Do you know that person who seems to have it all together? They make great strides and impacts in the work place and are known for their work and reputation? These people are not very different from you and I, they just discovered a few secrets to productivity early on.
But it is not too late for us! There are simple ways we can take back control of that daunting to-do list and add structure to our seemingly chaotic lives. Rather than simply reacting to the day, there are a few key productivity habits that can help limit distractions.
Here are 4 habits of highly productive people that can help you move from overwhelmed to in-control of your time.
Delegating when needed.
No matter how hard you try, or how capable you think you may be, you cannot do it all. Especially not all at once. Productive people have a way of knowing when they need an extra hand. That does not mean they handout all of their responsibilities – because then they would not be productive, the task receivers would be. Delegating simply means being able to create a team environment where people are working together towards the same goal. Productive people are able to see what needs to get done and then delegate aspects that they may not have time or ability to complete effectively.
Tackle the big items first.
Stop procrastinating on the hard stuff. Too often we do the little, menial tasks all to avoid the larger, more challenging but more important work. We fill time with busy work, emails and small to-do’s and yet overlook the projects that truly matter most.
The book focuses on the fact that productive people start each day with the hardest work first. Then the rest of the day can be prioritized accordingly. We get tired as the day goes on, why wait until we are tired to do the important work. Instead, deciding to do this work when you are motivated and refreshed will prove far more valuable and productive.
Be proactive, not reactive.
How often do you find yourself reacting to the events of the day. You are on defense the majority of the day and only on offense when you feel your an expert. This is a formidable challenge that many face each and every day.
While you are fending off emails and to-do’s all day long, your productive co-workers are able to be proactive rather than reactive. How? By setting priorities and sticking to them. That means being able to focus on the task at hand without having to check email every other minute or look at your phone every other second. Understand your routine and set aside time to complete certain activities in order of most important first (remember – eat the frog!). Decide when you will respond to emails, then set it aside. It seems horrifying to think of, but they can wait for you to complete a task before responding. Don’t put your work on pause every time someone sends you an email. Because then you are working on their time, not yours.
Setting this priority will put you back in the driver seat of your work-day. Don’t let others determine what you do with your time, make a plan and stick too it so you can take control back of your day and efforts.
At a certain point, we have to realize that our control is not necessary for every menial task that is required of us in the work place. We need to be able to prioritize and this is where highly productive people excel. They know where their time is best spent, so they use tools to help take care of the rest.
Business automation is a key factor in productivity. True automation can help streamline projects and trigger responses or activities that help keep your business going even when you are not there. Business automation includes aspects like app integration that can ensure your data is where you want it, when you need it. When integration helps your apps talk to each other and share data, you can create triggered, automated tasks that take care of the small tasks that often eat up our time.
There are plenty of productivity tools that can help make you a more productive person. But tools are not enough if our mindset is still misguided. We must form positive, beneficial habits if we ever want to take back our day and time.
Until we create clear exceptions of ourselves and our time, we will continue to be reactive beings. Some of the suggestions may work for you, others not as much. But the goal is to make ourselves purposeful and intentional about our creativity and efforts.
What are some ways you are able to maximize productivity or manage your time?