Top 10 Habits of Productive People
Nobody is perfect. Even that friend you have that seems to get it all done, who has it all together (all the time)? They aren’t perfect either. The truth is, they have just figured out the best way to manage their time in a way that works for them.
Highly productive people have made the time to practice good habits that fit their unique lifestyle. The reason why they seem to have figured out the key to being productive is because they have prioritized finding an understanding of how and when they work the most optimally.
This concept may seem ambiguous at first, but here we will break down how to figure out your own balance, practice good habits, and ultimately be more productive in your life.
How to Become More Productive:
The Top 10 Habits to Be More Productive in Work and Life
Understand your personal work flow.
Before you start work for the day, make a to-do list. Are there certain items that are small that you can easily accomplish first? Are there tasks on a deadline that you absolutely must get to today? Understand how you will feel the most satisfied at the end of the day, and prioritize your list accordingly. Be aware of your own “burn-out” times, and if something is really important be sure to get it done earlier in the day.
If you know that working from home will cause you to do laundry rather than a work project, get out of the house and go to a coffee shop. If you often get distracted by social media, allow a set time to scroll and don’t deviate from that scheduled time. Get bogged down from answering emails? Close your email window and only plan to answer emails between 8am-9am, and between 3pm-4pm (and don’t open it again in between). Reducing distractions is a great way to ensure that the items you need to prioritize get completed.
Learn to be okay with 80%.
Perfectionists have difficulty moving forward with a project because they are striving for the result to be 100% perfect. The problem is that to perfectionists, it will never be 100% - and in turn, never get done. At some point, you have to learn to let go of reaching an unattainable (and unrealistic) number. Learn to accept 80%, and move onto the next project.
“I’m a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring ‘good-enough’-ist.” - Brene Brown
Get your beauty (and productivity) sleep!
A good night of sleep is important in every aspect of health. When it comes to being productive, having your brain functioning optimally is vital. The most simple way to ensure that your day will be productive is to make sure you get enough sleep. This may take creating a better bedtime routine, or getting to bed a little earlier, but starting off the day groggy and tired isn’t helpful in getting things done.
Get off to a good start.
Waking up refreshed from a good night of sleep means you’ll be more alert in the morning. Whether your morning starts early or late, knocking out tasks at the beginning of your day will reduce the likelihood of reaching the afternoon with things still to accomplish (that you will most likely push off until tomorrow).
Know when to ask for help.
Trying to figure out an answer on your own will take significantly more time than simply asking for help. If working on the solution yourself is taking more than 5-10 minutes, ask for help, and work on a different task while you wait for a response. This way you’ll accomplish two tasks at once.
Give yourself breaks.
Taking incremental breaks throughout the day, even just 10-15 minutes to get coffee, scroll Instagram, or call your mom, will actually help you to be more productive. It might seem that you’re getting more done by plowing through break time, but in reality you aren’t functioning at your best. Our minds can’t work straight through the day without periodic breaks to relax.
Use a task management tool.
Whether you use an online calendar, an app to manage tasks through your phone, or simply track things handwritten in a journal, keeping a list of prioritized items will help ensure that nothing will slip through the cracks.
Understand when you are the most productive.
Whether you’re the most productive first thing in the morning, mid-day, or late in the afternoon, understand when you naturally want to put the pedal to the metal and take full advantage of that time.
Reflect on your actual accomplishments.
People tend to focus on everything they did not get done that day rather than everything they did accomplish. Shift your focus to praise what you did get done, rather than focus on everything else. Otherwise you may never feel satisfied!
If at first this list seems overwhelming, just focus on one or two items for the first month and build from there. It’s important to let go of trying to aim for perfection when working towards being more productive.
Letting go, getting more rest, and moving forward is the best way to truly gain productivity!
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[Credit: The Morning Buzz Blog. “11 Simple Habits Of Highly Productive People”.]