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.
Whether you are striving for more efficiency and quicker results in your work or personal life, while everyone is different, in the area of productivity there are some actions that the average person can take which will guarantee a marked improvement in productivity levels.
Top 9 Habits of Super Productive People
1) Super Productive People Wake Up Early
If it is true that the cock crows with the morning sun, uber-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.
You do not have to outsource tasks to a foreign country like the pros do, but 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 a 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 where virtual assistants will work for as little as three dollars or four dollars an hour.
This may not seem like much money to you, but it can 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 additionally removes the time wasting process of figuring out where to start when your mind is not totally awake yet.
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 is 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 Principal
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 businessmen 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 results will come from 20% of your actions.
Focus on those activities which deliver the biggest bang for your buck, and handle those first to massively crank up your productivity levels.
9) Massively Successful People Prioritize Correctly
This really should have been number one on our list, because 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.
Basically, the most 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 just developed a way to look at their life, their actions and their surroundings, and inform the smartest plan of attack that maximizes every minute of their efforts.
Which Of These Tips Is The Hardest For You?
I’d have to say #1 is for me – I am NOT a morning person. But, I do know that the days that I actually do make it out of bed early tend to be my most productive ones! Share your thoughts in the comments below!