12 Things Highly Productive People Do Differently

12 Things Highly Productive People Do Differently

Being highly productive is not an innate talent, it’s simply a matter of organizing your life so that you can efficiently get the right things done. So, what behaviors define highly productive people? What habits and strategies make them consistently more productive than others? And what can you do to increase your own productivity?

Here are some ideas to get you started…

1. Create and observe a TO-DON’T list.

A ‘TO-DON’T list’ is a list of things not to do. It might seem amusing, but it’s an incredibly useful tool for keeping track of unproductive habits, like checking Facebook and Twitter, randomly browsing news websites, etc. Create one and post it up in your workspace where you can see it.

2. Organize your space and data.

Highly productive people have systems in place to help them find what they need when they need it – they can quickly locate the information required to support their activities. When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces you to drop your focus. Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back – and that’s where the real time is wasted. Keeping both your living and working spaces organized is crucial.

3. Ruthlessly eliminate distractions while you work

Eliminating all distractions for a set time while you work is one of the most effective ways to get things done. So, lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, close your email application, disconnect your internet connection, etc. You can’t remain in hiding forever, but you can be twice as productive while you are. Do whatever it takes to create a quiet, distraction free environment where you can focus on your work.

4. Set and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals

These goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

5. Break down goals into realistic, high impact tasks.

Take your primary goal and divide it into smaller and smaller chunks until you have a list of realistic tasks, each of which can be accomplished in a few hours or less. Then work on the next unfinished, available task that will have the greatest impact at the current time. For example, if you want to change careers, that goal may be driven by several smaller goals like going back to school, improving your networking skills, updating your resume or getting a new certification. And each of these smaller goals is supported by even more granular sub-goals and associated daily tasks. And it is these small daily tasks that, over time, drive larger achievement.

6. Work when your mind is fresh, and put first things first.

Highly productive people recognize that not all hours are created equal, and they strategically account for this when planning their day. For most of us,our minds operate at peak performance in the morning hours when we’re well rested. So obviously it would be foolish to use this time for a trivial task like reading emails. These peak performance hours should be 100% dedicated to working on the tasks that bring you closer to your goals.

7. Focus on being productive, not being busy.

Don’t just get things done, get the right things done. Results are always more important than the time it takes to achieve them. Stop and ask yourself if what you’re working on is worth the effort. Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals? Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important.

8. Commit your undivided attention to one thing at a time..

Stop multi-tasking, and start getting the important things done properly. Single-tasking helps you focus more intently on one task so you can finish it properly, rather than having many tasks started and nothing finished. Quickly switching from task to task makes the mind less efficient. Studies have shown that changing tasks more than 10 times during an 8-hour segment of work drops a person’s IQ by an average of 10-15 points.

9. Work in 90 minute intervals. – In an interview with The Globe and Mail,Tony Schwartz, author of the NY Times bestseller The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, makes the case for working in no more than 90 consecutive minutes before a short break. Schwartz says, “There is a rhythm in our bodies that operates in 90-minute intervals. That rhythm is the ultradian rhythm, which moves between high arousal and fatigue. If you’re working over a period of 90 minutes, there are all kinds of indicators in your physiology of fatigue; so what your body is really saying to you is, ‘Give me a break! Refuel me!”

10. Reply to emails, voicemails, and texts at a set times.

This directly ties into the ideas of single-tasking and distraction-avoidance. Set specific time slots 2-3 times a day to deal with incoming communication (e.g. once at 8AM, once at 11AM, once at 3PM), and set a reasonable max duration for each time slot. Unless an emergency arises, be militant about sticking to this practice.

11. Invest a little time to save a lot of time.

How can you spend a little time right now in order to save a lot of time in the future? Think about the tasks you perform over and over throughout a work week. Is there a more efficient way? Is there a shortcut you can learn? Is there a way to automate or delegate it? Perhaps you can complete a particular task in 20 minutes, and it would take two hours to put in place a more efficient method. If that 20 minute task must be completed every day, and a two-hour fix would cut it to 5 minutes or less each time, it’s a fix well worth implementing. A simple way of doing this is to use technology to automate tasks (email filters, automatic bill payments, etc.). Also, teaching someone to help you and delegating work is another option. Bottom line: The more you automate and delegate, the more you can get done with the same level of effort.

12. Narrow the number of ventures you’re involved in.

In other words, say “no” when you should. The commitment to be productive is not always the biggest challenge, narrowing the number of ventures to be productive in is. Even when you have the knowledge and ability to access highly productive states, you get to a point where being simultaneously productive on too many fronts at once causes all activities to slow down, stand still, and sometimes even slide backwards.

“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless,
add what is specifically your own.”
– Bruce Lee


Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

With everything that happens around us, it is sometimes difficult to reach our
goals. This is compounded if you have any of the reasons on the list below.
Luckily, in addition to the top 10 reasons why people don’t reach their goals,
I’ve included a quick fix for each of them. So let’s get to it.
1. Creating Vague Goals
When you don’t know where you are going, it is really hard to get there. Many
people set themselves up for failure when they set goals that are unclear. “I
want to lose weight” sounds like a great goal but the people who set this kind
of goal will never reach it. It is not because the people are not motivated or
disciplined but because the goal is too general. Do you want to lose 5 lbs or 50
Quick Fix: Set SMART goals by being Specific, making sure they are
Measurable, Achievable and Realistic, and last but not least — give yourself a
Time deadline.
2. Lacking a Higher Purpose
Goals can be set on any topic imaginable but if you don’t have a higher
purpose, it makes it is easy to give up once the initial motivation and
excitement wears off. Understanding how your goal is relevant to you allows
you to persevere even when the going gets tough.
Quick Fix: When setting your SMART goal, ask yourself how the goal is
relevant to your life and what you want to achieve.
3. Procrastinating
Even when you have SMART goals that are relevant to your purpose, if you
don’t get started, you’ll never achieve your goal. One of the most dangerous
phrases is “I’ll do it later.”
Quick Fix: Make sure the goal has been broken down into manageable pieces
and then start right away.
4. Not Taking Responsibility
Things will go wrong. That’s a fact of life. When something comes up and you
don’t achieve your goal, who do you blame? Your boss who kept you at work
late so you couldn’t work on your book or maybe the horrible weather that
stopped you from going to the gym. If it’s not your fault, there is nothing you
can do, right?
Quick Fix: Own up to not reaching your goals. When you take responsibility,
you’ll become resourceful knowing that you have control over the attainment
of your goals.
5. Listening to People Who Discourage You
When you go for your goals, especially the big ones that really count and fit in
with your purpose in life, it is inevitable that people will discourage you.
There are many reasons for this: concern, jealousy, ignorance, etc. How many
goals have already been given up on because other people decided they were
not worth pursuing?
Quick Fix: This one is easy. As long as you know the purpose for your goal,
ignore the naysayers. You can take what they are saying into consideration
but make sure you make the final choice.
6. Starting Too Many Projects
I’m a starter. That sounds like a good thing but not when you start too many
things, you don’t end up finishing many of them. This usually stems from the
fear of missing out (FOMO) or being someone who has many ideas.
Quick Fix: Understand that you have a limited amount of time and that you
can’t do everything. To deal with FOMO, realize that by not finishing, you are
missing out on all the opportunities that open up when you finish the projects
you are working on.
7. Being Negative
If you think you’re not going to make it, then you’re probably not going to
make it. If you don’t believe you’re going to reach your goal, then when you
fail, it is expected which makes it easy to stop trying. When you are optimistic
and a setback occurs, you focus your energy on finding solutions because you
truly believe there is one.
Quick Fix: Consider the idea that optimism and pessimism are both
expectations of the future. Each are equally likely to be true but which belief
will help you lead a happier more fulfilled life? Instead of wasting your energy
on complaining, spend that energy on learning.
8. Being Selfish
There are people out there that think it is silly to help others. They believe in
taking and not giving. They are misers with their time, money and knowledge
and are only interested in opportunities where they stand to benefit. Most big
goals require the help of others and it is very difficult to help people who only
care about taking.
Quick Fix: Serve others first. Always look for ways to add value to other
9. Surrounding Yourself with People Who Don’t Reach Their Goals
You are who you associate with. This may be hard to swallow for some people
and there are always exceptions to the rule but for the most part, we act in
accordance with the people around us. This comes from the strong ad natural
desire to belong and to be accepted (think of all the dumb things you did in
high school just to fit in).
Quick Fix: Associate with people who always reach their goals.
10. Watching Too Much TV
Not all TV is bad but if you are watching TV then most likely you are not
doing anything to move one step closer to your goal. The problem with TV
these days is that it is captivating. There are programs for all interests and
hobbies and the shows keep getting better and better. Those who watch alot
of TV usually don’t reach their goals and perhaps people watch TV because
they don’t have any goals.
Quick Fix: Shut off the TV. Cancel the cable. Pick up a book that will help you
move one step closer to your goal!

The Entrepreneur Profile

The Entrepreneur Profile 
Entrepreneurs are more than just ordinary business people. Anyone could start a business but only a select few will be entrepreneurs. These individuals aim to achieve a lot of things and other than earning a fortune, they dream of changing the world and changing the lives of many. They exist in the business to be of service to people and to extend a helping hand. If you wish to be in business, endeavor to be an entrepreneur, and be more than what you could be;  and if you want to be an entrepreneur, if you want to be an entrepreneur, make sure that you are equipped with the following:
Self Confidence: Confidence is very important in business because you will be surrounded by different forces that are bigger and more powerful than you, so you need to have the right confidence to move forward and push against the current. You need to believe in the impossible and most importantly, you need to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve everything you put your heart and mind to.

Emotional Stability: The journey that you take is not going to be a simple one. There will be roadblocks and struggles that you will encounter and if you aren’t careful, these things will keep you from achieving your goals. People will put you down and they will attack you. If you are weak, you will falter to the point of not knowing how to move forward. Emotional stability is important because you have to know how to keep your emotions at bay.

Love for challenges: It is important for you to be some kind of risk taker because entrepreneurs should be ready to go out of their comfort zones and to take on new challenges They should not be easily overcome by fear and more Importantly, they should have a great affinity for challenges and risks.
Patience: As the journey to the top is not easy and simple, patience is a very good trait to have. You should not be quick to give up and quick to get frustrated and angry. The journey is not going to be an easy one, so you have to be prepared for difficulties to arise.

Meticulous Taste: Being meticulous is just a nice way of saying that you should be a perfectionist. You should not be easily content. You should demand more and demand for great things. You should set high standards foryourself and you should not be quick to fold and give up your ideals and principles.

Innovation: You should be creative and have a creative mind. Instead of being someone who follows trends, you should be the one that starts trends. Entrepreneurs are regarded for their amazing ideas, and if you want to be good entrepreneur, you should have your own ideas, as well.
Flexibility and Adaptability: Change is inevitable. The world is evolving too fast and you should be prepared to handle change. You should be prepared not to be overwhelmed and be prepared to cope with all sorts of changes along the way.
These are just some of the many characteristics that help make you the entrepreneur that you ought to become. Before you could even dream of becoming successful, you should first seek to develop these qualities.