Productivity and GTD
Things Highly Productive People Do Differently
Productivity does not come naturally to anyone. It’s not inherently built in your system. Instead, productivity is a matter of habits. You can only acquire it through hard work and patience. And it will take time to come. But when it does come, you will suddenly feel like 24 hours in a day are actually enough!
Being productive is all about getting more stuff done in less time. To be a successful working professional, you need to be productive. Otherwise, the world will race ahead and you’ll never be able to catch on. The best way to increase your productivity is to learn from people who actually are productive.
These people have a categorically different lifestyle that helps them achieve a high level of productivity. If you can adopt their routine and lifestyle, you too can become productive. All you have to do is put in the efforts to bring a radical change in your everyday life, and you’ll certainly reap the benefits in the future.
Here are a few things that highly productive people do differently — and you should too!
1. Breaking down Goals to Realistic Tasks
Everyone has goals. You are working because you want to reach somewhere. But in the hustle bustle of everyday life, the abstract goals tend to take the backburner. This is why a lot of professionals loose focus and eventually accept failure. All of this is but natural. You can never focus on abstract ambitions. To keep your focus and work intact, you should have realistic everyday tasks, rather than long-term ambitions.
These tasks are meant to take you closer to your ambitions. Break down your long-term goal into tasks that you have to do on a daily basis. These tasks should be realistic and achievable. They should be a part of your routine. For example, if your goal is to quit your job and start your own business, you should break it down into what you need to do today to reach closer to that goal. The common answers could be — save money, get experience, generate ideas for your business, etc. To achieve the ambition of starting your own business, assign time for the daily tasks of saving money, and ideation.
Remember that to move a mountain, you have to start by throwing stones. You cannot expect to achieve your ambition right off the bat.
2. Being Ruthless with the Routine
This is an extension of the first point. Sure, you have created everyday tasks, but what if you don’t implement on them? What good would that be? Doing something religiously everyday, is not as easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of perseverance, and a strong mindset.
Everyday you will find enough reasons (or distractions) to not implement on your day’s task. But it is only after you come over the distractions can you do substantive work. If you have figured out what you have to do everyday to reach the place you want, you have to be ruthless about it. There is no excuse. Whatever may be the reason, you have to complete that one task every single day.
Succumbing to distractions is like a domino effect. You do it once, and you’re gone! So, do not do it even once. I know it will be difficult, but it needs to be done.
3. Staying Productive Instead of Busy
It is the people who aren’t productive claim to be busy all the time. On the contrary, productive people get the right things done at the right time. They are not always busy. They assign time for various tasks, and complete them accordingly, so that they can have fun and take rest.
People who are forever busy do not know how to assign tasks. For them, every task is important, and has to be done now! That is not how productivity works. You have to have a priority list, which tells you what is urgent and what can wait. You don’t have to do everything at the same time, because in that case, you would have done nothing to the best of your abilities. So, what’s the point in doing them at all?
As cliched as it may sound, you have to work smart, not hard. You should know what to do and when to do it. You should know how to start and when to stop. There has to be clear boundaries, otherwise you will keep running in circles, achieving nothing.
In general, being productive is about doing everyday tasks smartly, but ruthlessly. Of course, there are many other layers to productive behavior, but if you can adopt these three basic behavioral aspects, you will find yourself on the right road to career success. Keeping these three behavioral things in mind, you will discover the other intricacies of productive behavior on your own.