Nowadays, it seems like everyone is leading a very busy life. Between work, home life, and trying to squeeze in a little time for fun activities, it can often seem like there are not enough hours in the day. Of course, we all know people who seem to have a much easier time than others. Their daily habits contribute meaningfully to managing all the different facets of their lives.
Have you ever looked at successful and productive people in amazement, wondering how they are able to seemingly get so many things done without breaking a sweat? The reality is that most productive people have several common daily habits that account for their higher levels of productivity.
If you would like to improve the quality of your life, you can do so by becoming more productive. Listed below are eight daily habits of the highly productive go-getters in our midst. Consider which ones you might want to incorporate into your life.
1. Handle the most important tasks first.
Learn to work from a “to-do list.” By writing down what needs to get done, you can clearly see which items are most important. Those are the items you should always address first. Even if the most important items will take the most time, target quality achievements over the number of achievements.
2. Develop focused concentration techniques.
In our highly interconnected lives, there are far too many distractions to count. To be clear, distractions are the enemy of your productivity.
Whenever you set out to accomplish a task or group of tasks, you want to get them done as efficiently and effectively (correctly) as possible. To consistently do that, you need to develop the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. The term “Deep Work” was coined by Cal Newport. It refers to the process of focusing solely on the task at hand without permitting interruptions.
3. Keep long-term objectives in mind.
In order to accomplish the most important task first, you need to avoid getting caught up in the minutia of trying to handle unimportant tasks. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, there should be a long-term goal at the end of each objective. Everything you do during a productive day/week/month/year should be directed toward progress on your long-term objectives.
4. Break down large tasks into multiple smaller tasks.
When facing a major task or objective, it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed by the task at hand.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start by breaking down major tasks into smaller tasks. As you accomplish one smaller task after another, your confidence will get a boost from a sense of accomplishment. Eventually, you will be able to put a checkmark next to the larger task while minimizing the stress it took to get there.
5. Limit decision-making.
Every day, we all have to make hundreds of decisions, some big and some small. The fact is that too much decision-making can drain all of your mental energy.
The best way to eliminate a lot of the day-to-day unimportant decision-making is to create a daily routine that naturally addresses a lot of the minor decisions. Doing so will set your mind free so you can focus on the biggest and most important decisions.
6. Follow the 80/20 rule.
Better known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule states that a productive person will get 80% of the results they need from 20% of the efforts they put forth.
The best way to incorporate this rule into your life is to learn to focus on the 20% of your to-do list that matters the most. For the other 80%, you might want to see if you can delegate those items to other people or perhaps eliminate them from the list altogether.
7. Maintain a list of daily distractions.
While you are trying to concentrate on the task at hand, you will encounter distractions. Your tendency will be to stop what you are doing to handle those distractions. Don’t do that.
Instead, keep a list of all the distractions that pop up. Address those distractions after you’ve completed the one on which you’re working.
8. Carve out time for relaxation.
As you learn to focus better on the tasks at hand, you’ll find your mind needs a little break every now and then for recharging.
During the day, plot out small segments of time for relaxation and exercise. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
9. Get a good night’s sleep.
Being well-rested can make the biggest difference in how productive you are during the day. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that or takes the time to implement best practices. Take the time to figure out if your current mattress is made for you. Getting a new mattress might get you the extra deep sleep you need to operate at your highest potential.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that being well-rested is not just an essential part of maintaining your productivity. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to anxiety and depression in high-achieving students. In other words, when you fail to get enough sleep, you burn out faster.
Start with one of these daily habits and build.
It will take some time and effort to develop the ability to concentrate on what’s really important while setting aside a world of distractions. Once concentration becomes one of your daily habits, you will find that your productivity is increasing. You will also learn about how to determine what is really important in terms of being a successful person.
Start with increasing your focus. Adopt additional daily habits one at a time. Keep a journal to track your progress and stay encouraged as you move forward.