As humans, we all have habits-some are good, some are bad. But it takes effort to cultivate the good and cull the bad. Brian Tracy, chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, talks in this blog post about the importance of developing good habits.
“Every one of us is gifted the same 24 hours every day. It’s how you use those hours, though, that makes all the difference, which is why implementing some key productivity tips can make all the difference.
If you are like many people, simply boosting your productivity may be all that it takes for you to reach new heights in your professional life. That’s why I’m sharing my 10 best productivity-boosting tips that are simple enough for you to implement today.
1) Utilize The “Touch It Once” Rule
The “touch it once” rule dictates that you should complete a task or project from start to finish the first time that you touch it rather than starting on a task and leaving it to finish at a later time. If you are able to commit to following this rule it will eliminate most opportunities for procrastination right out of the gate.
2) Write It Down
Whether you keep your “to-do list” in a notebook, on a calendar, or on an app for your phone, writing down the tasks that you need to complete is an excellent way to keep yourself organized as well as an excellent way to become more productive as well. There’s simply something about writing down a list of tasks that makes a person more motivated to complete them and scratch them off the list one by one. When a to-do list is in your head it is little more than something to stress over. When a to-do list is written down, though, it becomes a plan of action.
3) Set Small Goals
Goal-setting is one of the most powerful methods for helping a person reach their long-term goals. However, goal-setting can be used to help you reach short-term goals and boost your day-to-day productivity as well. By breaking a large project down into many pieces and setting “small goals” to complete those pieces one by one, you can take advantage of the motivation-boosting benefits of goal-setting and use them to substantially increase your productivity.
4) Plan Ahead
Before you end each workday, plan ahead by writing down your to-do list for the next day. Planning out the next day’s work ahead of time in this manner allows you to prepare your mind ahead of time for the next day’s work and also enables you to dive right into your to-do list the moment the workday starts.
5) Don’t Overcommit
Nothing kills your productivity quite like biting off way more than you can chew. Overcommitting to more work than you are actually able to complete leads only to stress and worry-which can make it difficult to complete any work at all. While you don’t want to sell yourself short on the amount of work that you can complete in a given time, you also want to avoid taking on more than you can handle. It’s a fine balance, but an important one to find if you want to be at your most productive.
6) Stop Trying to Multitask
While multitasking may seem like an easy way to boost your productivity, if you’re not multitasking correctly, it tends to end up accomplishing the exact opposite purpose. Anytime you split your attention between multiple tasks both your productivity and the quality of your work are sure to suffer. Instead of multitasking, give one task your full attention until it is completed before moving on to the next.
7) Start with Your Hardest Task
If you are able to complete your most difficult task right out of the gate, you are then able to continue your day knowing that the worst is behind you rather than spending the day stressing about a task that you are dreading. Given that stress and worry are the enemies of productivity, tackling the toughest task on your to-do list first-thing is an effective way to become more productive.
8) Determine When You Are Most Productive
Many people are at their most productive in the early morning hours. Others, though, may do their best work late at night or in the middle of the afternoon. Determine when you personally are at your most productive and use those hours to their full advantage.
9) Minimize Interruptions
Today, we live in a world that offers up one interruption and distraction after the other. If you want to be as productive as possible, therefore, it’s essential to eliminate as many of these interruptions as possible. Close yourself off in a room and-if you are able-leave your phone in another room. Take whatever steps you can to close yourself off from the outside world so that all that is left is you and the work that needs to be completed.
10) Set Time Limits
Few things are more motivating than deadlines, and you can take advantage of this by setting realistic, self-imposed time limits on the tasks you need to complete. If you are able to treat these time limits with all of the seriousness that you would treat an official deadline then your productivity is sure to benefit.
– Brian Tracy is recognized as one of the top sales training and personal success authorities in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development. To learn more about him and the materials he offers, go to BrianTracy.com.