It’s time to shake off the winter blues and kick off a new year! We naturally feel that our best days are up ahead.
But, how do you prioritize? How do you decide what to tackle first?
Personal productivity is a key differentiator between people who succeed and those who do not. People who are consistently making things happen, know how to achieve what they want in less time than others. There’s a lot to be learned from the tactics of successful, and incredibly busy, individuals on how to better organize our own days.
The American Express Forum says that highly successful people do these 10 things every day. What’s the catch? NONE! You can start doing them right now too!
Here are 10 things you can do today to help increase your personal productivity:
- Pick 1 task to focus on. One thing many successful people have in common is the ability to focus on what matters most. Pick one thing and do that one thing.
- Block out distractions. Period. Martina Navratilova says, “I concentrate on concentrating.”
- Set a strict time limit on meetings. In general, people don’t need as much time as they ask for. Meetings can be time suckers. Be radical when it comes to managing your time so you can focus on high value tasks.
- Set up productivity rituals. Setting up rituals that automate behaviors make us more productive – without depleting our energy reservoir. 4am wake ups may not be your cup of tea, but force yourself to prioritize so that you know that you will finish at least that one critical task during the period of the day when you have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
- Get up earlier. Yes, I get up most mornings at 4 am. Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. Motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals.
- Outsource personal chores. Highly productive people are selective about how they expend their energy. They don’t waste time or energy on tasks that others can do. Do a cost/benefit analysis of how you spend your time and see if it’s worth offloading some repetitive tasks so you can focus on what will bring value to your job or company.
- Increase your effectiveness through technology. There are plenty of programs that can help increase your productivity. A few popular tools: Slack and Dropbox for work; TripIt and OmniFocus for personal.
- Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity: Say ‘NO’ for your ‘YES’.
- Stop multi-tasking. Research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work. Be one of the rare few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. It’s genuinely about practice.
- Learn from others. Understand that for you to move to your next level of success, you must be in constant student mode. Whether you’re learning from others, attending school, reading books, attending seminars or taking a course, you have to gain access to the information you don’t know so you can get to where you want to be.
Your productivity is your life made visible. Protect your time and your energy, protect your life.