When we think of highly productive people, we tend to imagine the ‘workaholic’, with no intact social life. However, highly productive people are those who can manage their days and affairs, and get things done. They can be artists, writers, and entrepreneurs. They are the risk takers and inventors. They know what needs doing and when they can take a break to play. These productive individuals have positive attitudes, can focus for long periods of time, and follow through with any given task. Here are 5 tips on how you can be a highly productive person:
Use the 80/20 Rule
While there are many things you can do to pursue your goal, focus your energy on the few tasks that create the biggest impact. By the 80/20 Principle, 20% of tasks create 80% of results in a goal. The other 80% of tasks create only 20% of the results. Being effective is about focusing on the 20% key tasks to create maximum results.
Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday– they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. Further strategize by identifying the methods that help you achieve your goals in the fastest way. This helps you get the most out of your time.
No matter how much you work, there are areas in your life that work can’t fulfill, such as social needs, love, and rest. Nobody, not even highly productive people, can focus for eight hours straight. It simply isn’t possible. No matter how many efficient habits you build, you can’t maintain distraction-free focus for that long. That being said, be sure to take breaks. You can take regular short breaks throughout the day, such as looking out of the window for 5 minutes every hour, going to the washroom to freshen up, or meditating for 5 minutes when you are tired. Take vacation breaks every once in a while. For example, a weekend trip every few months, or just time out from your usual routine. Doing so helps you maintain focus, take stock, and sharpen the saw.
In our deeply networked world today, we face distractions everywhere. It’s easy to visit our social profiles when we lose focus. But each click wastes 10-15 minutes of our time. Text messaging, the virtual worlds of social media, and mobile email capability can become serious time drains if handled inappropriately.
However, when you take breaks, it’s important to make them structured and deliberate. It’s easy to justify distractions as “taking a break.” But if you don’t have that break time scheduled, it’s possible that you’re actually just getting distracted. Limit yourself to checking your social media accounts and emails once a day to limit distractions.
If you find yourself doing the same things over and over, look for ways to do those things faster. This can be as simple as learning common keyboard shortcuts, or involve automating entire sections of your work.
What are some ways you can find shortcuts? Here are a few potential examples:
- Put together standard operating procedures for common tasks, so you can quickly follow checklists instead of working from scratch
- Delegate tasks to interns or other employees where appropriate
- Learn simple keyboard shortcuts that come up often. I like using “command + shift + t” to open a recently closed tab, or “command + option + 2” to create a heading in Google docs.
- Use technology and applications to take care of repetitive tasks
Repetitive tasks are great candidates for shortcuts, delegations, or automation.
Knocking them off your schedule can save you lots of time and energy.
Stop trying to do 10 things at once! Changing tasks more than 10 times a day drops your IQ an average of 10 points. Get things done more effectively and efficiently by focusing on accomplishing one task at a time.
Less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday. Stick to the basics for reaching productivity.
You can follow and experiment of the above tips to see what works best for you!
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