We all know at least one person who seems to always have it together; they wake up early, exercise regularly, spend time with their loved ones, and are still somehow able to produce creative results at work or in their business — but how? Who are these unicorns and how can we be more like them?
If you were to sit with a group of these guys and ask them what their secret to success is, you’d likely get an array of answers but there would undoubtedly be overlap.
Productive people don’t do just one thing to make them more productive. Their productivity, efficiency, and mindset are the product of a set of individual habits that they practice daily that results in greatness.
What follows is a list of ten things that you can do regularly to be more productive. Making any one of these a habit will get you on the right track to being a more productive person at work and at home. Doing all of these things regularly will have you asking “who am I?!” once you’ve become a powerhouse of results. Then people will wonder how YOU do it.
Imagine needing something and not having to look for it because it’s exactly where it’s meant to be when you need it. Don’t just imagine this for one of your things, imagine this for all of your things: keys, phone, wallet, favorite pen, extra lightbulbs, batteries, tools, etc.
Being organized means having a place for everything and having everything in its place when it isn’t in use. This first step is critical if you want to be a more productive person because productive people don’t waste time looking for the things they need.
Instead, they take the time to intentionally place things where they belong and to put them back in the same place when they are done using them. Think of it as a way to set your future self up for success — and be sure to thank your past self for organizing when you’re no longer wasting time looking for stuff.
HAVE A ROUTINE
Many very famous and highly productive people have talked about how they do some of the same things every single day. Whether it’s wearing the same outfit or eating the same foods, having a routine will make it so that you’re flowing through the day with ease because you have fewer decisions to make.
The best way to kick start a routine is to put a structure around what already works for you. Most of our days fall into patterns anyway. Creating a formal routine around these parts of your day will give you a chance to play around with what works for you in terms of flexibility. Once you’ve got that down pact, play around with other parts of your day (and life in general) that could benefit from more structure.
As helpful as it is to have a routine, it’s just as important to not be too rigid. Always be flexible, like a tree in a storm because life can come at you fast and things change. Don’t be afraid to bend with the wind.
LOOK AT YOUR GOALS DAILY
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and look at them daily. Doing so will help keep your goals in the back of your mind as you go about your day. This makes it easier for you to stay the course and make decisions that will bring you closer to the finish line.
Setting goals is the first step to accomplishing great things, but great things don’t actually happen until we put in the work to reach those goals. Productive people are productive because they know what they are working towards. They work with the end in mind and they not only set goals for themselves, they take actionable steps in the right direction as often as possible.
Even the smallest steps in the right direction ultimately make a big difference.
BREAK LARGE PROJECTS DOWN INTO SMALLER PIECES
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your goals are too big to accomplish. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re always focused on the bigger picture. Breaking down large daunting projects into smaller chunks makes accomplishing the bigger thing more manageable.
Productive people understand that the day-to-day grind is as important as the big picture. They’re able to keep their head down and focus on one thing at a time more often than they step back and look at the big picture.
An added bonus here is that when you’re so focused on the smaller pieces of the bigger picture, you have more fun and stress less along the way. Then before you know it, you’ve accomplished some big thing.
DAILY TO-DO LISTS
Creating a to-do list every day is a great way to get through your days more productively. The best way to start this habit is to prioritize just a few things each day and do your best to get those things done. Whatever you didn’t get to on any given day can roll over into the next day.
A to-do list serves as a guide for the things that you want to accomplish, but it isn’t law. You want to be reasonable about how many things you plan to focus your attention on each day. It’s important to not pile things onto your list with high hopes that you’ll get it all done.
Pro tip: Create your to-do list the night before so that you can wake up and get the day started without having to think too much about what comes first. Then you only have to modify your list as the day progresses if unexpected things come up (as they often do).
GO WITH YOUR BODY’S FLOW
Everyone has a certain window of time in the day during which they are most energized. This is the time of day you’re more likely to be productive. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, take advantage of those times of the day when you feel your best.
You’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish by applying just this one tip. Planning tasks during the times when you have the most will power will help you get more things done. You’ll be less likely to drag your feet and procrastinate when you don’t feel tired or sluggish.
ALWAYS CREATE FIRST
We often think we need to flood our minds with inspiration before starting a project or creative task. The problem with that is we fill our heads with outside influence before we tune in to our own inner guidance, which so often has the solutions we’re looking for.
Creating before you consume helps you pour out whatever ideas are already floating around in your head. It also saves you from the many distractions available to us these days. Because, you know, we’ve all clicked on that one video for inspiration and found ourselves watching videos of babies reacting to grass two hours later wondering how you even got there.
This is the kind of discipline our parents tried so hard to instill in us by making us finish our homework before watching tv or playing video games. They knew what was up.
LIMIT YOUR TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a great tool for communication and learning, but it’s also a huge source of comparison and self-judgment. Productive people don’t let themselves get caught up in the mix. They fly over the social media radar, check in once in a while, and don’t let it consume their days.
They realize that the people who are showing off their lives on social media are mostly showing snippets of their happiest and best moments. They don’t concern themselves with what other people are sharing because they are more focused on their own progress.
The more time you spend scrolling through feeds and stories of other people’s lives, the less time you have to focus on your own and to go after the things you want.
MAKE YOUR BED
They say that how you do one thing is how you do everything. Making your bed in the morning shows that you’re the kind of person who has integrity with yourself. You do things not because you’ll be praised for them or because it makes you look good, but because you want to do good for you.
If you want to be productive and successful, you have to be willing to put in the work that no one else can see, and you can practice that every day just by making your bed.
Doing something as simple as making your bed can also have a profound impact on your productivity throughout the day. It sets off a domino effect of good choices. Having made your bed, you’ve accomplished the first task of the day successfully which can motivate you to keep the momentum going.
There is no limit to how much you can achieve once you decide that you’re going to do something. If you want to achieve your goals and live your best life, you’ll need the tools and habits that will help you along your journey. Take on any of these habits to be a more productive person. Take on all of these habits to become the kind of person who crushes their goals and then some.