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 There’s a famous quote that Jim Rohn once said; “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” Losing track of time is easy to do whether there’s a lot to get done or very little. But what separates a successful person from an unsuccessful one is how they manage to balance their time between work and rest. Successful people are often the most productive people because they are well aware of the importance of perfecting this skill. If you’re someone struggling to stay productive throughout your day, step back and examine your everyday routine and habits. Are they enforcing an equal balance between work and rest, or are they leaning one way more than the other? If you see that your current habits have you working a lot more than resting, or resting a lot more than working, you’re in dire need to make some changes in your everyday routine. Like having too much time to relax is unproductive, working too much can also become unproductive because you’re more likely to burn out and lose interest and focus in what you’re working on.   

To improve your productivity and make the most of your day, examine and try to incorporate the following behaviors and habits of highly productive people into your own life:

     1coffee-cup-mug-cafe-large. Wake Up Early: There’s a saying that the early bird gets the worm. Where productivity is concerned, this saying couldn’t be any more right. Waking up earlier allows you the time you need to adequately prepare for the day. Trust us, extra time is not at all a bad thing; it certainly beats having to jump out of bed to rush out the door in under 10 minutes. Early risers have valuable time that they can use to finish up chores from the night before or to simply give themselves some time off to mentally prepare for the day.  

     2. Say No: One thing many people struggle with when it comes to work, is learning when to say no. Either out of discomfort for sounding rude or lazy, many of us will sign on to projects or activities that are more than we can handle all at once. Successful and productive people know both when and how to turn down assignments that’ll be too much for them. They know all too well the importance of preventing themselves from feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Something as simple as “I’m sorry, as much as I’d love to, I want to make sure I don’t have too much on my plate,” is a polite and easy way to do so.  

     3. Follow a Night & Morning Plan: Whether you like them or not, keeping a daily night and morning routine is a must for highly productive people. It helps them create structure for themselves, which in the end helps them complete everything they want to have done. Utilize a night routine that will help you finish all necessary prep work for tasks you need to complete the next day. This way, you’ll be ready to go at the crack of dawn! Doing so will also help you stay on task and be productive throughout the rest of your day because often times, the first thing you do in the morning is what sets the mood for the rest of the day.

     4. Keep an Inspiration Journal: Ask any creative artist and they’ll tell you that their most amazing and coolest inspirations come to them at the oddest places and when they least expect it. Whether you’d like to call yourself the next Picasso or not, this is in fact something that’s true for everyone.This is also exactly why if you ask any productive person for something to write with or on, they’ll always have something handy. Productive people know how priceless new and fresh ideas are so they make sure that they have something to jot them down on. By doing so, they’re ensuring that they won’t forget it at a later time, regardless of whether or not they actually use it. pexels-photo-38167-large

     5. Remember Death: Not to sound grim, but in reality, highly diligent people often think of death. This is because their minds are programmed to always be considerate of time. Reminding themselves that they only have a certain amount of time in the world is one way to make sure that they make every second count. That, more than anything else, instantly makes them more likely to achieve everything they want to achieve.    

    6. Embrace Criticism: While some people get upset and defensive hearing someone talk bad about them or their work, the wise will instead open up and ask for more details. Compliments are great for encouragement but if that’s all you ever hear, you and your work will always stay at the same level and eventually, become old news to people. People that actively seek out criticism are people whose work will have the most improvement and who will always be in a constant state of surprising people for the better.   

     7. Don’t Try To Juggle:  It may seem counter but when you need to get things done, multitasking is by far the worst thing you can do. People that multitask have scattered focus; meaning that anything and everything they do manage to complete will take longer than necessary and be of low-quality. Instead, copy the most industrious personalities in the world and just focus on one thing at a time. Doing so will not only ensure that all your work is top-notch, but also help you get done slightly faster.

     8. Keep It Clean: Even though creativity comes from chaos, chaos is not what you need in your work space to get things done. Maintaining an organized and clear work area allows you to have a clear focus on the object in front of you. People working in clean work areas are a lot more persistent and less frustrated by their work.

9. Shut Off Notifications: We live in a technology and social media crazed environment so it’s easy for a low-key buzz or one ping here and there to not seem like a big deal. The truth is that these notifications, regardless from where they’re coming from or if you even look at them, have already sabotaged your focus and attention they very instant you heard them.  Do your productivity a favor and temporarily block distracting websites/turn off your phone while you work because it takes very little to make our minds wander.

