Growing up and all through early adulthood, I vowed to hate anyone that was labeled as a “morning person.” You know those folks that just naturally wake up all skipper, happy, and ready to conquer the day.
There are not only “morning people” but those that even if they do hit the snooze button a time or to still fly out of bed and have mostly likely accomplished more in the first few hours than you will before lunch.
How do they do it? Actually, with a little bit of discipline and some know-how, you can to. Unlike what most think, being productive is not all about one’s intellect or capability. Being productive is more about being disciplined to practice certain habits over others.
Practice these 5 habits and watch your productivity skyrocket.
1. Cut away the fluff and focus on what’s important
The first habit that those who are part of the productive elite practice, is to slice and dice everything in their life that is unimportant.
For everything that you are doing now, you should be qualifying them as “important” if you can answer yes to the following questions:
- Will this bring me closer to my dreams?
- Does this create any real impact in your life in the long term?
- Is this the best way to spend your time? Or are their more high value tasks that should be taking priority.
If the answer is no to any of these, you should consider ditching them. There is no point in doing something that is unimportant and won’t either bring you joy or get you closer to your life goals.
It’s better to focus on what matters and realize that 80% of what you do doesn’t matter.
2. Create Lists and Timelines
It’s not as easy as just making the list, but prioritizing it and setting a doable timeline for each of the tasks included.
When the day’s list is too long to realistically complete in 24 hours (which for some of us is a daily occurrence), that list is then rearranged to reflect the absolute essentials. Set realistic timelines for each of your tasks. For instance, if you set a timeline for a particular task at 2 weeks, then it will ultimately take you 2 weeks to complete. On the flip side, if you set a time line for the same task at 1 hour, you most likely can complete it in the timeline given, if you really choose to do so.
Setting timelines equates to setting intentions to completing the task on time.
3. Automate anything possible
Why not use the technology that is available today to automate all those meaningless tasks that eat up precious time out of your otherwise productive day?
Here is just a small list of items that you could automate:
- Bill payments
- Email – with the use of email filters
By automating your to-do list as much as possible, you reserve your time for doing doing tasks that are most important to you and your goals. If you get a deja vu feeling when doing something during your day, that’s a cue to try and automate that item.
4. Identify your most productive window
Let’s face it, not everyone can be at their best all day long. People who are on top of their game tend to have pin-pointed their most product times, usually a 2-3 hour window that occurs once or twice a day. They intentionally use that time to focus on the most important tasks or the ones that require the most attention.
5. Appreciate what gets done
Being productive requires a good but realistic outlook. At the end of the day, if you haven’t completed all those tasks on your list, don’t beat yourself up over it, instead look at the bright side and pat yourself on the back for all the accomplishments. In the end you will feel better, sleep better, and be more prepared to be your best productive self again the next day.