There are 15 successful habits of highly effective people that we can learn from where it comes to time management. We all know that there are only 24 hours a day, so making the most out of our time is absolutely critical. Well, when it comes to becoming more productive, there are only two ways to do it.
First, you put in more hours to work more, and second, you work smart to become more effective and efficient.If you want to learn how to be more productive, read on to discover the 15 successful habits of highly effective people to get more done. It is not rocket science, but you do need to work more deliberately and learn to manage your time and yourself better.
Track and limit your time spent
One of the most important keys to becoming productive is to track your time spent. Just like losing weight, if you want to lose weight, the first thing you do is to weight yourself.
Tracking how you spend your time allows you to better understand where your time goes. And when you understand how you spend your time, you are able to manage yourself better by managing your time spent.
For example, if you discovered that you watch 20 hours of TV a week, you can then make conscious decision to reduce this time spend on TV and use it somewhere else.
Get a good break from time to time
Get a break from time to time may sound counterintuitive, but many studies have found that taking short breaks help in recharging our energy and improve our level of concentration. In other words, breaks and productivity are correlated.
In fact, many time management experts suggest us work according to the Pomodoro Technique where we work for 25 minutes and then take a short 5 minutes break. This short break allows us to recharge our willpower and helps us focus better.
Set a deadline for important tasks
Another great productivity tip that used by a lot of highly successful people is to create self-imposed deadlines. We all know the importance of deadlines. Without a deadline, we don’t feel the stress and we don’t have the urgency to get the task done.
However, when we have a deadline to complete a task, we will often make sure we did it. This is why having a deadline helps in boosting our productivity.
Most of the things that you want to do in life have no deadlines. You can create self-imposed deadlines to make the tasks urgent. Just make sure that you commit to the deadlines and really do the work.
Focus on the power of small
Everyone wants to do big things and nobody wants to do the small little things that are not going to amount to much. The problem is that when you handle the small things, the big things will take care of themselves.
For instance, if you want to write a book, you have to break down this big task into smaller milestones such as drafting the table of contents and then the chapters. Before you start writing, you have to further break down each chapter into paragraphs. And this is how you write a book. Start by writing sentence to sentence and you will have paragraphs. And when you combine all the small work, you will have the book.
Hence, always focus on the power of small. Focus on doing the one small thing right now and the task will complete by itself.
Do you know that multitasking actually lowers your productivity? Scientists have discovered that our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. When we try to do a few things at the same time, we lose our focus.
This is why accidents can happen when we try to drive and talk on the phone. We lose our focus and thus, reduce our productivity.
If you want to improve your performance and get more things done, stop multitasking. Instead, choose to focus on doing just one thing at a time.
Turn commute time into productive time
People spend an average of an hour in their commute each day. And within a month, you will have 30 hours spend in commuting. This is a huge chunk of time that you can make good use of.
Instead of checking Facebook or watching YouTube videos, turn your commute time into productive hours. You can work on smaller tasks that require less time to complete.
For example, you can draft the articles that you are going to write with your phone, check and reply emails, and spend time learning by listening to audio programs.
Live an active lifestyle
When we talk about increasing our productivity, the first thing that most people will think about is how they can manage their time and accomplish more. Not much people will have the thought of maintaining their energy by living an active lifestyle.
Do you know that highly successful people like Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Barrack Obama, and Jack Dorsey exercise daily to maintain their energy level?
There is no point to work longer hours when you can’t focus and have no energy to do so. This is why exercise is important. So live an active lifestyle by making exercise your daily habit.
Get rid of distractions
If you want to be productive, you must get rid of distractions. Most people know about handling distractions, but they still choose to allow distractions to interrupt them.
When you are working on your most important tasks, remember to turn your phone into silent mode or switch it off. You can also lock yourself in your room so that you can focus on what you do.
Improve workplace conditions
Another key to increasing your productivity at work is to create a supportive workplace environment. If your work requires you to sit for long hours and face your laptop, get yourself a good chair and table.You want to work in a comfortable work environment, not just anywhere.
When your workplace conditions are supportive, you are able to focus better and get more done. Decorate your workplace, make it nice, and remember to put in some greens that soothe your eyes.
Take a power nap
Studies have found that power naps are a powerful technique to quickly restore our energy and alertness. When you are tired, try to take a power nap. A power nap should be short, usually within 10 to 30 minutes.
After the nap, you will feel more awake and refresh. However, make sure you don’t oversleep. If you sleep for an hour, highly likely, you will go into deep sleep and when you wake up, you may feel groggy.
Famous blogger and New York Times best-selling author Michael Hyatt says that he takes power nap almost every day to maintain his work performance.
Eat healthy food
What you put in your body will affect your energy level. Do you feel sleepy in the afternoon, usually after your lunch?
Try to eat less because when you eat too heavy, your stomach has to do more work, which requires more energy, and hence, making you feel sleepy in the afternoon.
At the same time, maintain a healthy diet and eat more vegetables and fruits. When your energy level is high, you are able to perform at your best with higher productivity.
Batch similar tasks
This is a great productivity hack that everyone can leverage. To save time and work more efficiently, you can batch similar tasks together and then do them at the same time.
For example, choose to check and reply emails at a certain time of the day only. You don’t have to check your email every time you receive a notification. If you are a blogger, try to come up with article ideas for the month using the editorial calendar so that you don’t have to think about what to write every day.
Do the high-impact work first
This is one of the most effective ways to become more productive. Being productive is not about working longer hours or being busy, it is about being effective by doing the important work that gives you the most result.
A lot of people spend time working on low-impact tasks. At the end of the day, they are busy getting things done, but they are not producing the results that they want. You must focus on doing the high-impact tasks first.
Wake up extremely early
Yes, this is the easiest way to get more things done and to have more time to deal with more tasks.
Highly successful people wake up extremely early. According to time management expert, Laura Vanderkam, she says that most successful people wake up extremely early.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple told Time that he wakes up at about 4AM each day. Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL wakes up at 5AM and the PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi says that she arrives in the office at 7AM.
Therefore, wake up at least an hour early and use the time wisely to kick-start your productivity.
Plan your day
There is a saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, and it is true. People who do not plan will fall into other people’s plan. When you have no idea what to do, you become reactive and respond to whatever work that comes to you.
On the other hand, when you plan, you know what you need to do, and this makes you proactive. You can then schedule and go through your day according to your plan, which means you are consciously working on the things that you want.
Successful people may not be a great planner, but they do have a high intention of living the life that they want. They know what they need to do and then they do it.