5 Habits of highly productive people

Most people spend roughly 60% of their time on the things that are important. What do you think your percentage is? We’re busy doing lots of things and don’t stop to think about how we’re doing the doing. Being busy and being productive aren’t the same.

Tina asked me “How can I be more productive when everything is important?” Underpinning her question was wanting to thrive (not just work harder) and be recognised and valued. Why does your productivity matter to you?

Chances are:

  • You make more decisions now in an average day than you did in the past
  • Your attention is being bombarded with more email than ever
  • Your problem solving requires more complex thinking than it used to
  • Your adrenalin is being hit more through increased presssure to deliver

Here are the “5 D’s” daily habits and tips that could help you take your productivity to the next level.

1.      DISCERN what’s important

  • Set up your day. Know your priorities and don’t put things off by being distracted.
  • Say yes and no to the right things through your day in line with your priorities.
  • Don’t multi-task – focusing on one thing at a time will get you there faster.
  • If you need time to think things through on something book time in your diary. Thinking time allows your sound judgement – your leadership depends on it.

2.      DECIDE to connect in

Don’t settle for your role being simply a list of tasks to get through. Find something in your role that you care about and connect with, in line with your values, who you want to become as a leader, and what success in your role looks like. You’ll achieve more of what matters to you – I promise you.

3.      Be DISCIPLINED with time and planning

Track your progress against the goals you’ve set and do what it takes to stay/get back on track when things go wrong. Do you manage to 90-day plan cycles?

Don’t be in a meeting unless there’s a purpose for it; either to make a decision, or get people up to speed where a conversation is needed. If you reduced your meeting time by 10%, which meetings would you say no to?

4.      DEVELOP your emotional EQ

Be self-aware of where you invest emotional energy. It’s easy to create drama and make it about ourselves – we’re human! Our worries about what people think are nearly always created in our minds eye only.

5.      Have DOWN-TIME

Research shows our productivity increases when we take breaks, manage our energy levels, and get enough sleep. Giving our minds and bodies time to rest is just as important an investment, as is our professional development.

Bringing it all together

Your success lies in what you are prepared to do consistently. Habits that keep you on track, in line with what you care about, will serve you best especially when things are hard and uncertain. Which habit could help you take your productivity to the next level?

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