You may think that the most productive people are multi-taskers, people with a strong will to do things or people who can work for great lengths of time. But, in truth, it’s people who know how to relax and clear their minds at the end of the day. It’s about managing your energy and not pushing yourself too far. So, for those of you who have ever found yourself working hard and still not being able to get everything done, here are eight secrets of the most productive people in the world to help you get more done.
Not all high-performing people are alike, but these tips are based on several research papers.
Secret #1: They know their most important task of the day
The secret of becoming productive (instead of just feeling productive) is to know what your most important task of the day is. If you’re having trouble deciding, ask yourself which activity will have the most significant positive impact on your future and then focus all your efforts on getting that done.
Bonus tip: Decide on an early meeting the night before. Meeting with yourself at least once a day to review your progress and plan for the next day is one of the most effective productivity hacks you can use. Just set a reminder so you’re not late for your meeting.
Secret #2: They believe in gut decisions
Productivity isn’t about working harder; it’s about working smarter. One of the most important strategies we found was always making decisions with your gut because your gut is smarter than your brain. Don’t make decisions based on your emotions. It may feel like the right thing to do, but your heart and brain are two completely different organs. Your brain will focus on the details while your heart will look at the big picture.
Secret #3: Work from anywhere, including at home
Working from home is nothing new. People have always been able to work from the comfort of their own home or wherever the business requires. The most productive workers are often those who can work from anywhere. A good work-from-home chair is one of the most critical factors to having an excellent work-from-home experience. Chairs with an excellent ergonomic design can improve your posture, which will help you feel better throughout the day, says Dr. Marjorie Skubic, director of the Preventive Spine and Medical Center in New York City. Full-figured home workers, in particular, should look for chairs that fit their shape and size. And if you’re not quite ready to settle into a setup at home, then it’s worth noting that many offices are embracing spaces with a more flexible and casual feel—like a couch or even a hammock.
Secret #4: They know how to delegate
The fourth secret of the most productive people in the world is that they aren’t afraid to delegate. Drawing inspiration from the words of FDR, Nancy Reagan, and many others, we find the most productive person in the world is the one who can delegate.
Secret #5: They know how to CLOSE OFF their work and relax
The fifth secret of the most productive people in the world is knowing how to CLOSE OFF their work and relax. They know how to separate their professional and leisure time. And they have some rituals they follow when taking a break: go for a walk, spend some time in nature or do some sports.
Secret #6: They are not lazy
The secret to being productive isn’t some grand brutal work schedule or ritual. It’s pretty simple: don’t be lazy. Lazy people are the most unproductive because they’re always thinking about how little they’re doing and how much more they could be getting done. They’re always looking for shortcuts, trying to make their time not count. Productive people know that every quantity of work counts no matter how long it may take, so they get to work and finish as much as possible. Productive people schedule relaxation and downtime into their day, but they don’t spend that time sitting around. Instead, they get it done so they have more time to relax later because they don’t have to spend it on the things that need to get done now.
Secret #7: They Make a Decision and Stick with It
It may sound simple, but many people can’t decide not because they are indecisive but because they don’t know what to do, so they keep delaying and waiting for that perfect solution that will give them the best outcome.
Secret #8: They set clear goals
Set a goal. You have to know what you want before you can get it. “Studies show that when you set a goal that is clear, specific and challenging, you are 42% more likely to achieve it,” says business coach and author Karen Salmansohn. The clearer the goal, the more accurate it becomes and the more steps you need to achieve it.
“Make sure your goals are measurable,” directs Salmansohn. “Get clear on what success looks like so that you can answer the question, ‘Am I there yet?'”
“You can never cross the finish line unless you start running,” says Dr. Jana Kramer in her inspirational video I am Enough. “Hiding behind excuses about why you can’t do something will not allow you to be the person you want to be or accomplish the things you want to accomplish. If I could do it, anybody can do it.
Secret #9: They surround themselves with other productive people
What’s the point of being productive if you don’t have anyone to share your success with? It’s easy to get into the habit of working from home, but it’s important to connect with like-minded people who will push you to be better. In a fast-paced world where people are busy, finding others who share the same work ethic can be difficult. It may seem counterintuitive, but surrounding yourself with productive people is the key to maximizing your output.
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