You know what a truly productive person’s daily life looks like.
There’s no need to think about what to do first, to procrastinate, or to wait for the right time. When he wakes up, he’s already organized the following day in the most effective way possible and can now just get started with a positive mindset and work on the first 1-3 important items on his list. He finds it easy to focus because distractions have already been defined and dealt with.
A productive person manages their time well, and that gives them the chance to save some of it and invest it in meaningful, pleasant activities like spending time with family, traveling, working out, reading, learning, and just living life.
A person like that gets a lot done in less time, makes decisions quickly, and acts upon them, which leads to maximizing his results and constantly getting closer to the life he’s after.
Such people are more likely to become millionaires, to start a business, to be promoted and reach the top of their careers, to inspire others with their actions, and to work on side projects that become so successful that they replace their day jobs and let them change their whole lifestyle.
Productivity is only the beginning. Once you learn what to do and not to do to be that organized, take charge of your time and your whole life, and show up every day to do your best work and complete your to-do list early, you can become successful too. These skills become valuable assets in every area of your life that you want to improve.
So to get there, let’s be more like these individuals who get it all done as a result of having taken their productivity to the next level.
But first, let’s start by eliminating some of the bad habits they’ve given up early on, by not thinking like a procrastinator anymore, and by removing anything unnecessary from our schedule so that we can actually have time for the important things.
Here’s what productive people never do, and what you should forget about too:
1. They Never Multitask
Multitasking is one of the enemies of productivity.
Why? Because we simply can’t do a good job when we focus our attention on more than one thing at a time. That’s how our brains work, and that’s why you’ll never be happy with the end result if you multitask.
What’s more, you may think you’re saving yourself time, but if you review everything in the end, you’ll realize that you spent more time on things like losing your focus and trying to concentrate again, jumping from one activity to another, and forgetting what you were about to do next.
You don’t want that. So, if you’ve decided to do something about becoming more productive today, let that be the first goal: stop multitasking.
In fact, create a not to-do list and treat it as equal to the to-do one. Write down ‘stop multitasking’ on top and take a look at it throughout the day to remember to stop every now and then and see if you’re unconsciously trying to get many things done at once.
2. They Never Skip Their Early Morning
Highly productive people know this: The morning is the most important part of the day because you get some extra time to prepare for this day, and how you start it defines how it will go.
But the average person gets up with the second or third alarm, not long before he needs to be in the office. So, he’s in a bad mood and in a hurry, and he rushes through the door forgetting something.
Unfortunately, that attitude remains with him for the whole day. It affects his ability to focus and get things done.
None of that would have happened, though, if he had woken up earlier to have a nice morning routine and use it to kickstart the day.
So, stop skipping your morning if you have set some bigger goals in life and want to make a lifestyle change.
Set your alarm for 30-60 minutes earlier and decide to get up immediately and do something to build momentum. Then, use this extra time to plan out your day, define which of your tasks are most important, declutter your home and office, have time to drink your coffee slowly, and even get inspired by reading something motivational, keeping a journal, getting in a workout, or meditating to clear your mind.
3. They Never Try to Get It All Done
Now it’s time to accept the idea that you’ll need to be selective and focus only on what truly matters to you, simply because your time, energy, and focus are limited.
If you try to get everything done, you’ll end up getting nothing done.
So, choose one area of life you want to master, set one big goal, and chunk it down into smaller, manageable ones. Don’t end up having a long to-do list just to keep yourself busy.
That’s not real productivity. That’s what average people do, and it’s the main reason why they get average results.
Perfectionism plays a big role here, which is another thing productive people refuse to do. Perfectionism leads to procrastinating, to not even getting to work on a new project because we don’t think it’s the right time, etc.
So what can you do to avoid that and to let go of the idea of getting it all done?
Take a closer look at your to-do list and weekly and monthly calendar, and eliminate anything that simply isn’t necessary.
Think of what makes you happier, takes you closer to your goals, and helps you or others in your life, and keep that. Even focus more on it in the future. As for the rest (repetitive tasks, things you hate doing, stuff that only seems urgent but that doesn’t make any difference even when done), delegate, automate, or remove once and for all.
These are the 3 main things you should never do again if you want to take your productivity to the next level and aim higher in life and in business.
Originally published 03/02/18.