Do you want more success in your life? Do you want to get more done without sacrificing any more of your free time or overwhelming your schedule? Successful people are productive people, and here are eight of the top things productive people do to increase their success.
1. Prioritize Your To-Do List
Not everything on your list is of equal importance. If you think it is, you need to take another hard look at that list. One of the things productive people do is to learn that some tasks are more important than others. One of the first things I help my productivity coaching clients to learn is that when “everything is important, nothing becomes important.” Learning to prioritize effectively, can not only reduce your stress, but also reduce your working hours. And who doesn’t want to be able to get the same work done in less time?
What are the most important items on your list? That’s something only you can determine, though having a good business coach can help you learn to sort it out.
Here’s one quick tip: if it’s an activity that produces income for your business, it’s definitely an important item. Another one is anything that impacts the legal status of your business is also a high-priority item. You will certainly find others, and those are what you need to focus on. As much as possible, delegate or ditch the rest.
2. Allot enough Time for Each Task—Be Realistic
Once you know what your priorities are, give yourself enough time to get them done. Underestimating your time and overestimating your abilities does no one any favors, especially you. Give yourself enough time to complete each task properly. And, if need be, give yourself a time cushion. It’s far better to overestimate the amount of time required to complete a project than to underestimate it.
3. Eliminate Distractions when you need to get things done. Especially if you work at home.
When you need to focus, eliminate those things that steal your attention. Close all those extra browser tabs, sign out of your social media accounts, and send your calls to voice mail. If you’re working at home, work out a system with your family so they know when you have times that you absolutely should not be disturbed. Learn to be flexible when you can, so your family will be more flexible when you need that “do not disturb” time. Close the door to your office and focus on your task at hand.
4. Don’t multi-task big projects. Focus on what you need to get done, finish it and then move on.
Multi-tasking is largely a myth. It may work for little things, like catching up on the latest episode of your favorite TV shows while surfing the web, or updating your social media status while folding laundry, but it doesn’t work for important projects like building your business or responding to client and prospect inquiries. The most productive people have learned that it works best when you set aside the time, eliminate the distractions, and focus on the project. You’ll finish your project more quickly and with better quality than if you try to multi-task it.
5. Make sure you have what you need before you start.
Assemble what you need before you start a project. Whether it’s cooking dinner, creating a blog post or putting together a presentation, gather all the materials, supplies and research in one place so that once you begin, you can complete your project without having to stop to hunt things down.
6. Put things away at the end of each task.
Once you’ve finished the project, put it all away. It doesn’t take any longer to put it away now than it will later, and you and your workspace will be ready to move on to your next task. Not only will this improve your productivity, but it will also reduce your stress. Learning to complete a project–including the cleaning up of it–is one of the things productive people do that allows them to rest easy and relax when their work day is done.
7. Take regular breaks.
Your brain and your body function much better when you allow them the opportunity to rest and start fresh. Burning the candle at both ends does no one any favors. You’re not a robot and you’re not superhuman. Give yourself the time you need (it’s probably more than you think) to rest, recharge and recover on a regular basis. Whether it’s simply stepping away from work, heading to the gym, or taking a nap, breaks are critical to our physical and emotional health.
8. Eat healthy.
You’ll be sharper if you give your body the fuel it needs to get the job done. Along with taking breaks and getting the rest you need, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle will make you both more productive and more successful. You’ll work better, produce more effectively, and get higher quality results when you’re taking care of yourself properly.
What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Are there any of these things productive people do that you struggle with and could use some help nailing down? Contact me here for a free consultation so we can help you achieve your productive potential.
And in case you’re wondering, here are 8 things the most productive people don’t do.