Wisdom//

5 Things Highly Productive People Do

Step one: Recognize the difference between urgent and important.

Kesinee Srisura / EyeEm/ Getty Images

By Dana Massett

We all start off with the same 24 hours each day. How we utilize that time determines what we are able to accomplish, shaping who we are and who we become.

Our lives are filled with too many distractions to count on good intentions.

The highly successful don’t achieve their results by accident. Rather, they are thoughtful and deliberate with their time and energy.

Here are 5 things highly productive people do to achieve peak performance:

1. Recognize the difference between urgent and important

It’s easy to get caught up in the unproductive trap of prioritizing urgent tasks over important ones. After all, we feel an immediate sense of accomplishment when we quickly check a few things off our list.

Unfortunately, these “quick fixes” are often realized at the expense of our important work – the tasks that lead us to achieving our long-term goals.

Highly productive people do not confuse urgent with important. Instead, they invest their time and energy on the tasks that really matter – the 20% that drives 80% of the results.

2. Know when they perform best and plan accordingly

The highly productive take notice of their natural energy cycles and schedule their tasks accordingly. They strategically design their days to maximize their time and energy.

Morning types, for example, schedule their most challenging tasks first thing in the morning when their energy level is at its highest. Conversely, they use the periods when their energy level is lower to accomplish busy work such as filing, scheduling, or returning phone calls.

3. Schedule their downtime

Highly successful people manage their non-working hours with the same diligence as their working ones. They recognize that downtime is critical to their productivity and therefore, build rest and play into their weekly schedule.

If you are among the “type A’s” out there (myself included) who tend to feel guilty if you are not working on something constructive, reframe rest as an essential component to achieving and sustaining your high performance. Schedule it and protect it.

[Related: Doing This at Work for One Day Could Totally Transform Your Productivity]

4. Use their mornings strategically

Yes, waking up early has proven productivity benefits, however, your success hinges upon how you spend those early morning hours.

Highly productive people create a morning routine that prepares them for the day ahead. Here’s a sample routine from my own playbook: wake-up, stretch, meditate, coffee while reading articles of interest, review task list for the upcoming day, dress, wake-up kids, breakfast, off to school/work.

This simple daily routine sets the tone for my day ensuring I start off calm, collected, and focused.

5. Starve distractions

Technology has enriched our lives in so many ways, yet if not effectively managed it can wreak havoc on our productivity.

Rather than constantly battling distractions, the highly successful create environments that eliminate them before they start.

Set your phone to Do Not Disturb, close all unnecessary browsers and chat programs on your computer, let your phone go straight to voicemail and consider using noise reduction headphones. I hope these strategies add hours to your day. And remember…

The secret to high performance is working smarter, not necessarily harder!Happy Planning!

Dana Massett President, Planning Etc. LLC I believe in the power of planning, which led to the creation of Planning Etc. LLC, a productivity consultancy focused on improving performance through strategic planning, organization, and time management. We teach busy professionals how to use smart planning to be effective and productive. Our strategies, tools, and resources are based on behavior science research tailored to the client’s unique circumstance and productivity style. Time is your most valuable resource. Our goal is to ensure you invest… Continue Reading

Originally published at www.ellevatenetwork.com

Follow us on Facebook for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

More from Thrive Global:

8 Things You Should Do After 8 P.M. If You Want to Be Happy and Successful

The One Relationship You’re Probably Ignoring

The One Word That Can Hurt Your Reputation at Work

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Wisdom//

Here's Why You Miss Deadlines, Even When You Plan Ahead

by Thomas Oppong
Jakob Helbig / Getty Images
Work Smarter//

Follow These 4 Steps to Become Ridiculously Productive at Work

by Melissa Chu
 Charles Deluvio/Unsplash
Work Smarter//

26 Habits That Will Help You Achieve More

by Thomas Oppong

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.