I’m always looking for ways to work smarter with the goal of being more productive each day. While perusing Fast Company’s website for media contacts, I stumbled onto a true gem – a story on “Why The Most Productive People Do These Six Things Every Day.” I thought long and hard before even considering reading this piece in hopes that I was at least already doing 1-2 of things productive tasks. As I read on, I stumbled upon the secrets to scrapping my to-do list! (Woah – shocker because I live by my to-do list!) I also noticed that I’ve observed plenty of the Fish team members following these steps and wondered– gee if it works for them maybe it could work for me?
Here are six things that super-productive people do every day to maximize their results and success (complete with commentary from yours truly):
- They Start With A Morning Routine
Consistency and routine are helpful for starting the day in a proactive mode. While tasks may vary, productive people have found a set of activities and order that works for them.
Personally, I’ve never been a morning person let alone one that has a morning routine. I’ve tried over and over again – but always failed at setting up a timeline for myself once my alarm goes on. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed my Fish colleagues start their days off with workouts at OrangeTheory Fitness, catching up on TV, reading a book or meal prepping all before 9:00 a.m. Maybe this is really the key to being more productive – Ugh, I digress.
- They Block Out Time and Tackle Important Tasks
Productive people understand the difference between important and urgent tasks. The former moves businesses forward while the latter puts out fires.
Now this is something I can really get behind – in fact it’s something I aim to do daily. Blocking out time is a huge help in my day and helps me determine what needs to be tackled based on deadlines. This is something I struggled with in the past (ugh time management) but ever since I determined what’s important – I find myself coming out on top!
- They Maximize The Use of Their Calendar
While to-do lists are nice for capturing information and activities, productive people don’t run their day from one. Schedule any and all to-do list task on a calendar and use this as a blueprint.
Score! I do this and so do several of my colleagues. I remember Ashley and Andie telling me how they build out their days almost a week in advance with long/short term projects. Once the day is here – they look at the meetings they have then start to add in or remove to-do’s into their daily schedule based off the workload they need to accomplish. If this is what makes people successful then we are ALL on the pathway to success.
- They look at Their Days in Minutes, Not Hours
Calendars are often divided into 30- or 60- minute increments, but productive people like to dial activities down even further, eliminating the chance that time goes unscheduled.
I’ll admit – since we have to bill out eight hours for each day of work I make sure that all of my time is accounted for throughout the day. Thanks to Replicon my hours are always tracked down. Many of my colleagues keep a running list of their activities throughout the day and even list out per hour the tasks they are actively doing or completed. This is a great tip!
- They Turn Off Email
We all know that email can be a time suck, but few of us do anything about it. A recent study said the average person spends over seven hours per weekday on email!
Ugh – the dreaded email. The first step in the recovery process is admitting you have a problem. “Hi, my name is Rachel and I have a true addiction to checking my emails.” I’m pretty sure that I would qualify for someone who spends over seven hours on emails. I know several of my colleagues turn email off their phones when they are on “vacations” but I’m truly attached to it. If anyone out there has a method to resolve my addiction – clearly I’m listening.
- They Practice Self-Care
You can’t be productive if you are not healthy.
Maybe, I’m not as productive because I don’t practice self-care? Marisa is on this – she goes to yoga 3-4x a week and gets all namaste’d out. Sam used to read books during her lunch hour (get on that again – please). Tiff, Andie and others wake up early (like REALLY early) to get in a workout before they start their day. If I don’t start practicing self-care it could really impact my success. If you have any tips, do tell – we’re all open to your suggestions.
Have a tip that my friends at Fast Company didn’t mention about how to be more productive? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to tell you if it helps us!