Some people are really good at it, whereas others always seemed to get drawn into procrastination. So, it makes sense that we should all take some advice from those people who are talented at being productive. How do they do it?
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, the night before, or even earlier, the most productive people plan their day in advance. This helps them to stay focused on the tasks that are most important that day and resist being distracted by other jobs that pop up. Plus, if you have set tasks that you know you need to complete that day, it makes it easier to measure how productive you have been at the end of the day by looking back at what you have achieved.
If you have a big or difficult task to tackle, it can be tempting to put it off and focus on smaller, more achievable tasks first. Truly productive people resist this temptation; they dive straight into the most daunting tasks or else they may never get done. Then, once it’s over, the stress of completing that task is off your mind and you can focus on other things.
If you receive an email or a task, you might flag it to remind yourself to deal with it later. But how often does “later” turn into “never”? Productive people act on things as soon as they turn their attention to it. If you open an email, either reply to it, forward it, or delete it. If you’re busy and don’t have the time to deal with new tasks, then you shouldn’t be opening emails unrelated to what you are doing in the first place.
Saying no to something or someone can be difficult, but if you always say yes, then you’ll end up with far too much on your plate. If you don’t have time to complete a task when someone asks you to, tell them straight. Don’t beat around the bush with phrases like “I don’t know” and “if I have time.”
Multitasking is often seen as a desirable skill, but in fact, in can lead to distracted work. If your focus is on more than one thing at once, then it isn’t entirely on anything. This can lead to increased stress and less productive work. Focus on one task without any distraction and your work will be of a much higher quality and you’ll finish it quicker.