10 Habits of Hyper-Productive People
I’m Jenn (that’s not me in the picture). I’m known at the Red Barn as the Ops Beast – and I didn’t get that name by procrastinating. I take pride in being efficient and quick while still maintaining the level of quality needed to do my job. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not perfect – but I’ve learned where I excel and how I like to work.
I’m sure you’ve seen articles before in your social media travels on habits of hyper-productive people – it’s a list of must-do’s to follow in order to conquer the world, your to-do list, and your inbox all before lunch. But let’s be honest – how many people follow all those guidelines – and I don’t know about you, but I’m NOT getting up at 4am.
So, lucky for you, I’ve created a condensed list, with my two cents of course…
Common must-do’s in order to increase your productivity.
Work backwards – no really, it works. If your end goal is to create a presentation for the Board, break down the timeline and task list into smaller, manageable subtasks with specific dates that will allow you to get the project done on time. You won’t feel so overwhelmed and you’ll be able to cross the subtasks off your list making you feel more accomplished!
Prioritize Your To Do List – Handle your most pressing issues first. I know it’s easy to get pulled into helping others or taking care of something that’s easy to knock off the list, but handling the Must Do’s first, will help ease stress and eliminate a last minute panic to meet a deadline.
Take a break – as often as you need to. I know this seems counterproductive, but your brain will thank you. Struggling to get through something that your brain just doesn’t want to do is basically torture. Take a break, get up and move around, and let your brain reset and refocus. You are bound to make less mistakes and use less time and energy in the long run.
Manage your energy – Your energy is just as important, if not more important than your time. If something on your to-do list requires a lot of energy and focus – do it when your brain and body are at its peak. For some this is first thing in the morning (like Cindy), for others it might be later in the day. This also works well for creative types – if you aren’t creative in the afternoon, don’t leave those types of tasks for when you don’t have any creative juices left in the tank.
Stop obsessing over email – if your inbox is flooded with emails every few minutes, stop checking it constantly. Set up a rule on how often you will check it. We think of email as a tool, but it can be ridiculously distracting. A good rule of thumb, if you can’t explain something in a few sentences or it will take multiple emails – just pick up the phone instead.
Stay healthy – Get enough sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition. This one is HUGE for me. I make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep, eat fairly well, and have a set schedule of when I go to the gym. Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t compromise on these. They keep me sane and energized so I can embrace the Beast within!
Say No and Learn to delegate – These are NOT my strong suits – so I commiserate with you. It’s a process but learn to say NO if you simply don’t have the time to help others or take on additional tasks. Also, learn to delegate when possible. It’s hard to give up control, but if you don’t, you’ll burn yourself out.
Stop multi-tasking – trust me on this one. You are way more productive focusing on just one task at a time vs three. The time it takes you to bounce back and forth between multiple projects, is time that could have been used towards completing just one of them. Your brain needs to refocus and adjust each time you switch gears – plus it leaves you open to making more mistakes.
Plan for tomorrow– before you leave for the day, update your To Do List and regroup on what you need to accomplish tomorrow. When you get to the office tomorrow – you can get right down to work and crossing things off the To-Do list.
Create your own system – What might work well for me, may be a disaster for you. And that’s OK! It’s about progress, not perfection. Try making a few small changes each week and see how they affect your productivity. Remember, it takes at least 21 days to create a habit, so don’t throw in the towel after 21 minutes.
You’ve made it through the list, hopefully you’ve picked up a few tips and tricks and are ready to start down the road to a more productive YOU! I’d love to hear some feedback on what works, what doesn’t, and any additional tips you might have. Now get into Beast mode and start tackling that To-Do list!