Productivity is key to personal and career success. But, contrary to the popular belief that productivity requires tons of will power and regimented discipline, the secret to high levels of productivity is adopting the right habits.
A habit is a regular pattern of behavior that often becomes subconscious or involuntary. In other words, highly productive people consistently engage in repetitive behaviors that maximize their efficiency. Here are five everyday habits of highly productive people that can help you be successful:
1. They have a clear vision.
Highly productive people have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. A clear vision provides a roadmap that directs your steps. When you have a clear vision, you also develop a strong sense of purpose. The clearer the vision, the easier it is to determine what needs to get done on a day to day basis to get there. A clear vision will give you the drive and the tenacity to be highly productive.
2. They do what's important.
The more technologically connected we are, the busier we feel, and the harder it is to decipher what is truly important. Rather than tackling items that further our goals, we frequently shift our attention to the items that make the most noise — like the email swish, the cell phone ring, the text message ding, or the social media tweet. The best approach is to limit our exposure to the things that distract us. Highly productive people make doing what’s important a habit by filtering through the noise and identifying what is truly important.
3. They free their mind.
We achieve the best results when we eliminate mental clutter. When we’ve got a lot on our minds, we can’t attain optimal productivity. Mental clutter bogs us down and slows us up. Rather than think things through we take mental short cuts. Those mental short cuts often lead to mistakes, sloppy work and poor decisions. A mind free of busyness, worries, and anxiety allows us to better process our thoughts, think more creatively and make better decisions.
4. They welcome feedback.
Highly productive people seek feedback. Find a couple of trusted advisors to give you feedback on how you’re doing on your projects and how you are progressing towards your goals. Trusted advisors can give you perspective on whether you are using your time and resources effectively or whether you are spinning your wheels. Be prepared to hear what they have to say. Listen carefully and receive the feedback with an open mind. Are there changes you need to make? Think about how you can incorporate some of their suggestions into your workflow. Their perspective may provide you with insights that help you take your productivity to another level.
5. They're flexible.
Highly productive people are flexible. They understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Therefore, they need to be willing to change and adapt to different circumstances they may encounter. Flexibility means adapting to fluctuating workflows, competing demands, and rethinking how to approach projects that are going south.
Ellie Nieves, JD, MBA, develops webinars, seminars, and coaching programs to help high achieving women show up, speak up, and step up in their careers. She is also the host of the Leadership Strategies for Women Podcast where she shares success tips to help women achieve more both personally and professionally. To learn more, go to: www.EllieNieves.com.