What Productive People Have That Unproductive People Lack
Do you wonder how they do it?
How those super successful productive people you look up to stay on top of their games.
They manage lots of companies. With lots of staff. Sweeping in lots of income and influence. And still, they have time for things that matter to them – God, family and friends.
You wish you can buy some extra hours each day. Because your 24 hours don’t seem enough.
But hey, these guys also have 24 hours per day! Just like you, and me and every other person.
So, what do these productive people do or not do, compared to unproductive people?
I’ve asked this question again and again. And searched. And found practical answers. Habits productive people have in common.
Here are 7 distinguishing habits of productive people:
They Manage Minutes of Their Time.
Many people know how important time management is. And they try to manage their time by allocating tasks to different hours of the day.
They count in hours. But this is what productive people do: they count in minutes. They know every minute – in fact, every second – lost can’t be regained. Like Lord Chesterfield said, “Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.”
“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” (Thomas Edison)
They Employ Time Batching and Blocking.
Productive people block out time, and batch tasks to maximize and manage their time effectively. Blocking out time involves defining specific times for activities, tasks and events of your life.
For example, a businessperson who needs to connect with his online audience daily can “block out” 9:00-10:00am to make a post, interact and do other necessary activities.
An aspiring author can block out some hours, every single day, for one month to write that book. Also, they could batch their tasks and block out time to work on it.
Batching involves grouping similar tasks together and setting out time to work on them.
So, that business person can decide to block out time to create all the graphics needed for the week’s social media content. This helps you to employ the same thought process, focus and skill to get similar tasks done.
The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.” – Mozart
They Have and Follow Daily Rituals.
Rituals are activities done in a particular situation, and in the same way each time. These daily rituals can also be called routine.
So, you can have a bedtime routine of brushing your teeth, having a shower, playing soft music, reading your Bible and a book chapter. Then off you go to sleep.
But rituals are kind of more intentional. You didn’t just stumble into those set of activities. You put them in place for a purpose.
Productive people have such routines (rituals) for different aspects of their life: Morning routine, spiritual routine, exercise routine, etc.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. (John Maxwell)
They Use the 80/20 Rule.
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, suggests that 80% of our outcomes result from 20% of our activities. Productive people identify those 20% of activities and work on them.
So, for different areas of your life, what is that ONE (or more) 20% work that will result in 80% of your desired result?
Pick it out and pour your energy into it.
What to do with the rest of 80% work?
Delegate. Or get to some of it when 20% of the work is done.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent, and not enough time on what is important.” – Steven Covey
They Focus on One Thing at a Time.
To do two things at once is to do neither, Publius Syrus said.
We’ve been sold the myth that multitasking makes us more productive. Research however has shown that multitasking – switching back and forth on different tasks – can actually reduce productivity by as much as about 40%.
But when you FOCUS, your energy and thoughts go into that task till it’s done. Then you move on to the next.
Just compare these two: pouring water from a bowl into different glasses, one after the other; and splashing the water into the glasses.
Which do you think is more effective? And will get the glasses filled up faster? The first, I bet.
You lose some water with the second method. Like you dissipate energy and time when switching back-and-forth between tasks.
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. —
Alexander Graham Bell
They deal with procrastination.
Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today, a popular quote says. Productive people keep to this.
They know how to deal with the procrastination monkey. If that monkey relaxes in your brain (eating bananas and throwing the peels there), read this post to find out how to deal with it.
A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
― Karen Lamb
They take care of their health.
You need your health to live a productive life – physical, spiritual, mental, emotional and social health.
If your spiritual life suffers, or the physical in pains or the mental muddled up, you’ll lack the energy needed for productivity.
So guard your health jealously.
Study the bible and live a holy life.
Eat healthy meals, exercise and have your body screened. Feed your mind with positive materials.
Connect with seasoned people and make happy memories with loved ones.
A healthy outside starts from the inside. – Robert Urich