We all have that one friend, one colleague, or one person we know in our life who always seems to get things done, whether it's an hour-long task or simply a 20-minute one. These people exist and roam among us with their maximum efficiency while some of us still struggle to meet deadlines.
Do you think they have secrets to their successes? Of course, they do. To become a productive person - the correct term to describe our friends, you should install some small foundational habits.
1. Consistent morning routine:
A morning routine does not always entail getting up at 4 a.m. and going straight to the gym, unless you are The Rock, of course. Everyone's morning routine is different, so it's crucial to figure out what works best for you. For example, you can get up at 6 or 7 am, slam down a deliciously nutritious smoothie before heading to the gym, then treat yourself to a big breakfast while catching up on news or emails. The options are varied, as long as you do it consistently, and you'll be ready to tackle each day. Remember that ideas are easy. Execution is hard. Consistency is harder.
2. Prioritize tasks:
Productive people are aware of the distinction between essential and less critical tasks. When you only focus on checking items off your to-do list, you'll mix up the two, and it will also increase your procrastination level. It's all too tempting to spend the entire day checking off easier, less significant tasks rather than tackling complex tasks that require your immediate attention.
Instead, take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to choose 1 to 3 most important tasks you must complete by the end of the day, no matter what.
3. Eisenhower Matrix to the rescue:
The Eisenhower Matrix, which was named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th US President, and widely popularised by Stephen Covey in his best-selling book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, is a simple decision-making tool that can help you distinguish between important, not important, urgent, and non-urgent tasks. According to Slab Blog, it divides jobs into four boxes, indicating which should be prioritized first and which should be delegated or deleted.
4. Do not multitask:
If you think multitasking can save you time and energy, it doesn’t. Research shows that multitasking can result in consuming more time and causing more errors than focusing on one task at a time. When you try to multitask, you're rotating your focus between two things rather than accomplishing two things at once. You must refocus on the new task each time you switch. These "switching costs" make multitasking exceedingly inefficient because every time you switch, you lose a few minutes to catch up with speed on the assignment at hand.
5. Keep your distractions at bay:
Distractions are the plague of productivity, whether you're attempting to focus on significant work or merely dealing with smaller tasks. It's difficult to maintain productive work when there are so many distractions. Making a "distraction list" is one effective way to reduce distractions. Whenever a distracting idea enters your mind, jot it down on the list and return to your task. You can either tackle them or add them to your broader to-do list once you reach a break in your job.
6. Sharpen your ax:
There's a classic Abraham Lincoln quote that goes like this: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” To be productive, you need to stay sharp, and for that to happen, read a book, listen to a podcast, go on a field trip, visit the museum or learn a new subject.
You'll be able to respond more quickly to a range of scenarios if you devote time to developing yourself.
7. Carry a notebook:
Who knows when a great idea can emerge, whether you are in a delivery room when your wife is in labor or in the shower (most people claim they produce the best ideas while taking a bath or a shower). Carrying a notebook (either physical or digital) wherever you go to and jot down every excellent idea will help you free your mind, keep track of your to-dos and never miss a single million-dollar idea.
8. Take a break:
Nobody, not even the most productive people, can concentrate for more than eight hours at a time. It's scientifically impossible. You can't keep distraction-free focus for a long time, no matter how many effective habits you develop. Taking breaks is essential because they make people more productive, research shows. Even short intervals of a few minutes can help you rejuvenate and generate new ideas. However, we can easily mistake distractions as "taking a break." Therefore, it's essential to schedule your break time in advance. Methods like the Pomodoro Technique can be beneficial. The Pomodoro Technique recommends working in 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks in between, which will keep your mind fresh and productive for the whole day.
9. Maximize your free time:
Besides taking short 5-minute breaks from your tasks, taking some time off from work is also crucial. It allows us to refocus and refresh our batteries. However, do not let these times go to waste by binging Netflix series or hanging at some overcharged coffee shops all afternoon.
Instead, attempt to spend your free time reading, learning new skills, meditating, or doing things to improve yourself.
10. Learn from successes as well as failures:
Learning from your own accomplishments is vital. Highly productive people capitalize on their achievements by figuring out how to duplicate them. What went well, and why? What should you remember and apply from this experience? Are there any aspects of a successful project that could be eliminated because they weren't as effective? Asking these questions will aid you in a more intuitive understanding of your accomplishments, saving you time to start on a new project.
And you can say the same about failures. We all make mistakes and have struggled at work. The ability to not let yourself (or your team) get bogged down in mistakes is a forcing function for moving things forward. The important thing is how you react and learn from it. Understanding the errors and figuring out how to avoid them is a hugely beneficial learning experience. Think of it as “failing forward”.
There you go, 10 things to do everything to become productive like those friends or colleagues we admire. Start small and repeatedly, you’ll get there.
Supplied by Finance and Coffee
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Occasionally I come across an interesting article to do with Home Loans. I thought I'd share some of these with you here.