1) They are Proactive, Not Reactive. Productive People Judge Results, Instead of Hours
Productive people are intentional. They know that at the end of the day what counts is productivity not the number of hours spent sitting at the office desk. Results are what counts not looking busy.
Productive people view themselves as the chief executives of their time. They know that they control the most important resource that they have which is time. This makes them to be proactive rather than reactive. They prefer to make things happen instead of waiting for things to happen to them.
The productive tend to be aware of pareto principle that 80% of their results come form 20% of their activities. This makes them to be laser focused on the 20% activities that generate most results.
2) “Know Thyself” Truism Is Very Important
To be most productive you have to invest in knowing yourself. Different people are wired differently and hence they are productive at different times of the day, for differing durations and for different motivations. Knowing yourself helps in identifying your most productive moments and protecting them so as to use them for maximum productivity.
When are you at your best? Just like all tasks aren’t created equal, all hours aren’t created equal either. And now that your time is more in your hands than ever, and you know you want to focus on important stuff, you need to give those critical tasks your best hours when you have the most energy and brainpower.
And this isn’t just true for when you work, it’s true for how you work. More productive after a nap? Cool. That’s now an option. Watch yourself work, take notes, find patterns and alter your schedule accordingly.
3) Create Your New Tailored CEO System
According to James Clear the author of atomic habits systems beat goals anytime. People who are most productive are those with the best systems not those with the best or most ambitious goals. For example people who have a goal to lose 5 kilograms in a month may regain the weight while people who have a system of eating right and exercising every day sustain the weight loss. To succeed over the long haul, you want to put in place “process goals” not “outcome goals.”
Your process goals will be your daily activities, so put them in your calendar. Think about what moves the needle, know when you’re at your best, and then schedule everything accordingly.
Have a schedule because it is a system that forces to make assessment of your time. It is a critical tool that helps individuals identify what to prioritize at any given moment.
This also allows you to actually be done for the day. You can’t rely on unconscious cues from the office around you to tell you it’s time to quit, so create an “ending ritual” for yourself that emotionally helps you wind down and transition to true downtime. Shut down the computer, organize tomorrow’s process goals into tomorrow’s magic hours on the calendar, or make a cup of tea. Whatever tells your brain, “My work is done for the day.”
4) Manage Your Environment
Do you have a spot where you’re usually productive? Go there. How about a place where you always screw around and waste time? Avoid it. You want to recreate the boundaries of the office in a new and improved way.
And this isn’t just true for locations. Separate computers, separate browsers, anything you can use and customize to trigger the mindset of “time to get stuff done” vs. “fun time” will help.
5) Plan Communication And Feedback
Work and productivity also includes other people even if you work alone in an office or at home. You will need to communicate with clients, co-workers or with your boss. Communication can be very distracting if it is spontaneous and not planned well in advance. Schedule communication moments with fellow co-workers, clients and the boss if you have one. Set a regular time to communicate, respond to emails and to seek clarifications.
Be proactive in seeking feedback. A lot of things that might get mumbled to you in person will never be put in an email. Ask for feedback on how you’re doing and where things are at to keep you level headed.
In summary productivity is about self awareness and then setting systems and habits that will keep you productive and disciplined.