When I interview successful people in any industry, be it law, business, creative, banking, media, sports, I often ask them for tips on being productive, as so many clients tell me they are always busy, but not always productive.
Super productive people do not confuse busyness with productivity, in fact they are often less busy than those who are overworked and overwhelmed.
One thing these super productive people all have in common is that they are all extremely passionate for what they are doing - even if the reasons underlying their passions are often quite different.
There are several habits that nearly all of them possess that are almost never mentioned.
So what are their secret ingredients in their productivity regime?
Do you want to increase your productivity by 100%?
Here are seven things productive people do.
1. They don't waste time.
They do not spend time on a task that's not important and partly complete a task which is important, or postpone it for another occasion. They do not procrastinate as they are aware it is destructive. In order to perform a procrastinated task they would have to squeeze current tasks or leave other tasks unattended. If they didn't do manage their time the outcome of their tasks would not be of excellence. They feel being disorganised is a waste of time. The skill they use to make changes and break out of poor time management is the same one they use to fuel the achievement track, self -discipline. Being smart with their time, frees up their brain and means they can make better-informed decisions.
2. They don't multi task.
They complete tasks on time, create action plans, and work in a focused, systematic manner by managing their priorities effectively. They start with a time plan and three to six top priorities and do not start on a new priority until they have finished them all. If any are uncompleted, they roll them over to the next day. Super productive people know competition is fierce, so they position, package and promote themselves intelligently and strategically so they are working in an empowering way.
3. They don't say yes to everyone.
They are smart enough to know they cannot eliminate interruptions, however the antidote to overload treadmill is setting boundaries, plus these help them gain control, and shed stress. Therefore they remind themselves constantly to maintain their boundaries. They are aware by saying "no," they can avail themselves of the scientifically-based Pareto Principle which claims that 20% of efforts produce 80% of results. Conversely, 20% of results consume 80% of efforts so they spend their 80% doing what matters, not what doesn't.
4. They don't get stressed and anxious.
Super Productive people schedule appointments with themselves for top priority thoughts, conversations and actions and are disciplined enough to stick with these appointments. They take five minutes before each call and task to decide what result they want to attain, then take five minutes after each call to determine if their desired result was achieved. They are aware creativity is a precursor to innovation, so in order to remain innovative, they need to "get grounded and centred"
5. They don't try and do everything by themselves.
They know that they can't accomplish everything themselves, so they don't try. They leverage on the help of other people, be it colleagues, management, assistants, co -workers, agents, and/or outsourced contractors, to support them in their work.
6. They don't check their social media and email every hour.
They don't have social media accounts, instant messenger live and active on their smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop as they are only human and know doing so they may be seduced and that's lethal as then they will end up wasting precious minutes per day. They make a commitment to themselves to check social media accounts and emails once or twice per day.
7. They don't try to be perfect.
Let's get this straight. None of us are perfect and we shouldn't try to be. We are perfectly imperfect. Super productive people accept the fact that they are only human and chose to strive for excellence rather than perfectionism. Google had incredible success promoting leaders who weren't top students with high grades from universities so what does that tell you?