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Time is Money: 13 Habits of Extremely Productive People
Really successful - that's what we all want. We get in the way of distractions, poor concentration, writer's block and a lack of energy. We constantly have the feeling that we are running after everything. But they do exist, the successful people who have learned to reduce their stress, manage their energy and get the best out of themselves.
Scott Tousley, Growth Marketer, did a deep research for Hubspot, filtering out 13 habits that many successful people have in common. Maybe some of them will help you too.
1. Successful people take several small breaks throughout the day
It should come as no surprise that our bodies cannot run at full performance for eight or more hours a day continuously. Nevertheless, it is still a sign of hard work for one or the other to work without a break. The fact that productivity suffers as well as precision in work and, in the long term, health is neglected by employees, but also by many superiors.
The human body works in rhythms. Thecircadians The rhythm runs in a 24-hour period and determines, for example, our body temperature fluctuations throughout the day, the sleep-wake rhythm, the speed of reaction and other things. It complements that ultradian Rhythm, which, as it were, represents our energy boosts throughout the day and is comparable to ebb and flow. It says, for example, that we can work highly concentrated for about 90 minutes - "be in the zone" - but then the performance drops rapidly and we need a break. It is precisely these that highly successful and productive people take advantage of. But not only after 90 minutes. You work according to the Pomodoro technique. That means: 25 minutes of highly concentrated work, then a five-minute break. Graphically, it would look something like this:
2. Successful people start with the future
Motivation is one of the most important ingredients in the ultimate productivity recipe. That's why productive people try to commit every day as if it were their last. This does not mean that they work till they drop, but that what they do and how they do it is what they do with passion and joy. Steve Jobs, certainly one of the most successful people of our time, once revealed: "If today were the last day of my life, would I do what I am doing?" If the answer was "No" for several days in a row, Jobs said, he changes his daily routine and his goals at work so that he can always answer the question with a "yes" again. "Goals" is a good keyword. Because it is precisely this behavior that leads us to set long-term goals. These lead to short-term goals, which in turn can be broken down into to-do lists. A little tip: If you reward yourself for reaching every short-term goal, for example with a nice activity after work, your motivation will get a little extra boost.
3. You write to-do lists with shorter deadlines
The fact that to-do lists make us successful no longer surprises anyone. But they have a particularly productivity-increasing effect if you break them down to even smaller goals. Let's take the new blog post for your corporate blog as an example. Here your to-do list with subordinate deadlines can look like this:
- 9-9.30: Determine the topic and goal of the article
- 9.30 - 9.45: write headings and sub-headings
- 9.45-10.45: Write an article
- Proofread from 10.45 am (do not put yourself under time pressure!) And then send it to someone else in charge to proofread.
By the way: For general to-do lists, as well as those with subordinate deadlines, it makes sense to write them the evening before. So you start the day well prepared and therefore always productive.
4. You fight with arms against procrastination
Facebook, Google, Youtube, the latest smartphone app: they are all our enemies when it comes to working concentrated and productive. As soon as a thought hits our head or a good tweet is formed, we rush to Google, Twitter and Co. - and are out of the flow again for the time being. Website blockers help successful people here as well as turning off the WiFi or a little "race" with the battery charge of your laptop.
5. You put spontaneous tasks on a new to-do list
We all know it: the to-do list is perfectly planned, nothing can go wrong, everything runs like clockwork. Until this one email. "Hey you, can you ..." You can. But not right away. The best answer to emails like this to stay productive: “Yes, I can do it. However, I still have some urgent items on the table right here. Can I do this for you later in the day? " Most of the time, your counterpart will handle it well and you can continue to work on your MI tasks (most important tasks). The additional task then ends up on a separate to-do list.
6. For people in high demand with overcrowded mailboxes: Tools help
If a daily mountain of e-mails is to blame for the fact that you get nothing during the day and your productivity is regularly interrupted, various tools can help you to keep the flood of mail under control and to sort it according to "important" and "movable". Not only does it help you stay productive, it also helps you keep your nerve.
7. Successful people incorporate healthy eating and exercise into their daily routine
Eating healthy and exercising keep you fit and increase your ability to concentrate. But admittedly, breaking out of old habits is no small matter. So just make one out of it. Eat salad for lunch once a week and continue to feast on the other days. You incorporate two salad days into the next week, three into the following week, and so on. At some point, the change will become a habit and this will have a positive effect on your productivity. You can do a similar thing with exercise. Only run for two minutes a day and then gradually increase your workload.
8. They optimize their computer skills
A faster mouse response, more keystrokes per minute and learning shortcuts can be small but effective time savers. And productivity continues to rise.
9. You have a growth mindset
According to psychologists, we can adopt one of two different ways of thinking. The set mindset and the growth mindset. To put it simply, the former says that we believe we are stuck in an “as is” state. We then hold the opinion that if you are not good at logical thinking, you will never be.
The growth mindset, on the other hand, says that we learn from mistakes - that is, learn - and can improve in everything. Successful people have adapted this way of thinking significantly more often.
10. You specialize
Highly productive people do what they are good at and what moves them forward. And they outsource all slowing down activities to others. Do you have a stupid task on the table that just involves entering data in an Excel list? Pass this on to another employee or external source.
11. You meditate
Meditating is not banal hocus-pocus, but a form of relaxation that has been proven to increase productivity. During meditation, the frontal lobe in the brain is calmed. This is responsible for the development of fears, but also for concentration and creativity. A calm frontal lobe is generally more productive and creative.
12. Successful people say "no"
Humans are social beings and genetically designed to help others. This is exactly what makes it difficult for us to say “no” when others ask for our help. Also in professional life. This is exactly what can be very useful at times and it in no way automatically makes us a worse person. Provided that the "no" is packaged in a friendly and polite manner and comes in the right situations. It makes sense to cancel unimportant meetings, but not the largest network meeting.
13. They are grateful for what they have
Whoever only thinks about what is missing will be unhappy. Successful people think differently. For them the glass is always half full and they are grateful for what they have. This reduces the stress level and frees you for more productivity.
Are you going to do a few of these 13 tips? Which are they and why did you choose them? Do you have any other ideas to increase your productivity? Let us know in the comments.
Linda Ewaldt studied German and psychology in Hamburg and then sniffed the editorial air in small startups and large companies. Since then she has been working as a freelancer and her specialties are career and health. She prefers to write articles for OnlineMarketing.de that combine both.
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