Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through the links and make a purchase.
Productive people know that one of the keys to maximizing productivity is having the right habits set in place.
Productive habits make a productive life which makes a productive and successful person.
Increase your productivity by implementing the following habits of highly productive people.
1. Have Routines & Implement Habits
Routines allow for an easy way to implement multiple habits and set you up for success. A morning routine gives you control over your morning and gets you ready to start the day with the right habits.
An evening routine can help you properly shut down your work, plan out the next day, and give you a good night’s sleep.
2. Plan Ahead
Productive people plan and schedule ahead of time. This allows them to stay in control of their time and use it intentionally.
Planning saves time and reduces guesswork during the day which can help with decision fatigue.
3. Focus On What They Can Control
Instead of focusing on their desired end result which they don’t control like a promotion, they instead focus on what they can control — the process and their output.
They measure their progress by their work, skills, and habits which they can control.
4. Have Systems Set in Place
Productive people are aware of their cognitive weaknesses. Instead of trying to rely on willpower, they set systems in place. They know that systems always win.
This can be anything from setting up accountability to using technology to create systems to setting up their environment for success. They also automate and delegate what they can.
5. Limit Distractions
Productive people know they can’t work well with distractions, even the potential of distractions. They do whatever they can to limit and reduce distractions to increase focus and get more done.
This can include using noise cancelling headphones to reduce noise, turning off notifications from their phone, using the Do Not Disturb setting, letting others know they are busy during certain hours, or restricting their access to distracting and time wasting apps and websites.
Productive people don’t try to get everything done. They aim to get the most important work done. They prioritize what the most important work they need to focus on.
Usually they prioritize the top 3 most important tasks or projects to work on. They know that oftentimes less is more when it comes to productivity. They focus on being productive, not busy.
7. Do Weekly Reviews
Weekly reviews allow productive people to stay on top of their goals and assess their progress. Productive people also use weekly reviews to plan out their week in advance.
To learn how to do a weekly review, read the article How to Do a Weekly Review.
8. Say No
Making the right decisions is essential to productivity. Productive people know when to say no and when to say yes.
They say no to anything that doesn’t align with their values and conflicts with their goals.
9. Make Time for Exercise
Many productive people share the habit of exercising regularly whatever that may be. Exercise not only leads to a healthy and fit body, but a healthy and fit mind too.
Exercise helps with improved concentration as well as creativity and problem solving. This is especially true for exercise that is done in nature like walking, hiking, or running outside.
10. Read and Learn
Productive people know that to stay ahead, they need to learn and read regularly. They don’t just hustle and work, but they prioritize and dedicate time to learn.
They like to work smarter not harder. Instead of just getting work done, they focus on increasing their knowledge, getting better, and developing skills.
11. Focus On One Thing At a Time
Productive people don’t multitask. They are aware of the task switching cost. Multitasking reduces focus and productivity.
When you’re always switching between tasks, you never reach the flow state.
12. Schedule Work Based on Energy Levels
Productive people know when they are most productive. They are aware of their energy levels throughout the day and schedule certain types of tasks accordingly.
If they are most focused in the morning, they schedule their most hard and deep work at that time. If they are night-owls they use the night time to do their deep and hard work.
It’s important to recognize and be aware of the times when you are most energetic and clear headed and plan your schedule around that.
13. Schedule Their Free Time and Rest
Productive people know the importance of leisure and rest. They work best when they’re not working all the time. They not only make time for rest but they schedule it ahead of time to make sure that they do make time for it.
The law of diminishing return applies to productivity. After a certain point of working, more work leads to a decreasing rate of output. This is where you want to stop working. Continued work past this point leads to negative returns which decreases your overall output.
14. Break Tasks Down
Breaking major tasks down into subtasks allows for clarity and organization.
Productive people don’t let major projects and tasks overwhelm them because they break them down into smaller actionable items. This helps them take action quickly and continue moving closer toward reaching their goals.
15. Stay Organized
Productive people use their environment to set themselves up for success. They stay organized and regularly declutter their space. An organized space leads to an organized mind.
Staying organized saves time and provides clarity. Disorganization and clutter leads to overwhelm and stress which reduces productivity.
16. Live By the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle states that 80% of results or output comes from 20% of the input or actions.
Productive people focus on the 20% of tasks that are most important and contribute to 80% of their results. They figure out how they maximize and do more of the 20% to reach their goals faster.
This can also apply to certain hours of the day. The 20% of your time that gets 80% of the most important work done. Productive people take advantage and make the most out of 20% of their day.
Productive people run experiments and analyze the data. They are open to trying things out and continue doing only what works. Thinking like a scientist allows them to learn and make progress in getting results and reaching their goals.
They don’t get emotionally attached to methods and strategies. They continually test things out to see what works best. Decisions made are based on data and not feelings.
If something doesn’t work, they don’t get discouraged. They try again and run a new experiment.
18. Fail Forward
Productive people embrace the struggle. They know it’s part of the process. No day will be perfect and not every day will be highly productive or lead to success.
They keep trying and working towards their goals even when they fail. They refuse to get stuck in indecision and use failures and obstacles as learning opportunities. They see problems as challenges and seek to be solution oriented.
They know to celebrate the small victories and continue pushing forward. They clap for themselves even when no one else is clapping for them. While they appreciate the results, success, and rewards, they enjoy the journey most of all.