by Laura Gibbons
Have you ever met someone that seems to have mastered the art of productivity? They have successful careers, spend quality time with their family, are involved in the community, and still have time for their friends and social commitments. How are these super productive people able to accomplish so much more than the average person? After all, aren’t we all held to the same 24 hours each day. These highly productive people don’t possess super powers or practice magic tricks. Instead, they have created and follow daily habits to maximize their productivity throughout each day. Here is a list of my top 7 daily habits to increase productivity.
1 - Set daily goals. According to research, 92% of people that set goals don’t achieve them. Most goals are not met because the goal itself appears too large and overwhelming. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, break down your large goals into small daily goals. By achieving each small goal, you move one step closer to achieving your larger goal every day.
2 – Plan your day in advance. Take 10-15 minutes at the start of every day to compile your day’s must complete items, rank each item by priority level, and designate specific time to work on each one. Schedule your high priority items during your most productive time of day and save lower priority items for the times when you feel most sluggish or unproductive.
3 – Don’t multi-task. People often believe that trying to complete two or more items at once will make them more productive. Unfortunately, effective multi-tasking is essentially impossible. Humans are not able to fully focus on more than one item at once. When we try to multi-task, our focus is split in half and it takes us longer to complete each item than it would if we just focused on one thing at a time.
4 – Wake up early. Most highly productive people get an early start to their day. Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, wakes up around 5:45 every morning, Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief, wakes up every morning at 5:45, and former president George W Bush gets up every morning at 4:00 am. Don’t waste time resting in bed. These early morning hours are the perfect time to exercise, plan your day, and get a head start on your daily to-do list.
5 - Avoid friendly interruptions. Do you have a friend or co-worker that likes to stop by your cubicle each day to chat? You probably spend 30+ minutes talking about what you did the previous night, your favorite TV show, or how your morning is going. While these conversations may be enjoyable, they also take up a lot of your time lowering your productivity for the day. One great way to reduce these friendly interruptions is to stand up when your co-worker stops by your cubicle. People often spend less time chatting when standing up. Don’t let your co-worker sit down and get comfortable, stand up to move along the conversation.
6 – Take short breaks throughout the day. Taking breaks helps clear your mind, increases your creativity, and keeps your stress levels down. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed, take a short 5-10-minute break to recharge and maximize your productivity.
7 – Maintain a positive attitude. One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to maintain a positive attitude. Your attitude often determines whether you will be successful or will fail to achieve your goals. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t…you’re right.” A negative attitude decreases your motivation, clouds your judgement, and lowers your productivity. In order to increase productivity, maintain a positive attitude in life and surround yourself with friends and family that feel the same way.
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About the author:
Laura Gibbons is the founder of 9to5SurvivalGuide.com. Laura has survived 12+ years in the corporate retail environment. She has dealt with difficult co-workers, impossible bosses, and stressful work environments. She now shares her insights and expertise on career advancement and 9 to 5 survival through her website.