Struggling with productivity? We’ve all been there. Trust me, I’ve spent entire days “working”, only to finish the day wondering what it was I actually accomplished! To help you be more productive, you may want to try these 6 habits of highly productive people.
They Make Lists and Plan Ahead
Making a to-do list is pretty basic level stuff when it comes to being productive and getting shit done. However, that doesn’t mean every to-do list is an effective one. First of all, I always write my to-do lists in advance, because if I wait until I’m actually sitting down to work, I know things are going to slip my mind. I also prioritize my to-do list so it’s written in the order I want to tackle things, that way I’m not skipping the more difficult tasks in favor of more mindless ones. I find that a short, specific, prioritized list is the most effective kind.
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They Take Breaks
Yes, in order to work productively, you need to actually be working. However, productive people know that reaching burnout is the total opposite of being productive, and therefore breaks are totally necessary. This might be something as simple as, once every hour, getting up from your desk and taking a quick 5-minute walk to stretch your legs. When the weather is nice I’ve gotten in the habit of going for a 30-minute walk in the afternoons and I come back to my desk feeling so much more refreshed and ready to get back to work. For me being able to break up the day so I’m not sitting in one spot for 9 hours at a time is really the key.
They Focus on Their Own Progress
When you’re working on your own career or business, it can be really hard not to notice others in the industry and the progress they are making, especially if it seems that their progress has exceeded your own. And while comparative research can be beneficial, especially when you’re starting a business, comparing just for the sake of comparison can be super damaging both to your own progress, as well as your psyche. Obviously, it can be really hard on your self-esteem if it seems that someone else is doing better than you. But also remember that every minute you spend focusing on someone else’s progress is a minute you aren’t spending focusing on your own.
At this point in my blogging journey I’ve found that the fewer other blogs in my niche I read regularly, the more I am able to put out quality original content for my own readers and work on growing my business in ways that are unique to my business, rather than doing something just because it has worked for someone else.
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They Limit Distractions
This one may seem obvious, and that’s because it is, but it’s something we’re all guilty of doing anyway. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve put Netflix on, thinking I’ll just listen to it in the background while I work on blogging stuff. Spoiler alert: this literally never works. While multitasking can work if you do it right, that’s only the case in very specific situations, because our minds really can’t fully focus on two things at once.
As stressful as it may seem to miss a text or phone call, try to set a certain amount of time for yourself where you won’t check email, won’t check social media, and will keep your phone on silent to avoid texts and phone calls. It’s fine to start small and try to go longer and longer without distractions.
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They Let Go of Perfectionism
As someone who is also a perfectionist, I can totally relate to checking and rechecking my work well past the point of productivity. Perfect is an unrealistic expectation, and spending too much time trying to reach it means we aren’t spending as much time making real progress in other areas.
I’m certainly not suggesting you put out work you know is subpar, but once you’ve checked and double checked your work, accept that it’s done and move on.
They Know How They Work Best
There are plenty of articles available online that will tell you what the absolute most productive work schedule is. Some will tell you that you need to be getting up at 5 am and working for a couple of hours before the rest of the world is up and at ‘em. Others will tell you to schedule items from your to-do list directly on your calendar for certain times. Others will tell you batch scheduling or the Pomodoro technique are best. And while all of these are effective for someone (and probably lots of someones, given their popularity), that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone.
Over time, you will learn when and how you work most productively. At the end of the day, the absolute most productive people are super productive because they know exactly how they work most productively.
Which of these habits of highly productive people do you incorporate to be more productive?
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