Some people seem so productive that it looks like they have more hours in the day. They don’t have the same 24 hours that we all have, but so much more. Those are the people who are the happiest and despite having more responsibilities than me, they get more done than me.
I don’t know about you, but I can admire and hate them at the same time. Most of the time I’m curious how they do it. They don’t procrastinate for one, but is there more to it than that? I’ve been asking around and reading about it and I’ve come up with some rules these people live by in order to get more done and be so happy.
1. Inbox zero: Every day make sure your email inbox is empty or close to empty. Don’t use your email inbox as a to-do list. Move your email to folders and that way you’ll be more productive.
2. No regrets: I’m very guilty of doing this. Stop focusing on the things you cannot change and start focusing on the things you can change. It is of no use to focus on everything you cannot change and it makes you very unhappy.
Whenever you find yourself upset at work or anywhere else take 5 minutes to process it and let it go. After that let it go and continue what you were doing. I’m surely going to try this one!
3. Turn off the notification of your phone: This one is a no-brainer, but still very difficult to do. I always think I can leave it on and not get distracted by it. I got more self-control than that, right? Turns out I do not. Once I get a notification I have to look at it and once I have my phone out, I need to look at Facebook for just a minute. That minute turns into half an hour.
4. Don’t talk about your emotions: That one I find is also important. I tend to talk about my emotions. If somebody makes me mad I’ll be sure to let them know that, while I see other colleagues can go about their day without saying anything. In the end it will lead to a less tense working environment.
5. Get a mentor. This one is very important. I always thought it meant approaching someone you admire and asking them to be your mentor. That is not the case. It can be a mentor that you know personally, but it can also be someone you don’t know personally. If you don’t know them find out what that person did to get to where he or she is now, can you find patterns? Can you do the same? If you can afford it you can also get a life coach. They can teach you how to overcome the everyday obstacles you face to reach your goals.
6. Get up earlier. It’s weird, but you do get more productive if you get up early. I never believed it, because it’s the same amount of hours right? But I do more when I wake up early and I feel more motivated.
7. Do difficult things if it saves you time in the future. I have noticed a while back that people tend to have the same problem and sent me emails about it. I’ve procrastinated, but eventually, I’ve written a document on how to fix the problem that they’re having and now whenever they ask me that question I just refer to that document. Sometimes you need to do things that are lots of work, but in the end, it will save you more future work.
8. Make appointments. This one I already do whenever it is possible. I hate it when we end an appointment by saying we’ll get in touch. When will we get in touch? Will I call you? Are you going to call me? If there is some decision to be made, you should plan it. Put it on the calendar! Make an appointment. That is when the decision is made and everybody can continue from there.
9. Planning! Take your time to schedule everything. Schedule your appointments, the time you will spend to work on that report, answering emails, when you won’t be working (family time!). When you will and how long you will be working on your personal or professional goals. Calculate how many hours you are going to spend on each of the things you want to accomplish and schedule it in.
10. Stay away from negative people. I think this is very important. People who are negative tend to suck the energy out of you. I do have them in my life, but I don’t tell them my plans, because they will always see the negative in the plans I have to get ahead in my life.
11. Finish something. It gives lots of fulfillment whenever you finish a project. Even if it is a small project. I have some projects that I start but spend a long time not finishing. However, whenever I do finish it I get a large sense of achievement and motivation to tackle something else.
12. Don’t let anybody guilt you into anything. Your time is precious and limited so don’t waste it on unnecessary things. You don’t have to go to your best friend second cousin’s birthday party. It’s better to spend that time doing whatever you want or really have to do.
13. Batching your tasks. I should do this way more. Batching is when you do similar tasks together. Like, spend an hour just answering emails or one hour on writing. It takes time to switch from one task to the next, you don’t have that problem when you are batching the tasks.
14. Take short breaks every hour. A short break is good to recharge before you continue. You should leave your workplace. I tend to just continue sitting at my desk and watch Facebook for a minute, but that’s no good. I should get up, get a glass of water, go to the toilet, or whatever. It is also a good way to prevent RSI.
15. Give yourself time to recharge. I’m actually very good at this! Once in a while take a vacation, a stay-cation or just a day off. You can’t do it all all the time. A break will give you time to recharge and be more productive when you get back.
These are definitely some things that I am going to try to be more productive and happy. Do you have any tips and tricks that you regularly do to be more productive? Please let me know.