We all strive to get more done, but there’s only so much time in a day, and we only have so much energy. However, there are people around us who seem to have found the holy grail of productivity. They rarely seem tired, never procrastinate, and rarely complain about not having enough time. If you wonder what is the secret of these highly productive people, read on. We put together a list of their habits that will hopefully help you get more done too.
Avoid ineffective communication
Highly productive people avoid ineffective communication by always being direct and on point.
When you send an email, make sure that you add all the information about the matter at hand in a clear and concise way. This will help you avoid a long row of back-and-forth emails that would consume your time and energy.
Even if it takes a bit longer to write, an efficient email is always preferable to short, cryptic messages that will require extra explanations.
Rely on automation
We live in the era of automation, when we’re seeking to get rid of routine tasks with the help of technology. Highly productive people are always the first to embrace these new ways since they are great time-savers. Make use of the available technology that allows you to save time and mental power.
In your personal life: Use smart lights in your home and office so you won’t have to stand up and interrupt your work when the sun sets. Have groceries delivered to your door using one of the several apps available instead of wasting time at the supermarket.
At work: Use email templates and recycle emails if you are often dealing with the same type of issues. Add smart bots to your social media and instruct them to answer customers’ questions. Make yourself seem more professional by using spell checkers in all of your written communication.
Don’t wait for inspiration
Most people lose a lot of time and procrastinate while waiting to get inspired. The most productive people don’t wait for inspiration. They focus on actually getting the work done, knowing that inspiration will come in the process.
Next time you feel uninspired, instead of wasting valuable time looking for inspiration, try to just get started and let your work inspire you.
You often see successful people being involved in several projects at a time and think that’s the way to go. However, participating in multiple projects over a given period of time is not the same as multitasking.
You can say that you are multitasking when you perform more than one task at a time, even if it doesn’t seem so. For example, when you are working from home and have food cooking on the stove. Of course, you are not chopping onions at the exact same time as you are typing an email, but your mental power is still split between the two tasks.
More often than not, you will realize that you either forgot to add salt to your soup or failed to reply to some message on time because your rice smelled burnt. To say it bluntly, multitasking is a trap. It gives you the feeling that you save time but instead, you end up doing mediocre work.
Successful people who are, indeed, involved in different projects, combine similar tasks together through a method called batching. At the beginning of the day, go through your to-do list and see which tasks require a similar mindset and can be batched together. And most of the time, they practice monotasking.
Avoid decision fatigue
Increasing your productivity is not only about learning how to manage your time. You also need to learn how to manage your energy. Highly productive people do that by controlling the number of decisions they have to make each day.
Remember Steve Jobs and his black turtlenecks? What about Mark Zuckerberg and his green/grey t-shirts? Both of them, and other prominent personalities in history, understood that the energy we spend taking insignificant decisions is a price too high to be worth paying.
We only have so much energy throughout the day and the process of decision-making is draining this energy faster than anything else. Psychiatrists coined the term decision fatigue to describe the phenomenon. They claim that the more decisions we make during a day, the worse our ability to make decisions becomes.
Conserve your decision-making energy by eliminating unimportant decisions from your life. Make some decisions once and stick with them for a long time.
Develop daily routines
Highly productive people have daily routines that help them stay in shape and performing at their best. Routines create structure and help your physical and psychical health.
Most of them go to sleep at the same time every evening and wake up at the same time every morning. They make sure to get enough sleep so that their brain is completely recharged. They exercise, meditate, and rarely skip a meal. Through this morning routine, they make sure that both their mind and body are always prepared for whatever life throws at them that day.
Develop your own daily routines and incorporate the advice you read above into them.
Sharpen the axe
Abe Lincoln once said “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” In other words, in order to get a job done properly, you first need to prepare for it effectively. Always seek to improve yourself by bettering your skills and your abilities. The more knowledgeable you are, the more efficient you become.
In order to become more productive and get more done, you need to learn how to properly manage your time and energy. Automate tasks, eliminate unimportant decisions, and focus on one task at a time. Instead of waiting for inspiration to find you, go find it yourself. Last, but not least, develop routines that will improve your mind, time, and energy.
Soon, you will become one of the highly productive people that everyone looks up to 🙂