     10. Break Down Your End Goal: Everybody has dreams for their life; places they want to be at or things they want to achieve by a certain time. Human beings are constantly in a state of wanting bigger and better things for themselves. Even though all of this is great motivation to be productive, it’s also really overwhelming and puts a lot of pressure on our shoulders. This pressure and flustering sensation is something that can easily inhibit us from doing what we need to, unless we learn to manage it. One ingenious trick to do so is to break down your dream or end goal, into smaller and less intimidating goals. For example, to reach an end goal that can take a decade to do, break your work down into yearly, monthly, weekly, and then daily goals. You can also even go as far as breaking down your daily goals into hourly goals! This will make things a lot more manageable and a lot less daunting, and as a result, you’ll  be less likely to stop or slow down in your progress.pexels-photo-129062-large

     11. Never Compromise Sleep: Beside the obvious health benefits of getting your daily dose of a good night sleep, productivity is highly dependent upon on how well rested you are. Remember, being diligent is all about balance. Compromising a good night’s rest to get things done is okay if you do it rarely, but if it’s a constant routine of yours, you’re only preventing yourself from being on your A-game during the day.

   12. Take Mini-Breaks & Long Breaks: Breaks are the best part of your day if you’re a hardworking person. They work like a reward system that reinforces your good work habits and persistence. In fact the more of them you have, the better. There are the obvious long breaks that almost everyone takes when then go work out, eat a meal or take a nap for example; and then there are mini-breaks that not everybody utilizes. Mini-breaks typically only last for 2-3 mins– maybe 5 mins at most. For every 30 -40 minutes of work you do, try giving yourself a mini-break where you can do practically anything but look at your work.If you’re someone that gets burnt out rather quickly, this will help keep your momentum up throughout the day.

     13. Be a Learning Addict: People that are productive are eager and curious learners. They ask questions, read a lot and always listen closely. This ties back to their initial desire to always improve themselves (similar to when they search out criticism). Being a learner helps you grow into a better you, and a better you, is also a more productive you.   

     14. Use A Calendar: Whether online, through an app, or in an agenda,  productive people need to maintain organization and always know what to expect/ plan for in the future. Not doing so makes them more likely to spontaneously add new things that can ultimately delay or interrupt their progress for the week.

     15. Time Yourself:  Although productivity is heavily reliant on focus, know that lots of focus also has the potential to increase your chances of losing track of time. Getting super involved in your work is awesome as long as you know how long you’ve been working on something.By setting a timer for every hour or half an hour, you can regularly check yourself to make sure that you’re staying on schedule to complete all tasks for the day.

      16. Get Up & Move: Getting the blood pumping is a great way to clear your head and get any feelings of anxiety and stress out so that you can dedicate more of your mind on the task at hand. This can be as simple as going on a walk or actually hitting the gym. Don’t forget that exercise releases dopamine, and the more dopamine you have, the better mood you’ll be in while working.  

     17. Have a Pleasant View: Research actually shows that productivity can be influenced by the surroundings you’re working in. By doing something as simple as sitting near a window or decorating your work area with pleasant aesthetic elements like flower vases, decorative lights or paintings–essentially anything that puts a smile on your face, you’ll work much better. pexels-photo-108060-large

      18. Work As a Lone Wolf: While group work is fun and a great way to go about doing big projects, most productive people spend a majority of their “working hours” working alone. This is simply because at their core, human beings are social animals. Even with the most meticulous group members in the world, you’re likely to make small talk every now and then. Although there there’s nothing wrong with it, that is all lost time that eventually adds up.

     19. Control Your Drinks: Many people these days, including our top most productive people,   rely on drinks like coffee or  energy drinks to help them get work done. While these drinks certainly do get your head in the game, drinking too much or  more than you’re used to on a regular basis, will cause you to crash a lot faster and inhibit your focus at the same time.

     20. Eat All Meals: In order to get more things done or “save time,” a lot of people skip their core meals. This is a rookie mistake for anyone trying to cross things off their to-do list. Skipping or missing meals causes your body’s sugar level to drop significantly, making you lose energy and feel tired for no reason. You’ll lose momentum to work and be disinterested in the task at hand. Also, a growling stomach is simply no fun.

     21. Fall In Love With What You Do: Perhaps one of the biggest things you can take away from a successful and productive person is their passion to do what they do. Having a lot of work on your plate is stressful and nerve-wracking but as long as you can find something about the task that you really like, it’ll make being productive that much easier. The time you spend working will feel like time you’ve spent doing a favorite hobby. Even if the task is something you’re required to do, finding one small thing that appeals to you, and working with that in mind will make all the difference.


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