It doesn’t matter if you’re a homemaker or a CFO of the largest MNC- everyone is figuring out ways to be more productive. Let me tell you though, outrageous amounts of caffeine or two cans of RedBull before those strict deadlines is definitely no solution.
We all attempt at commencing the day highly motivated with the intent of ticking all the bullets of our ever-growing to-do list. But let’s be real, we are often left with many missing tasks even after staying up late.
Are you envious of that one person that somehow manages to finish all work and impresses your extremely hard to please boss?
Here are some productive habits you can adopt to make the most of your time while also allowing you to get a guilt-free goodnight’s sleep:
- They Have A Consistent Morning Routine
A productive person having a consistent morning routine is as important as a fit person keeping a count of their calories. Heard of Mark Zuckerberg, Obama, Elon Musk, Mukesh Ambani? Guess what they all have in common: an early alarm time that forces them to lay their feet on the ground before the cock opens its beak!
So what’s it about this so-called “golden time”?
Well, it's simple: you’re awake before the rest of the world, ahead of the incoming buzzing calls and flooding emails, allowing you to prepare for your day ahead, who doesn't love a head start?
Mentally plan your day and the circuit of activities you want to do after waking up, coffee first? Shower after? Want to exercise or leave it for the evening? Asking those questions and mirroring the same format everyday will help you remain consistent and prepared.
Apart from lower stress levels, better mental health and a happier quality of life, studies have shown that creativity and willpower are the strongest in the morning too!
Now that’s all debatable, let's talk money- average late risers earn $30,835 a year, nearly $15,000 less than early risers that earn $45,725 annually, what more of a reason do you need?
Say goodbye to being a night-owl!
2. They Prioritise Tasks
Like previously mentioned, a to-do list is always going to be mounting. But knowing the difference between important vs high priority tasks is crucial.
Just like you pick the broccoli to finish before your fries, choose and block time for the daunting tasks earlier on in the day. Once done with those, you’ll be more motivated to accomplish the comparatively less draining ones. Just the same way you finish the hard numericals on the exam and then later come on to the easy fill in the blanks!
Checking off random items and having left with urgent tasks later on can lead to you messing it up in a hurry or procrastinating. Instead make MIT- Most Important Task, your morning motto.
The easiest way is using the Eisenhower Matrix, make a 2 x 2 square and on one axis, write “important” and “not important.”
On the other, “urgent” and “not urgent” and this will help you determine what you should work on and what can be skipped for the time being. Waking up early will allow you some time to select a few MITs that you need to finish by hook or crook.
3. They Carry A Notebook
This might seem like a random one, but what if I told you Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Sheryl Sandberg all make it a point to do so?
Richard Branson mentioned numerous times that without a simple notebook, he wouldn't be able to construct the Virgin Group.
In an interview, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, owner of the biggest shipping fleet and the richest man at his time said “I can't tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas as soon as they came to me”
Sheryl Sandberg, the CFO of Facebook, uses her notebook as a planner for her to-do list and rips off pages when done, allowing her to stay motivated and provide a sense of accomplishment.
No-one can absorb whatever is said in a 2 hour meeting, writing down everything allows you to jot all ideas or notes that struck to you, which you can always refer back to!
4. They Nourish The Right Relationships
When your parents worry about your friend circle, it's for a reason. Choosing your inner circle wisely is crucial, finding those who you connect with, those who support and help you grow are some ways to find your tribe. You can prepare yourself by including a support team around you, “At the pro level, you have a strength coach, a training coach, a manager, an infield coach, an outfield coach” says Dana Cavalea.
This might sound bizarre but someone once said "If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people. If you want to be funny, hang out with funny people." So hang out with smart, creative and driven people rather than spend time with slackers if you want to be successful.
We as humans impersonate behaviours around us. If you want to be successful, find those with the same attitude, because mindset is contagious! Jim Rohn says you are an average of your five closest friends, who are yours?
5. They Limit Their Technology Usage
“If I looked at email and Twitter and texts [during the day], I don’t think I would ever give my full attention to anything. You cannot be insightful if you’re deluged with information,” Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte.
Yes, without technology in today’s world it's impossible to communicate but technology should help you do your job and get done your work, not control or restrict your work efficiency.Emails are the most common ways of communicating with fellow team members and clients but it can also be your biggest distraction.
To avoid getting distracted, set designated times to check your email and phone and switch it off for the remainder of the times - you’ll be amazed at how much work you get done with! If you have trouble controlling yourself from checking the football scores, use apps like freedom, self control, hocus focus to block those distracting notifications!
6. They Pay Attention To Themselves
Neglecting your health because of work is the biggest mistake you can make especially since they’re correlated. Regular cardio can augment your memory, attention span, mood and creativity levels and reduce stress leading to better work performance.
Yes, I mentioned waking up early, but make sure you sleep accordingly too! Ensure your 7-8 hours of sleep for focus and concentration the next day!
Not just working out, consuming smart is paramount too! The World Health Organisation has predicted incorporating the right ingredients in your diet like superfoods like nuts, berries, grains, fish, greens can boost your brain power by 20%. Give a pass to those sugary candies that will make you crash.
Not just a loss in productivity due to fatigue but skipping meals might cause you to get easily irritable at those around, so do your teammates a favour and eat regular meals!
7. They Know When To Say No
The ultimate hack is to learn to deny. Not doing something will be faster than doing it. The power to say no might be seen as a luxury for only those with utmost authority, but saying no is an important skill to develop at any moment of your career, because it saves your biggest asset: your time.
It is normal for all of us to aspire to become overachievers, but knowing what to pursue will help attain your desired goals and move closer to the bigger picture is key. Steve Jobs said “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully”
Saying no isn’t about just tasks but to anything else that comes between your life goal - any sort of distractions or barriers. So make sure to choose your time carefully and eliminate those stumbling stones.
The investor Pedro Sorrentino said “If you don't guard your time, people will steal it from you”
Hopefully, incorporating these mannerisms and productivity tips into your daily life would help shoot up your efficiency without falling victim to quotidian productivity traps. But remember, habits and changes don’t come overnight, so be kind to yourself during this process of being that high functioning robot your boss adores!
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