Everyone wants to be more productive. Why? When you’re more productive, you have more time to enjoy the finer things in life, like leisure and play, enjoying time with friends, and pursuing hobbies you are passionate about. That’s because being more productive means getting your work done more efficiently so you can have more time to enjoy what's important to you--these are the things that make life worth living.
Here are 7 key habits of the super productive.
1. They leave their keys in the same place. Super productive people know that routinizing simple things you do everyday is the key to tackling the big picture items on your to do. You need to leave/store things you use often in the same spot all the time. No one wants to waste time hunting for their keys, wallet, cell phone or hand bag. Designate a spot for your everyday items and keep them there when not in use.
2. They wear the same thing every Monday. Super productive people have a work "uniform". President Barack Obama wears a navy or black suit everyday. He reasons that he has so many decisions to make in a day he doesn't want to waste time on what he's wearing. If you can't imaging wearing the same or nearly-the-same outfit everyday, here are some practical ways to apply this to your own life:
- Wear the same pair of shoes to commute in everyday (I like Sperry Topsiders)
- Have a "work bag"--the bag you use for work, and keep your fun bags for the weekends
- Wear the same outfit every Monday. I wear a black or navy skirt or pants and a button-down.
- Pare down your work wardrobe so you're only working with a few colors that compliment each other (read more about paring down your wardrobe here).
3. They put time on the clock and don't stop . They work in 30- to 90-minute increments without stopping to check their email or read Twitter. I call this a “sprint”, I work for 90 minutes and then I’ll check in on Twitter or Instagram or go for a quick walk. For me this is the key to staying focused at work.
4. They don't check their bank balance while reading a novel. You wont catch a super productive person multitasking because multitasking doesn't work. Yes, you can listen to a podcast while cooking, but you can't simultaneously check your bank account balances while also attempting to write a memo. You know the difference. So close those browser tabs and shut off the TV.
5. They know when to work on their big projects and when to do their crap work. I am full of energy in the morning. I can barely focus in the afternoon so I try to keep my mornings clear to concentrate on my most complex projects. In the afternoon I tackle all of those rote, boring tasks I need to get done. This includes responding to emails and setting my To Do list for the next day. I figured this daily routine out after some trial and error. Once you realize that you’re better off doing certain types of work at certain times, it’s easier to customize a daily routine that works for you.
6. They move on when it's time to move on. They don't start a new project until they finish the one they're currently working on. This is why I am not a super productive person. I have a ton of ideas and I start many projects because I never finish them. Super productive people begin a task with a deadline and finish their project. They do not allow themselves to be distracted by their next shiny, bright idea.
This is why it’s so important to have a place like Evernote to capture your new, bright, shiny, ideas. If you know you can save them somewhere and come back to them later, it makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.
7. They have goals and work towards them. Goals not only make us happier, they help us to focus because they inform you of what to focus on. INstead of sitting down at your desk and fretting about what to start first, the super productive set goals, break their goals down into achievable steps, take action, and focus on working towards them everyday.
Are you interested in learning more about Goal Setting? Check out our the .