time can help you complete it more quickly by reducing interruptions and encouraging a steady working pace, while switching your attention frequently can extend your workday.

12. Saying “no”

Even though it’s crucial to be a cooperative and helpful colleague, getting distracted by others’ work can lower your productivity. Tell them that you would like to focus on your own workload first if you feel like a colleague’s request could take up a lot of time. After completing your daily tasks, you could offer to assist them or point them in the direction of another person who can offer the assistance they require.

13. Delegating tasks

A task on your to-do list might be better completed by someone else or they may have more time. Consider asking a coworker to take on a task or work with you if they’re available and willing to. You might invite them to attend a meeting with you so that they can take notes, complete the data tables in a report, or send a group of emails. Just like you, your coworkers might want to finish their own tasks first, so be understanding if they defer to or reject your request.

14. Giving self-rewards

You might require inspiration to finish your work and continue being productive each day. Giving yourself small rewards for reaching milestones is one strategy for maintaining motivation. Every time you complete an assignment, for instance, you could permit yourself to treat yourself to a long break or a piece of chocolate. You can reward yourself with your favorite meal or a fun activity, like seeing a movie after work, when it comes to bigger tasks or projects. These modest incentives can motivate you to complete more tasks.

15. Learning from mistakes

People frequently put off beginning or moving forward with their work because they had trouble with a comparable assignment in the past. It’s crucial to recognize your past struggles and look for solutions to avoid repeating them if you want to get past this type of doubt. Remind yourself that it’s acceptable to make mistakes as long as you try to learn from them and eventually become more productive.

16. Focusing on tasks completed instead of tasks ahead

Having a positive attitude can significantly improve your productivity. Concentrating on your successes is one way to raise your attitude. If you are in charge of setting up the inventory room or writing a nine-page report, consider how much work you have already finished rather than how much is still to be done. A positive outlook can keep you motivated to do more.

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