When it comes to productivity, we are all probably in the same boat: we want to improve. So, when we see other people who appear to “have it all together” it’s only natural to ponder what their secrets are. Let’s find out shall we?
Whether we’re striving to improve productivity at home or at the office, frankly it doesn’t matter. Even the most productive people on the planet contend with distractions, interruptions, forgetfulness, procrastination, and all the other hiccups (infinite as they can be) that can mess with schedules, routines and deadlines. The question is, how easily can we control our productivity–a destiny we all dream of?
In an article published in Forbes, contributor Kevin Kruse revealed 15 surprising things productive people do differently. This exclusive list was compiled after interviews with some highly productive individuals. In fact, the article points out that his research was gathered from many reputable sources:
I recently interviewed over 200 ultra-productive people including seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, 20 straight-A students and over 200 successful entrepreneurs. I asked a simple, open-ended question, “What is your number one secret to productivity?” After analyzing all of their responses, I coded their answers into 15 unique ideas.
Highlighted below are five of the secrets revealed by Kruse along with our thoughts. Happy reading and best of luck in your conscientious decision-making when it comes to productivity improvement!
They Don’t Use To-Do Lists
Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live from that calendar. Use a calendar and schedule your entire day into 15-minute blocks …
Interestingly enough, half the time people feel lost without a “to-do” list right? In a way, it’s an old-school idea that has stood the test of time. Perhaps this is why it’s such a surprising productivity tactic. That being said, AccelaWork agrees. Blocking out time and utilizing a calendar as the ultimate blueprint for each day is key to keeping yourself on track.
They Make It Home For Dinner
Highly successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. There is no right answer, but for many, values include: family time, exercise, giving back. They consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value (i.e., they put it on their calendar) and then they stick to the schedule.
Achieving a work/life balance is an absolute must when it comes to maintaining productivity. After all, how productive can one be when a break from the stress and constant needs of the office never arrives. Eventually, everyone burns out. Don’t reach that point of no return.
They Process Email Only a Few Times A Day
Ultra-productive people don’t “check” email throughout the day. They don’t respond to each vibration or ding to see who has intruded their inbox. Instead, like everything else, they schedule time to process their email quickly and efficiently.
You don’t have to repeat this tip for AccelaWork to be sold! If you’re a reader of The Methodology Blog or know Robby Slaughter, principle of AccelaWork, then you know: The Battle For Your Email Inbox is an important one to continue.
They Avoid Meetings at all Costs
Meetings are notorious time killers. They start late, have the wrong people in them, meander in their topics and run long. You should get out of meetings whenever you can, hold fewer of them yourself, and if you do run a meeting, keep it short.
Don’t be totally mislead here. There are times where meetings are necessary and important. However, the sad truth is they’ve become abused, overused and painful in the workplace. Become the leader in your office. Run meetings the way they should be run: quickly and efficiently.
They Say No
Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
Whether it’s not in our nature to say no or we worry that saying no means we don’t care, whatever the reason, it’s a difficult phrase for many of us to utter at work. That being said, it’s an invaluable tool in the journey towards improving productivity. Saying no shows that we can distinguish between what is realistic and do-able versus what is reckless and insurmountable.