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6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day


Stashed in: #lifehacks, Focus!, Productivity, @bakadesuyo, Email, Willpower!, Life Automation, Emotional Intelligence, Productivity, Success

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1) Manage Your Mood

Most productivity systems act like we’re robots – they forget the enormous power offeelings.

If you start the day calm it’s easy to get the right things done and focus.

But when we wake up and the fray is already upon us — phone ringing, emails coming in, fire alarms going off — you spend the whole day reacting.

This means you’re not in the driver’s seat working on your priorities, you’re responding to what gets thrown at you, important or not.

2) Don’t Check Email In The Morning

To some people this is utter heresy. Many can’t imagine not waking up and immediately checking email or social media feeds.

I’ve interviewed a number of very productive people and nobody said, “Spend more time with email.”

Why is checking email in the morning a cardinal sin? You’re setting yourself up to react.

An email comes in and suddenly you’re giving your best hours to someone else’s goals, not yours.

You’re not planning your day and prioritizing, you’re letting your objectives be hijacked by whoever randomly decides to enter your inbox.

Research shows email:

  1. Stresses you out.
  2. Can turn you into a jerk.
  3. Can be more addictive than alcohol and tobacco.
  4. And checking email frequently is the equivalent of dropping your IQ 10 points.

Is this really how you want to start your day?

For more on how to avoid the email trap and spend time wisely go here.

3) Before You Try To Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All

Everyone asks, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?” But the answer is stunningly easy:

You’re doing too many things.

Want to be more productive? Don’t ask how to make something more efficient until after you’ve asked “Do I need to do this at all?”

4) Focus Is Nothing More Than Eliminating Distractions

Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and bestselling author of Driven to Distraction, says we have “culturally generated ADD.”

Has modern life permanently damaged our attention spans?

No. What you do have is more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available to you 24/7 than any human being has ever had.

The answer is to lock yourself somewhere to make all the flashing, buzzing distractions go away.

5) Have a personal system.

Great systems work because they make things automatic, and don’t tax your very limited supply of willpower.

What do we see when we systematically study the great geniuses of all time? Almost all had personal routines that worked for them.

(“Give and Take” author Adam Grant consistently writes in the mornings while Tim always writes at night.)

How do you start to develop your own personal system? Apply some “80/20″ thinking:

  1. What handful of activities are responsible for the disproportionate number of your successes?
  2. What handful of activities absolutely crater your productivity?
  3. Rearrange your schedule to do more of #1 and to eliminate #2 as much as possible.

For more on the routines geniuses use to be productive click here.

6) Define your goals the night before. 

Research says you’re more likely to follow through if you’re specific and if you write your goals down.

Studies show this has a secondary benefit: writing down what you need to do tomorrowrelieves anxiety and helps you enjoy your evening.

For more information on setting and achieving goals click here.

I love this post. Totally awesome. I was doing a couple of these things, but this article provides a simple format to follow. I am going to start putting these into practice today. Thanks, Eric!

I concur, Rich. This is one of Eric's best posts ever.

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