There are productive people, and then there are super productive people. You know the types. They seem to be able to get ten times more accomplished than you ever can, they always have free time, and they always have a smile on their face.
This incredible productivity usually leads to quicker goal achievement and higher levels of success as well. And in the business world, productive people move up the corporate ladder rapidly and are always in demand because they make their bosses more money.
Whether you are striving for more efficiency and quicker results in your work or personal life, there are some actions in the area of productivity that you can take which will guarantee a marked improvement in productivity levels.
You will virtually add hours to your day when you incorporate the following top ten habits of super productive people into your daily business and personal schedules:
1) Super Productive People Wake up Early
If it is true that the cock crows with the morning sun, super-productive individuals could act as alarm clocks for that very rooster. Productive people understand the value of getting up earlier than their peers and competition.
An old saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
That early up time often means an early quitting time for the truly productive person, and by waking before the rest of the world, you have fewer distractions and impediments to keeping you from achieving your daily goals.
Place your alarm clock across the room from where you sleep, so that you have to physically leave your bed in the morning to shut it off. Once you are up, tell yourself you are up for good.
2) Highly Efficient People Almost Never Multitask
This may sound counter-intuitive to you, and that is to be expected. It used to be that calling someone a multitasker meant that you were paying them a huge compliment. But did you know that multitasking can actually lower your IQ?
A recent clinical trial performed by Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King’s College London University, shows changing tasks over 10 times a day actually reduces your IQ by an average of 15 points if you are a man, and roughly 5 points if you are a woman?
Work one task through to its completion, then take on another for the most productive outcome.
3) Highly Productive People Work Backwards
Just like the tip we gave you above, this may be totally backward to everything you have heard about productivity. The traditional idea behind goal accomplishment is to start from where you are and plan a path that hopefully leads you to your desired destination. But if this age-old method actually worked, everyone would be successful.
The people who seem to squeeze more hours out of the day start with an accomplished goal in the mind and work backwards from it. They go from goals to individual milestones to tasks that help them reach those milestones.
They then take action on those tasks which can be accomplished in a few hours or less, and you may be surprised at how many more items you cross off of your to-do list when you write a game plan in reverse order from your goals to your current situation.
4) Super Productive People Outsource
When you get other people involved in handling your tasks and chores for you, you instantly create more hours in the day, week, and month for you to focus on your most important activities.
Make a list of those dreaded low-return jobs and actions which you normally handle, and sub them out. Just think of the amount of time you can free up if you never again have to wash the dishes, clean the house, cut the grass, or wash the car!
There are also work activities and responsibilities which you can hire out to outsourcers on websites like Fiverr.com and Odesk.com. Not only does this help you, but it can also help provide a good daily income to employment seekers in other places around the world.
5) Massively Efficient and Productive Individuals Plan Their Day… The Night Before
If you get into the excellent habit of planning each day the night before, especially just before you go to bed, you hit the ground running rather than stumbling in the morning.
Sara Caputo is a professional productivity coach, consultant, and trainer at RadiantOrganizing.com, and she says this discipline removes the time wasting process of figuring out where to start when your mind is not totally awake yet.
Another benefit is that your brain will begin subconsciously working on your problems and goals while you sleep, since your game plan is fresh on your mind. Plan your day at night, and you can productively start your day quickly in the morning.
6) Highly Productive People Exercise
The most successful people get more done in a shorter period of time than the average person. And when you exercise, your energy levels rise rapidly, giving you the fuel to accomplish more.
Even if you are stuck at an office desk for your entire work day, stand up every chance you get, go for a brisk walk or jog on your lunch break, and find other ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
It’s no great mystery that keeping fit and healthy can extend your longevity, and research has shown that healthier people accomplish more in their work and personal lives than unhealthy individuals. Add at least one hour of moderate to intense exercise into your daily schedule and watch your productivity skyrocket.
7) Super Productive People Do Not Strive for Perfection
As the entrepreneurial founder of Los Angeles web design and marketing firm Ciplex, Ilya Pozin has no choice but to be productive. And while you probably have heard all your life that practice makes perfect, the successful young business owner says that his experience has proven just the opposite is true.
He operates under the principle of, “Ready, Fire, Aim!” Form a quick and intelligent game plan, then take action. There is always time to aim, or tweak your business, product or service, after you have it up and running.
8) Highly Efficient and Productive Individuals Understand and Practice the “Pareto Principle”
Also known as the 80/20 rule or the Law of the Vital Few, the Pareto Principle states that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of their causes.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906 that 20% of the pea pods in his garden actually produced 80% of his peas! He studied further, and learned that 80% of all Italian land was owned by only 20% of the population.
Decades later businessman and consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Pareto, and it has become a common rule of thumb in business. 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your clients, and 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions.
Focus on those activities which deliver the biggest bang for your buck, and handle them first to massively crank up your productivity levels.
9) Super Productive People Get on “Qi Time”
Qi Lu (pronounced chee loo) grew up as a poor villager near Shanghai. But he learned to be incredibly productive, and now sits as the President of Online Services at Microsoft. He said during college, he started to resent the amount of time he “wasted” sleeping. He felt he could learn more and do more with less rest.
Now it’s never recommendable to try to get through life successfully by not sleeping. But while some people suffer from chronically undersleeping, it’s also true that many others do oversleep. Lu sleeps only the amount required for healthy functioning, and his coworkers and contemporaries salute his almost superhuman productivity levels by getting on “Qi Time” with their work projects.
Lu said he latches approximately two extra months of productivity to each calendar year by this method alone.
10) Massively Successful People Prioritize Correctly
Even if you faithfully follow everything else, if you are working on the wrong things, it really does not matter how productive you are. You will be wasting your time and will have to redouble your efforts.
Productive individuals know what is important and what is not. They focus their attention first on critical activities and getting the right things done. A few minutes prioritizing can save countless hours, weeks, and possibly even months of wasted labor, and save valuable capital as well.
Extremely efficient people are not superhuman. They have cultivated the habit of looking at their life, their actions, and their surroundings, and then develop the smartest plan of attack that maximizes every minute of their efforts.
These ten tips for super productive people can be implemented by anyone immediately, and can lead to more free time, better production, and even a better way of life.
Practice the 80/20 rule, don’t oversleep, get up early, and stop multitasking, and the successful achievement of your goals may happen quicker than you ever thought possible.