Can’t seem to get things done? Stop saying yes…
Whether you’re easily distracted, you tend to bite off more than you can chew, or you think overworking is the answer, the way you currently deal with tasks might mean you often struggle to get much done.
To help make the most of your time, here are six things productive people do every day (that you should start doing right now):
They focus on one thing at a time
Even if you’re the best multitasker on the planet, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re productive.
And although work might be getting done using this tactic, it’s probably not going to be completed to the best of your abilities. After all, splitting your attention over four things equals to only quarter of your effort going in – meaning the likelihood of mistakes increases, and your standards slipping.
So instead of trying to juggle as much as possible, prioritise your tasks and do them one-by-one. Not only will your productivity improve, you might also find that procrastination is less tempting.
Because switching through various tabs, emails, and texts all day isn’t getting anything done…
They say no
Productive people are rarely labelled as ‘yes men/women’.
Instead, when they say they’ll do something, they actually follow through – meaning a ‘yes’ only comes after they’ve fully assessed their workload. And, potentially, they might have to say ‘no’ to a few requests if they haven’t got time to take a task on.
Unfortunately, someone who says yes on impulse is unlikely to be productive in the long-run. Their intentions might be good, but they’re not necessarily realistic about their goals.
They don’t take things too seriously
Overthinking. Over-criticising. Overworking.
People who spend most of their time on any (or all) of the above are in danger of jeopardising their productivity without even realising it. And although you might picture a productive person as a serious over-worker with an inability to switch off, it’s actually almost the exact opposite.
Knowing when to relax is the best way to give yourself a break when you need it – instead of beating yourself up or trudging on even though your mindset isn’t quite up to the job.
After all, mistakes are human nature, and the only way to maintain productivity is to actually learn from them and move on.
They take care of themselves
Whether it’s from getting enough sleep, organising tasks, or just eating right and exercising, productive people are generally fuelled by their own well-being.
In fact, a large part of productivity comes down to whether you can actually concentrate on the task at hand, and if you’re tired, overworked, and/or hungry (see also: hangry) – working is likely to be the last thing on your mind.
Instead, procrastination will be an inevitability. No matter how much you think you can keep running on empty.
They know what’s important
Productive people don’t ‘kill time’.
Instead, they use it wisely – by reserving it for the most important tasks.
Because knowing how to prioritise tasks effectively and understand which ones have the highest sense of urgency is the key to being a productive worker.
To put things into perspective, ask yourself if your time could be spent better on other things before you start a task, and if the answer is yes, you know what to do.
N.B. checking your emails every five minutes should never be number one on your to-do-list…
They work backwards
Sometimes, productivity simply comes down to being able to look towards the future.
The most productive people will take time to set clear goals in place first, and work backwards to achieve them – with the outcome in mind. Then, they’ll be able to break their workload down into doable steps that will help them to succeed in the long run.
Not only does this work ethic mean that everything you do has a clear purpose, it also means you’re far more likely to be motivated to actually do it.
Remember: it’s not just about what you do, it’s about why you do it.