Being highly productive and effective over a long period is no coincidence. People who report being highly effective tend to have specific structures and habits that recur over different branches and fields of expertise.
One of the biggest mistakes of those who want to increase their productive outcome, however, is trying to implement several habits at once.
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If you want to uplevel your performance, make sure to start with small, manageable changes, and further improve yourself by time. Instead of making significant changes at once and slipping to your old routines, start small. Tackle one habit after the other and make sure that those habits become a part of your identity.
Instead of fighting through the habit, allow them to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
1. Highly productive people have a mission
Working hard is not fun if you don’t have a why.
Highly productive and effective people know what they are after. They have a clear mission and a vision regarding their or their companies future.
Knowing your life purpose is a huge productivity driver. Once you have a clear mission, you know where to invest your time and what to avoid, thus making decisions and being productive becomes easier.
Having a clear mission and vision doesn’t mean that you have full transparency on your path to success, yet, it becomes easier to take massive action and make progress. Without a mission, you will often find yourself struggling and not knowing what to focus on. A clear purpose, however, makes it easier to figure out what the next right step is and how to get there.
2. They have clear priorities
Productive people are those who can set clear priorities and focus on one thing after the other.
The surest way of not achieving your goals is having too many of them.
An endless list of to-dos might seem cool, and it might give you the feeling of being productive, but that’s hardly the truth. The more you can eliminate, the more effective you will be.
Make sure to know your goals and set clear priorities.
Pick a few areas of your life that you want to improve and work on those with a laser-sharp focus. Don’t get lost in the shiny-object-syndrome; don’t look at others’ actions or achievements; instead, focus on yourself.
Have a clear mission, set your priorities right, and go.
3. They know how to set goals
Productive people are excellent at goal-setting. They know their desires and needs and set their goals accordingly.
While some people tend to perform better if they have huge goals to work towards, others prefer more realistic ones. First, you need to figure out what works best for you; then, you need to get very clear on everything that you want to achieve. Having a clear picture in mind is the first step in achieving your goals.
Without knowing the final destination, finding a way will be challenging. Just imagine getting into a taxi and not knowing which address to tell the driver. That’s pretty much how a life without goals is.
Of course, your goals might change over time. Mine change all the time. And that’s perfectly fine, that’s actually what’s cool about being a human: Being able to change our opinion.
Yet, it is crucial to have some sort of direction, even if you might not be 100 percent sure if you are going to stick with that path.
Overthinking hardly leads to clarity, taking action, however, does. If you set a goal and try to accomplish it, you will soon realize if that goal is really yours or not.
4. They are not reactive or impulsive
That’s one of the major mistakes I made for many years. I literally tried to answer any message or email that popped up, no matter what I was doing. I stopped the real work and reacted to those impulses from the outside.
Don’t do that.
Protect your valuable work-time and your focus. Being reactive is the surest way to end up being unproductive and not knowing where your time went.
Genuinely productive people shut down on distractions and create an environment that allows them to work in a very focused way.
5. They have systems
Instead of being impulsive, productive people have transparent work systems. They know when to check their emails, when to make the phone calls and when to schedule important meetings.
They don’t let things happen to them but instead have a clear framework for all their work.
Setting up such systems takes time and effort at the beginning, but ones they are established, they can save you many hours and struggles.
6. They plan ahead
Productive people are in control of their time and their schedules. Instead of letting life happen to them, they properly plan their days and weeks.
Being structured and having clear plans is inevitable for effective workhours. If you don’t manage your time, you won’t be able to pursue your goals actively.
7. They practice self-reflection
Highly effective people know that self-reflection is the key to success. They regularly take time to look back and validating on their actions. They check on their mistakes and successes and try to gain major insights from the past.
If you don’t have a look at your current outcome, you won’t be able to optimize it. Through regular reflection, however, you make sure not to repeat mistakes and make quick, stable progress towards your goals.
8. They celebrate wins
Productive people work hard, but they also celebrate their successes.
No matter if you are a typical solopreneur, a freelancer, or working in a huge team, celebrating successes is crucial to stay motivated.
By honoring our achievements, we raise our energy and mood, which helps us to be even more productive once we get back to work. Additionally, celebrating wins boosts our confidence, which is essential for productive work as well. The more you believe in yourself, the more you will accomplish.
9. They learn and grow
Another habit of highly effective people is continuous growth.
Those who are productive find time to invest in learning new skills and improving themselves. They know that their success is dependent on their abilities. Thus they keep improving themselves every day.
It’s no wonder that the average CEO reads more books than the rest of the population. Those who are eager to succeed know that they need to improve themselves continually.
10. They are great at keeping their focus
To be highly productive, you need to focus on essential tasks.
If you work hard on things that don’t matter, you won’t produce the right results.
Working without distractions and interruptions is one of the most critical skills of productive people. They know how to make time for focused work and stick to their schedules.
Productive people don’t multitask. Instead, they have a very clear focus and work in a concentrated manner.
11. They know their energy and productivity levels
Productive people know when they work best. They know when their peak times are and schedule their work accordingly.
Instead of fighting against their bodies and fatigue, they go with the flow. They allow themselves to rest when it’s needed and work hard during their most productive times.
Getting your most demanding tasks done during your most productive hours will tremendously facilitate your life.
12. They focus on solutions
Instead of complaining about problems, productive people focus on finding solutions. They try to figure out how to get out of bad situations, instead of pinpointing to others. No matter if it’s their fault or not, effective people are interested in solving problems, not accusing others.
13. They delegate
Productive people know that they don’t need to do everything themselves. Each of us has a limited amount of time every day, and we should take care of how we spend these hours.
Instead of doing everything by yourself, try delegating work to people who might do it at least as good as you do.
In the beginning, delegating tasks is not simple, yet, it’s inevitable if you want to increase your productivity in the long run.
14. They take care of themselves
Working productively doesn’t mean working too much.
On the contrary, if you don’t care for yourself, you will have to take a break sooner or later. Self-care is not a luxury but a crucial necessity in order to level up your performance.
If you don’t feel good, you won’t be able to produce good results at all, so make sure to take care of your body and mind.
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