What productive habit do you feel is most responsible for your success? (960)
I try to only do things that make me happy. I could make more money working in an office than from cooking or writing, but it would bore me and make me frustrated and angry. So while I might not always want to get up at eight AM to slave in a hot kitchen, knowing that I’ll enjoy the work and have fun with my friends there means I never resent it. And I apply that same mentality to my writing and my studies and everything else I do. It’s only hard work if it’s something that you don’t want to do in the first place.
It’s only by getting started that you progress and learn simultaneously.
For many things, I find that the first 10 minutes are the most difficult.
I take risks and keep learning from my mistakes. I also ask myself a lot of question instead of berating myself. Like: instead of “that was stupid.” I say “What could I have done to make [fillin the blank] better, simpler, easier?
Habit: Having a second reason to do something important.
Since none of us can change the amount of time we have (24 hours a day flat), the only way to be more productive is to extract “more value” out of every hour. Suppose you can find a second reason to do something important, you immediately found a way of getting more out of the time you assigned to engage in that activity. Now, stretch your limits and see if you can find a third, fourth and fifth reason to do something important.
I find that taking a break enhances my work the most. I’m a workaholic, so i don’t have a problem with procrastinating. But when I get too wrapped up in things, being aware that I need to step away refreshes me to work more in the long run!
Kristen Fischer from Creatively Self-Employed
It is easy to get into a rut of working straight through the day at 25% efficiency instead of taking breaks and working less in order to get twice as much done.
The habit of replacing “later” with “now”. Do you have a good idea? Then don’t let it go to waste, put it to good use now and take action. Put together the first draft of a potential business model, talk to a few people who could help you get started, don’t let procrastination get the best of you.
Do you think that successful people have reached their current status because they have had great ideas? You couldn’t be more wrong, they have reached that status as a result of the fact that they have taken things to the next level.
People have more than a few brilliant ideas , yet most of them end up going to waste due to lack of action. Forget about the word “later”, eliminate it from your vocabulary and you will not regret it.
Having a to-do list, online or on paper, has done more for my productivity than anything else. It’s so basic, but it’s the foundation upon which all my other productivity habits are based. I used to keep some things in my inbox, others on my calendar, and others still in my mind. Consolidating all my tasks allows me to prioritize and attack, and it’s also something of a psychological boost ticking items off my list each day!
I also try to minimize the amount of socializing I do at work, which hasn’t done anything for my popularity, but has made me much more efficient and productive than when I spent large chunks of time each day kibitzing with my friends.
Making time to read news and information.
Keeping myself well-informed allows me to feel confident about playing an active role in a variety of conversations. It allows me to make my opinion relevant by connecting it to something current that is going on and makes me more authoritative because I’m always thinking about how new information is connecting to what I’m doing.
Keeping on top of the latest trends also helps me develop my own ideas and helps me find helpful opportunities to help me advance in my career.
Bottom line, figure out a system for monitoring information and make sure this is a part of your daily routine.
Jaclyn from The Schiff Report
Setting goals and working in a focused manner
Seriously — if I have an important task, I don’t do anything but that task, letting other must-dos fall by the wayside. Even if I procrastinate or am uninspired, since I’ve canceled all other activities I manage to get the work done.
It may sound counter-intuitive as an entrepreneur to say that I miss having a boss, but I do. Mostly I miss the accountability. So in order to stay productive, I have a system of checks and balances so that I can hold myself accountable to my deadlines.
Working at home while ‘nobody is looking’, it’s WAY too easy to let hours… days… even weeks go by in procrastination mode. I hire coaches, have weekly mastermind group calls, and do Monday Motivation every week with my readers so that we can make our goals and tasks public.
This way I feel like a schmuck when I don’t deliver. Schmuckiness is worse than procrastination. :)
My perspective on strategy and tactics as published at Lifehack.org recently has probably been the thing that has taken me furthest.
Basically, where many people read Lifehack, Zen Habits, Lifehacker, or any of those other productivity blogs and implement “hacks” or “tricks” to get things done, the strategy and tactics perspective forces you to put those hacks into a framework. Hacks and tricks fall under the heading of tactics, and a strategy unites the tactics, and determines which concepts actually become your chosen tactics in the first place.
By using this system, instead of madly grabbing at whatever magic tricks you can find with the promise of getting more done, and ultimately failing, you must consider what you are trying to do and why, and put some rhyme and reason into your tactic selection.
Outlook/Exchange – though I consider it more of an addition than anything else.
Having your life, planned out, box-by-box may sound a bit boring but it allows you to plan when you’re sane and guide you on what’s next when you are too busy to retain that sanity.
Particularly if you put in time, usually in the mornings, for creative stuff, it gets the blood pumping to deal with the menush that usually follows at the end of the day.