5 Tips from Highly Productive People

I like to imagine that I am a fairly productive person. I stay on top of my work , I get enough sleep, and I don’t neglect my interpersonal relationships. However, some people far surpass me in their productivity. By the time I pull myself out of bed and make breakfast, they’ve already hit the gym, responded to emails, and walked their dog twice. It’s a state of being I envy, and I hope to one day attain.

Because of this, I read a lot about the habits of highly industrious people. It turns out that many people marvel at the output of others and wonder how they could achieve the same. In my research, I often run across some common themes, and I’ve compiled them in one place for you today. Here are five tips from highly productive people:

  1. They have focus. Daily tasks act as a distraction for many of us. Highly productive people, on the other hand, turn most of their focus onto things that bring them closer to their goals. They still have to do the laundry and get groceries, but they cut out other unimportant tasks to make room for things that bring them closer to their goals.
  2. They allow for imperfections. I have a tendency towards perfectionism. I am often dissatisfied with things I’ve done that don’t come out perfectly, and I dedicate an inordinate amount of time towards perfecting various projects. Highly productive individuals, on the other hand, accept that imperfection is just a part of life. They don’t allow it to sidetrack them, nor do they use it as an excuse for procrastination.
  3. They make and use lists. Highly productive people outline their days by making lists with daily action items they can conquer. Beyond this, they actually use the lists they make. They determine goals for each meeting and appointment of the day, and they stick to their schedule. Highly productive people start with small tasks with the knowledge that these will build towards larger successes.
  4. They have a routine. Most of us have some routines we employ in our daily lives. Highly productive people, however, utilize routines to decrease the number of decisions they have to make for little things. Our decision making power decreases throughout the day, so the fewer decisions you have to make on a daily basis, the less decision fatigue you are likely to experience. Instead of deciding what clothes to wear each morning or what kind of tea to make, highly productive people stick to a set routine. This lets them devote more of their decision making power to bigger goals.
  5. They give themselves breaks. If you go all day, from morning until night, chances are you will quickly burn yourself out. Rest helps you remain productive, and gives your mind time to regroup. Highly productive people know when it’s time to take a break. When you start feeling burnt out or unproductive, take a break and let yourself breathe. Return to the task later, but with a clearer vision and a calmer mind.

There are a few books I would recommend to you here as well. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey continues to be a staple for productivity improvements. His son, Sean Covey, wrote a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens which I also enjoy immensely. Think Like Da Vinci: 7 Easy Steps to Boosting Your Every Day Genius by Michael Gelb is another great book, as is The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get It by Kelly McGonigal.

Reaching peak personal productivity in any venture requires time and practice. Remember to go easy on yourself as you work towards productivity. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was any task worth mentioning.

Career Solutions Group specializes in helping career changers achieve their job search goals. If you are interested in scheduling a free initial consultation with one of our career consultants, you can email us at info@careersolutionsgroup.net, or call 970-224-4042.

By: Julia Pillard, Career Solutions Group