I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants to be more productive in their everyday lives. We wonder how different would our life be if we could be that person who handles 300 different things at a time and not lose our minds? Unfortunately as human beings it’s not possible to be that perfect. BUT there are time management tricks you can use to maximize your time, get more done throughout the day and at a faster pace.
You aren’t going to be able to improve your life if you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. In order to master your life, you need to start with good time management habits and work your way from there. I wish I could say that as someone running a full-time business, I am a master time-manager that gets everything done in record time, but that’s not the case. I struggle too. I am definitely not perfect.
But, what I do know is that I wake up every day and follow these tips because they make me a happier, more balanced, less-stressed human being. And, although I don’t believe you’ll reach perfection (I mean, nobody can), with these tips you can walk away with tools that will streamline your workflow and make time for the important things in life: family, relationships, happiness.
So let’s dive into these 11 simple habits of highly productive people!
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11 Simple Habits of Highly Productive People
Highly productive people know what tasks to prioritize over others. The tasks level of importance – not their preference for doing it – is what drives their workflow. It’s important to create your to-do lists around what tasks you can get done first. For me, if there’s a strict deadline, I will get that task done first so I don’t miss the deadline. However, in general, I like to prioritize getting the bigger tasks done first before the smaller ones, that way I don’t get burnt out by the middle of the day and put everything on the backburner.
Productive people set limits that they adhere to. If you tackle everything at the same time without a plan then you become burnout and unproductive. I know it can be hard (especially if you’re a perfectionist like me) but there are times when you need to ditch perfectionism and focus on just getting stuff done. You need to set a hard deadline for yourself and work your hardest to get It done, even if your work is not a masterpiece. By segmenting your time into chunks and setting a hard deadline (ex: I will get as much done on this ____ within 45 minutes) you avoid burnout and are able to be more productive throughout the day.
Another boundary you could set for yourself are to put away any distractions – i.e. phone, computer, tablet, etc. – for a certain time during the day so you can use that time to focus on completing your most immediate tasks. You could also set time in the morning (or night) focused on only one task, so networking, handling social media, answering emails or educating yourself. By setting boundaries, you will be much less anxious, stressed, burnout and more productive throughout the day.
Work smarter, not harder
Why go the longest route possible when you can take the path of least resistance and streamline your workflow? There are apps and planners in the world for a reason. In fact, there are hundreds of free resources that will make your life so much easier. Highly productive people use their resources to their advantage so they have more time to focus on bigger tasks.
Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a guaranteed way to sabotage your productivity. If you sleep less than 7 hours a night, you’re less focused, less motivated and more anxious. Highly productive people know that a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night is a necessity for optimizing their time. With this in mind, they prioritize their work and organize their schedule around getting an optimal amount of sleep so they can feel refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Have a killer morning routine
Mornings are like magic. I work best and am the most productive early in the mornings (and no, I’m definitely not a morning person). It’s just the perfect time to get work done before the afternoon when you start getting burnt out. At least try waking up 15 minutes earlier and I promise it will be a complete game changer for you.
Break your time into increments
By segmenting your time into chunks and giving yourself a brief break in between gives your brain time to recoup before diving back into your work. I like to segment my time into 45 minutes of getting tasks done and then a 15 minute break before doing it again. That way I can give my mind time to refresh before conquering more on my to-do list and can better avoid mid-day burnout.
Know when it’s time to ask for help
You are human. You are not superwomen and can’t do everything by yourself. It’s not a sign of weakness if you ask for help. Everyone needs help once in a while. Highly productive people know when it’s time to ask for help and will do so in order to get the task done quickly before moving onto the next.
Know your peak productivity time (and take advantage of it)
There are peak times when you are productive. Maybe you’re most productive in the early morning, late at night or in the mid-afternoon. Keep a note of this and take advantage of it.
Know when to say “No”
It can be so hard to say no (especially as a woman.) It makes you feel a little bad, but it is so important because you need to reserve that precious time for the most important things. You don’t always have to say yes to people, there are nice ways to say no. You can’t always be there for everyone at all times and that’s okay. Sometimes you may even have to say no to friends because you need a “me” day to recoup. If they are your true friends then they will understand.
Discipline is required if you want to make your goals happen. You need to make a plan, set your schedule and follow through. Successful people use their time to further their career instead of wasting time watching t.v. or playing video games. There is a time for that, but when it comes to your career, you need to set the distractions aside and use your time wisely.
Become a master at planning
This is definitely easier said than done. But, it’s a must if you want to be more productive throughout the day. Make your planner your best friend because it’s the most important time-management tool you have. I actually have multiple planners – a daily, weekly, and monthly planner – so I can always stay on track. I also keep a running to-do list on my phone that I look over every morning to see if there’s more I need to add.
If you’ve been following my blog for quite some time, you know I am a big supporter of mental health. It’s easy when you’re juggling a million things to be stressed out, and thus, be really hard on yourself. You’re not perfect, you will make mistakes, and that’s okay.
When highly productive people fall, they immediately get back up, brush themselves off and move on. There is no point in staying focused on your failures. It’s not the end of the world, it will soon pass and life moves on. Love yourself, forgive yourself, and keep moving move forward.
What are your top habits for having highly productive days? What did we leave off this list? Let me know in the comments!
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