Recently Forbes magazine shared the survey results, in which two hundred of billionaires, Olympic champions, successful entrepreneurs and star students of higher educational establishments in the US answered one question:
What is your number one secret to productivity?
It turned out that activity management of those, who really may boast their extra efficiency, have common features that sometimes are rather surprising.
Secret No. 1: They plan per minute, rather than per hour.
Average performers usually focus on half-hour to hour working intervals, but successful people estimate their time per minutes. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be reclaimed. Therefore, they try to spend profitably every minute of every day.
Secret No.2: They focus only on one thing.
They remember what their most important task is, and work on it every morning. Businessman Tom Ziglar said:
Invest the first part of your day working on your number one priority that will help build your business
Secret No. 3: They use no daily to-do lists.
Statistics shows that only 41% of items on daily to-do lists are ever actually done, and any all those undone item leads to stress. Highly productive people, in their turn, put everything on their calendar and then work and live according to schedule – day scheduled into 15-minute blocks.
Secret No. 4: They take time for their own pleasure.
Intel CEO Andy Grove said:
There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done
With express understanding that it is impossible to do every single deal. The most successful people realize the true value in their lives, enjoying time with family, doing sports, volunteering.
Secret No. 5: They use usual notebook.
Ultra-productive people make their consciousness free from things and thoughts that inhabit their head, and write down literally everything in the notebook. Richard Branson used to say that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes.
Secret No. 6: They process email only a few times a day.
The most productive people do not check email throughout the day and do not respond to each notification of incoming message. Instead, they schedule time to process their email quickly and efficiently. Some make it only once a day, others – in the morning, noon and at night.
Secret No. 7: They strongly avoid meetings.
Meetings start late, have the wrong people in them, meander in their topics and last long. Productive people say: you shall get out of meetings whenever you can, hold fewer of them yourself, and if you do run a meeting, try to keep it short.
Secret No. 8: They nearly always say “no”.
Productive people do not afraid to refuse. Billionaire Warren Buffet once said: “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” Entrepreneur James Altucher once clearly said: “If something is not a “hell, yeah! Then it is a “no!””
Secret No. 9: They follow the 80/20 rule.
Well-known rule says: in the majority of cases 80% of outcomes come from only 20% of activities. Ultra-productive people know which activities drive the greatest results, and focus on those ignoring the rest. Actually, they devote 80% of their time to 20% of activities that may bring the most benefit.
Secret No. 10: They delegate almost everything.
Ultra-productive people do not ask “How can I do this task?” Instead, they think “How can this task get done?” When it comes to task solution they take the “I” out of it as much as possible. Moreover, they take no control of all the tasks, but believe that if something is done rather good – this means “rather good”, i.e. acceptably.
Secret No. 11: They devote separate days for key activities.
Highly successful people make “theme days” to focus on the main thing. For instance, they may devote Mondays for meetings, Tuesdays – to decide administrative items and so on.
Secret No. 12: They touch things only once.
How often have you read message, closed it, but left it in your inbox to deal with later? Highly successful people try to tackle every problem only once. If it takes less than 5-10 minutes, whatever it is, they deal with it once and forever.
Secret No. 13: They keep the same morning regimen.
Many of successful people place great store on how they spend the morning. Most of them start morning with the glass of water, wholesome breakfast and light exercise. They nurture their mind with meditation or prayer, inspirational reading, and journaling – this helps.
Secret No. 14: Energy is everything.
To boost your productivity, you may increase your energy store – it is impossible to have 25 hours in a day. The more energetic person has better attention, concentration, his quality of decision-making is enhanced. The most successful people, that understand this, do not skip meals, sleep and make pauses in their work. They do not strive to work more and more – like many performers do. Leaders view food as fuel, sleep – as a restoring method.