If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we want to be the most productive version of ourselves. But are we doing what it takes to get there?
More importantly, could the seemingly innocent habits we have be blocking our success? Unfortunately, yes – and the worst offenders are the mistakes we don’t realize we’re making.
So if you want to be more productive, one of the first things you need to do is identify what’s a good use of time and what isn’t. Here are 5 things that productive people never waste time on:
1. Productive people don’t have an open schedule
“Productive people never leave their day to chance,” says Adele Alligood, Founder of EndThrive. “Too many things can go wrong when you don’t live your days with intention.”
You see, productive people have a written plan for their day. They identify two to five things that really matter most and they focus on getting those done.
There’s no such thing as ‘winging it’ in a productive persons day. Why? Because a plan gives them the shot at the perfect day.
So before you let your days drift away into a myriad of small things, wake up and create a plan for yourself.
2. Productive people don’t dwell on the past
Everyone makes mistakes – or at least the best of us do. But the key to being productive is learning from your mistakes and moving on. You become a better person when you accept any mistakes you’ve made and chalk it up to experience.
If you struggle with dwelling on the past, then you should remind yourself that the past cannot be changed. There’s a reason for the life experiences you have had. Learn from them.
You simply can’t create a better future for yourself if you’re worried about what happened months or even years ago. Focus on the here, now, today.
3. Productive people don’t compare themselves
“Most of us have compared ourselves to a friend, colleague, or even a celebrity, in a quest to figure out how we’re doing.” says Deborah Carr of Psychology Today
She further explains, “But it’s hard for our own lives to shine in comparison.” She’s talking about the comparison trap. The feeling of we’ll never be as good as the next person.
After all, they have so much more, right?
It’s fine to be inspired by other people (and you should be!) but you shouldn’t sell yourself short in the process. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to the next person, it’s time to adjust your mindset.
You cannot control other people. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. So focus on competing with yourself.
4. Productive people don’t waste time with negative people
We’ve all heard the saying
You are who you hang around.
So if you want to be the best version of you, you have to surround yourself with positive people. Motivational Speaker Charlie Jones says, “You will be the same person in the future as you are today except for the people you have in your life and the books you read.“
The opinions of your close friends carry weight. They will always factor into how you plan for your future, the goals you set, and how you plan to take action. So make them count.
5. Productive people don’t put themselves last
We all have times where we don’t prioritize our sleep or exercise routine. Instead, we focus on meeting deadlines or other ‘more important’ obligations. The thing is, if you want to be happy and successful, you have to put yourself first.
If you don’t, you risk getting burned out. writer Lisa Gerry says this trickles over into other areas of our lives:
“I use to wear my workaholism like a badge of honor. The way I saw it, I had an awesome job and would work as hard as it took to do well.”
Lisa explains, “As time went by, any semblance of a balanced life went out the window. I had no energy or desire to hang out with my friends, I was neglecting my health and I had become disillusioned with my work.”
It took her several years to realize she wasn’t living her best life.
Don’t let that be you. Prioritize your health and sleep. Do things you truly enjoy with the people you enjoy. Unplug yourself from the stresses of everyday life and create a rich life that doesn’t involve work.
Most importantly, know when it’s time say “no” and move on.