Why is it that some people can get more done in a day than others? What differentiates us normal people from the movers and shakers of the world? We’re all allotted the same 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Yet some of us struggle to keep up with tasks, while others are known for effectively tackling everything that’s in their pipeline.
What sets productive people apart from the rest of us so much that they can seemingly squeeze two days (or more) worth of work into one single day, while the rest of us pray for an extra set of hands, or an additional brain to help us stay afloat of our day-to-day responsibilities?
They Plan Ahead – Productive people are planners, either by nature or because they’ve realized that a day planned has a higher chance of going better than one unplanned. Think about your responsibilities for the day and the week and allocate time in each day towards activities to meet them.
They Don’t Stretch Themselves Too Thin – It can be hard….yes. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to new requests that you simply don’t have the bandwidth for. It’s better to turn things down, than to accept and deliver them late or with less than stellar results. Television show producer extraordinaire, Shonda Rhimes once mentioned in an interview that she had to become comfortable with telling people “No, I can’t do that”-and without explanation no less. Self-preservation is your biggest asset, and can be you’re biggest gatekeeper of your sanity.
They Stick To Agendas – Meetings can be by far one of the biggest time wasters if agendas are not created or adhered to-personal experience here. From small talks to family plans, it’s super easy to get off-topic and casually slip into various, and often random directions. Productive people make the most of meetings and address agenda items one by one, tabling any off-topic inquiries or suggestions until the end of the meeting.
They Prioritize Tasks – A huge key to maintaining daily efficiency. Hard or easy, make a list of things prioritized by importance, delivery date, and effort. We naturally tend to put off things that may not be particularly enjoyable to us, but this can lead to procrastination of the activities that we loathe. Get the hard stuff out of the way (and when you’re at your peak focus time of the day), and reward yourself when you’re done!
They Don’t Procrastinate – If you have time in between tasks to address something small-do it. Never let small tasks add up to one BIG task that you have to set aside large blocks of time for ultimately. Tackle the small stuff on the way and save yourself a future headache.
A good way to increase your productivity can also include self-monitoring. Are there certain times of the day when you’re more productive than others? Do you often have distractions that hinder your productivity such as random internet searches or social media scrolling for minutes on in? Start taking note of these things and then find ways to limit them in order to get the most out of your day.