Are you an efficient character? Have you ever wondered what makes one person more effective than another?
Unlike what many may assume, being effective isn’t always about one’s mind or capability. Being efficient is about practicing certain habits over others, such that you can get the maximum from your days. As someone very interested in non-public productivity, I have found eight habits to be superior in boosting one’s productiveness. Practice them and prepare for your productivity to skyrocket!
Habit 1: Ruthlessly cut out the unimportant. The first habit of productive humans is to slice and dice your schedule until you’re only left with what’s important.
For everything you’re doing now, ask yourself how critical it is. Does this bring you toward your goals? Does this create any real impact on your life in the long term? Is it the absolute best manner to spend some time, or could you be doing higher-value tasks?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of these questions, keep this task. If not, possibly it’s time to ditch it. No point doing something unimportant! Say you’re handling a project that makes no difference to your business after it’s completed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking an hour, three hours, or one week to do it—it still won’t make any difference at the end of the day!
Many people tend to wrongly classify everyday duties as high responsibilities. A terrific tool to set them aside is the Time Control Matrix that classifies our daily activities into four special quadrants. Your most crucial obligations fall underneath Quadrant 2, which should be your quadrant of focus.
Habit 2: Allocate breaks strategically.
I don’t think being effective calls for you to work non-stop like a robot. On the contrary, that will make you less efficient. While the quantity of hours spent on work increases and the quantity of work performed appears marginally better, the work completed per unit of time is lower than your average. So even though it seems like you’re doing more work, in reality, you’re not. In Economics, this is called the Law of Diminishing Returns.
Relaxation is essential. Irrespective of how much you need to work, there are areas of your life that work can’t fulfill, like love, family, fitness. That’s why our lifestyle wheel is made up of various segments, vs. simply 1 large ‘work’ segment. Each segment is distinct and irreplaceable by others. By “relaxation”, I’m referring to taking time for any section of your existence that is outside of business/career/research. Taking a break charges your batteries so that you can dash forward when you return to work.
If you’re self-employed or on a flexible work schedule, you can put this into practice effortlessly. Even if you’re in a 9-5 environment, you can still make it work. Whenever you feel unproductive, throw in a brief break. Walk away from the desk, get a drink from the pantry, move for a toilet break, or talk to a colleague about work. You’ll be extra perked up when you return.
Habit three: do away with productivity pit stops (i.e., distractions)
Productivity pit stops are matters that restrict your productivity. They can be the music you listen to while you work, your slow computer, unwanted phone calls, notifications from your inbox about incoming mail, the internet, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. This stuff traps you and stops you from getting things done.
Examine your everyday habits and study when your output slows down. What’s distracting you? How are you going to take it away? Test how you work in specific locations. Alter your surroundings. Make tweaks here and there. The more productivity pit stops you find and take away, the more productive you’ll be.
Habit 4: tap into your ideas
How do you do this? Simple – think about what you want out of life. Is it supporting others develop? Connecting with humans? Being acknowledged for your work? Escaping poverty? Helping the unlucky? Being #1 in your field? How are you going to attain them? Discover your motivators, and then use them to pressure you into achieving your goals.
My greatest wish is to see others reaching their highest capacity and living quality lives. I love seeing absolutely everyone living to their highest purpose, and if there is ever anything stopping them I’ll do everything I can to rip it away, so I exploit this to pressure me in everything I create. When I’m writing a blog entry, I’ll begin through questioning what’s area people are going through blockages in, then I channel that power.
Habit five: Create barriers to entry
A great thing about our world today is that it’s simpler than ever to reach out to someone. All of us are just a text/telephone call/email/Facebook message away. At the same time, it causes a lot of distractions. Every couple of minutes, there’s a distraction coming in, whether via phone call, text, an email, or a Facebook mass event invite.
To get actual work accomplished, I suggest you put up boundaries, so it’s tough(er) to reach you. Unplug your smartphone, close your inbox, set a personal rule about when you respond to emails. I’m not saying you should disappear from the face of the Earth, however, do this at some stage in your working hours as a minimum, especially when you’re working on an important task. After some time, people will get used to it and adhere to the rules so that you can reach you.
Habit 6: Optimize time pockets
You normally get time pockets while waiting for people, commuting, walking from one place to another, and so on.
Look at your schedule. What are the time pockets that may be better utilized? How can you maximize them? Have a few things ready to do when you have a pocket of time, such as listening to podcasts, analyzing books, planning, etc. You will be surprised at how much can be performed in only a brief amount of time!
Habit 7: Set timelines
This is a fundamental productivity habit. Via Parkinson’s Law, work expands in order to fill the time available for its completion. This means that if you don’t set a timeline you’ll take much longer to complete what you’re doing. If you set a timeline of two weeks, you’ll take two weeks. If you set one week, you’ll take one week. And curiously, in case you set one hour, you sincerely can do it with one hour, if you absolutely need to.
So, set timelines. When you set timelines, aim to finish the work by this time, subsequently paving the way for yourself to do so.
Habit 8: Automate everything you can
These days, automation is possible for plenty of things we do. Even if it’s impossible to fully automate the task, we can nevertheless use automatic systems to get loads of work completed for us.
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