What daily habits can someone adopt to lead a more productive life?
1. Stop doing many things at once
A friend of mine has a tendency of doing multiple tasks at the same time. The result, she will have a failed result that was not given the attention that it deserves.
Look, I understand that you have many tasks on your plate. But you will not be able to see the details of every task if your focus is in every one of them.
Have you not heard the saying?
“The Devil is in the details”
You are bound to fail if you keep doing many things at once. Start small and give your whole attention to that task. And you will succeed in being productive because you have given your whole to that one task only.
2. Divide your tasks into smaller ones
Look, having a big goal is important. It is great. Every successful person I know has one.
But that light at the end of the tunnel will not make you take an action today, right this moment. You can achieve the big thing if you take a small step today.
I have made myself into a professional blogger by writing articles every day. Sometimes, I write long articles, sometimes I have no desire to write long articles. So, I write short ones. Sometimes I am not motivated to write even short ones.
So, what do I do?
I make myself sit even if to write a single paragraph. Every single day.
By doing this I make sure that I am walking towards that bigger goal every single day.
3. Practice removing distractions
My friend, I tell you because I care about you: you are swimming in an ocean of distractions.
Your phone, the numerous applications on it, the notifications you get from it throughout the day, the Emails that are waiting for you to respond to them, friends calling you throughout the day, your buddies texting you to chat are a sea of distractions.
These distractions steal your life literally.
You don’t unplug these things and you wonder why you are not focused and are not productive on your days.
If you are swimming in an ocean with sharks, you will eventually get eaten by them.
Get out before you get eaten.
Learn to unplug from Social Media. Start practicing this before you become a person who is happily swimming with the sharks and one day you will wonder why you have let the shark crawl into your body for so long.
It took me a long time stick to this habit.
“Oh, my goodness the urge to check notifications is like an itch on your body. You have to heal it or the constant need for itching won’t go away.”
Through continuous practice, I now check my notifications on a specific time of the day — late afternoon in the day. Usually, that is the time when I want to take rest and drink coffee. So, at that time, I multitask: I drink my coffee while checking all my notifications on many platforms (I write on many platforms).
4. Do the most important task of your day early in the morning
Really by delaying a task to a later day, you are destroying your day and making yourself carry invisible weight on your shoulder.
I used to put writing (it is important to me) to late in the afternoon or at the end of the day. And guess what? I do not write later in the day. The reasons: I have little time in the day, I convince myself that I will write in the evening or I will give myself some other reason.
Or, I will write but I have not given this important task the attention it deserves from me.
I am not saying you can’t do your important tasks later in the day. But in my experience, my writing is the best when I make it the first task in my day.
“I’ve seen that it is given the best shot at being the best if it is written with a clear head and no distractions. And that time is usually early in the morning.”
Try it. Think about the most important task that you have on your plate and do it first thing in the morning. And see the change in your productivity.
Check out my article: “1 Insanely Useful Tip To Make Your Day Productive that You May Not Know About!”
5. Learn to organize your environment
I don’t have to tell you the mess in your desk is responsible for the lack of your productivity.
How can you achieve anything when that paper on your desk catches your eye and you pick it up to see what it is? You start reading the paper that you’ve picked up and something else catches your eye: “ What is that document doing on your desk? Maybe it needs your immediate attention? You have to see it to verify.
The list of things that are trying to get your attention from the clutter in your desk is endless.
“The only way out is to de-clutter. Organize your environment.”
When I am writing this answer to you, the only things that I have are my laptop and a notepad where I have put the points that I want to make to you. I have made the notes prior to sitting down to writing. When I am writing, there is nothing in my vicinity that steals my attention. Definitely not my phone. Not my books. Not other papers. Nothing.
This is one of the best habit that has helped me in being more productive.
You choose. Either you are in control of your environment or you are letting your environment control you. There is no middle ground here.
6. Follow the Pareto Principle
Of all the tasks you are doing throughout the day, you know which of them are bringing you the most result. You might not be conscious of them but you are aware that certain tasks are bringing you the most result from your day.
So, what you need to do is identify those tasks.
Which specific task is bringing you more result than other tasks?
Ask and write this answer for yourself. These tasks are your 20%s.
This principle says that most things in life (effort, reward, and output) are not distributed evenly and that some contribute more than others.
This means, out of all the tasks you do every day, perhaps 2 or 3 tasks have the majority weight in your daily success. It is up to you to find out what those few tasks are.The more you give your whole attention and time to them, the more effective and productive your day will be.
You and I would be a fool if we ignore this principle that says that we can often focus our effort on the 20% that makes a difference in the overall effect.
7. Take a few minutes for yourself throughout the day
You don’t even realize that you are in need of air and space until you take a much needed deep breath. You need stillness in order to appreciate your own breathing.
And this is important for your productivity because unless you take few moments to be with yourself couple of times a day, you see only the noise, the distraction, the tangle and everything that pulls you into it in the day.
I consider time alone essential. It reminds me that it is chaotic out there and I need to dive into myself and leave the chaos behind — even if it is for a little time.
That way, I know I can start again with renewed energy.
This method can work for you as well. Try it.
(Photo Credit — Pexels)
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Originally published at http://quora.com.