7 Productive Habits That Will Make You Extremely Successful
We all want to get things done and become productive but do we have the productive habits we need to make that happen? Nobody wants to procrastinate, waste time, and at the end of the day, feeling guilty because we have been busy wasting our time, yet we are not accomplishing anything of significance.
It doesn’t matter what you do or where you work, everyone wants to be more productive. The problem is that in this digital age, distractions are everywhere and staying focus on getting things done has become something challenging to achieve.
Hence, if you want to become extremely productive and successful in what you do, you need to learn to cultivate these 7 habits below…
1. Know the results you want
First, you have to know the results you want. There is no way you can be productive if you don’t know what kind of results you are pursuing.
Just like if you want to have a vacation, the first thing you need to know is where do you want to go and for how many days. Without knowing your destination, you can’t proceed to plan the trip.
Knowing the outcome is important because it allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, if you are a blogger, you have to know what kind of blog you want to build. You have to find out the vision for your blog. Think 5 years into the future and see where you want your blog to be.
Then, and only then, you can make a plan and start working your way there. The same principle applies to everything you want to achieve in life.
If you want to lose weight, you need to know how much weight you want to lose. This is because if you don’t know the result you desire, you can’t come up with a viable plan to follow through.
Therefore, envision the success you want. Understand what kind of result you are trying to create so that you can work your way there from now on.
2. Focus on the most important tasks first
Next, once you understand what you want, you need to focus on the most important tasks first. Yes, apply the Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 Rule. Meaning, you want to work on 20% of the tasks that give you 80% of the results.
Many people get it wrong by focusing on whatever comes to them. They work on everything on their plates without thinking if any of those tasks are necessary or are producing them the results they want.
This is why a lot of people are suffering from burnout and feeling overwhelming. They feel stressed because they put themselves in the never-ending loop of work. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should not work, but instead, you should be getting the right work done.
Mark Twain said it best, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
You want to focus on getting the most important tasks done first. For example, if you want to start an online business, you don’t want to spend days or weeks on designing a perfect logo or website. Instead, you want to get your products out there as soon as possible to know if your business ideas work.
All other tasks can wait. You have to give way to the priority, which is to sell and start making a profit. The problem with most people is that they are focusing on the wrong thing. They worry about the 80% tasks that get them 20% results.
From today on, understand your priority and then work on the most important tasks first. Focus on the vital few that produce most of your success.
3. Keep distractions at bay
Distractions are everywhere these days. You don’t want to become the victim of distractions. Here’s what you want to do: learn to become proactive rather than being reactive.
When you are reactive, you react to whatever that comes to you. When your phone rings, you react to it. When you receive a notification on Facebook, you check it.
Instead of being reactive, you want to be proactive. Proactively create a bunker and get rid of all possible distractions.
For instance, if you have a room, work in the room and lock the door if necessary. Turn off your phone or at least silence it when you work. And if you are working on a computer and you don’t need the internet, disconnect yourself from the internet.
Doing so will make sure you are not getting distracted by anything or anyone. You want to focus on your work so that you can get the most out of the shortest time.
4. Build a morning ritual
Another good habit you should develop to become successful at what you do is to build a morning ritual. In other words, you want to create a routine to jumpstart your morning. The reason is simple: a good morning routine helps you set the tone of the day.
When you have a productive morning ritual, it allows you to control your schedule rather than having your schedule control you. Your routine saves you energy, reduces friction in life, and at the same time, free up your willpower and energy to make other better decisions in life.
If you have no idea why having a ritual is important, just consider why ex-President Barrack Obama only wears blue or grey suits. This was what he said in an interview: “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
So, create your morning routine and try to start each day the same. Imagine your ideal morning, how does it look like? And start to go through your morning that way.
5. Start small
Next, if you want to be productive, you want to start small. The reason is that starting small is easy, and hence, it requires less energy to execute and perform the action.
Do you know why most people procrastinate? Well, because they focus on getting the entire project done rather than focusing on doing what they can at the moment.
If you want to write a 300-page book and you try to do it within a week, you will feel overwhelmed. You will procrastinate and eventually when things don’t seem to be working according to your plan, you will give up and quit.
This is why starting small is important. You don’t have to write 300 pages in a day. You can write just one page a day. And in 300 days, you will have the 300 pages book. Do you get that?
Focus on getting the small things done and the big things will take care of itself. The man who moves a mountain begins by taking away small stones.
6. Take short breaks
You may think that taking breaks is not productive, but it is not. Plenty of studies and research have discovered that our willpower and energy are like our phones’ batteries. When we wake up in the morning, our willpower and energy are fully charged. As we go through the day, working, and making decisions, we use our willpower and energy.
And eventually, we will run out of willpower and energy. When that happens, we feel tired, difficult to focus, and we will do something to distract ourselves from our work.
This is why you want to take short breaks to recharge your willpower and energy level. You can follow the Pomodoro Technique to do this.
Work for 25 minutes and then take a quick 5 minutes break. And that is a Pomodoro session. After 4 Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break, like 30 minutes. That’s how it works.
When you take breaks in your day, you are giving yourself time to recharge and refresh your energy. And when you have the energy, you can work longer and focus better.
7. Manage your energy
The last good habit I would like to share with you is to manage your energy. Many people have the wrong perception to believe that to be productive, they need to work faster and squeeze in more time.
This is a wrong perception. Time is fixed. No matter how much time you try to squeeze, we all have 24 hours, no more and no less. And the only variable is our energy level. There are times when you feel tired and exhausted where you can’t focus on your work. These are the times when you lack energy.
And your mission is to maintain your energy so that you feel motivated, driven, and energetic to work on your tasks.
When you are energetic and focused, you can cut short the time of your work and perform better. But when you lack energy, you can’t focus, and a 2-hour task will take you 4 hours to complete. You don’t want that to happen.
This is why learning how to maintain your energy level is important if you want to be productive. There is no point to work 18 hours a day and sleep only 6 hours. If you can’t focus, you can’t perform. And this slows down your productivity. Not to mention that the lack of sleep also causes other health problems and gives you extra stress.
So, learn to manage your energy. Take short breaks, exercise, and eat healthily.
Being productive is not going to happen magically. If you want it, you need to work for it. So, follow these 7 productive habits above and create an ideal work-life that will help you get more things done.
About the Author:
Want to discover the secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life? Follow Shawn Lim on his blog, StunningMotivation.com (http://StunningMotivation.com). You can also download his guidebook, Reach Your Goals, and make your dreams a reality. Or simply follow him on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/stunningmotivation)