8 Things Highly Productive People Do Differently

It may be hard for some of us to admit, but deep down, we know that every day we are not being as productive as we should be. We love to procrastinate. Checking facebook, the news and email are some of the most common ways in which we procrastinate.

Highly productive people aren’t any different from you and I. They don’t possess a gene which allows them to be more productive than anyone else. They simply follow a few rules.

 1.  Nothing is left unplanned

Productive people know what they have to do, and when they have to do it. They have a schedule and stick to it. They plan what needs to be done the next day, the night before. Not only does this save time, as they don’t have to figure out where to start, but knowing what needs to be done serves as a great motivation tool.

 2.  An organized workspace

Highly productive people tend to be very well organized. When they need to find something, they are easily able to. Disorganized people waste lots of time looking for paperwork, emails, phone numbers etc – time that could have been spent working.

 3.  Prioritise

If work needs to be done, it will be completed before anything else gets started. How many times have you put work aside to meet friends or watch the game? Highly productive people rarely do this; they have their priorities straight.

 4.  Laser like focus

For some reason, we all like to think that we can multitask effectively. Unfortunately, switching from task to task does not work. We lose focus on what we were working on, and it becomes harder to get back to the same level of concentration which we had before.

Highly productive people have laser like focus when it comes to tasks that need to be completed. They give their undivided attention to one thing – and one thing only – and as a result, the task is done effectively and efficiently.

Do you know that when you multitask, your IQ drops by an average of 10-15 points? That has to be a good enough reason to stop multitasking.

 5.  Work in 60-90 minute intervals

One of the things highly productive people do differently is working for 60-90 minutes straight, then taking a short break. Whether that be going for a walk, having a snack or going for a cigarette, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that a break gives their mind and body time to refuel.

6.  A schedule for emails, texts and voicemails

We waste a lot of time during the day by checking and replying to emails, texts and voicemails. There is no need to be checking these things every few minutes. Highly productive people set specific time slots to check and reply. You can stay updated just by checking and replying to these things 3 times a day. Once in the morning (9am), once at lunch (12pm), and once in the afternoon (3pm).

 7.  Think about how things can be done better

Highly productive people are never satisfied with the way things are currently being done. They look for ways to continually improve the process. They ask themselves, is there is a more efficient way of doing this? Can I delegate or outsource the task? How can technology help me?

8.  Eliminate distractions

It is easy to get distracted when the phone rings, someone knocks on the door, a new email pops up, someone leaves you a message on facebook etc. Highly productive people make sure all distractions are eliminated. They close their email client, put a do not disturb sign up and disconnect their internet connection. Having a distraction free environment is one of the best ways to maximise productivity.