Productive habits

Highly productive professionals share the same clusters of habits:

  • They plan their work based on their top priorities and then acted with a definite objective
  • They develop effective techniques for managing a high volume of information and tasks
  • They understand the needs of their colleagues, enabling short meetings, responsive communications, and clear directions.

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Time Management

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Productive professionals

One research survey, involving 20 000 individuals from six continents, wanted to find out why some people are more productive than others. 

They found professionals with the highest productivity ratings all tend to do well on the same clusters of habits.

Age and seniority highly correlate with personal productivity.

Habits of seniors include:

  • Developing routines for low-value activities.
  • Managing message flow
  • Running effective meetings
  • Delegating tasks

There are noteworthy differences in how women and men managed to be productive.

  • Women are able to run productive meetings; they can keep sessions within 90 minutes and finish with the agreement of the next steps.
  • Men do very well at coping with high message volume. They are able to look less frequently at their emails, bypassing messages of low value.
  • Most of us look at emails every 3 - 5 minutes. Instead, look every hour or two, and then only at subject matter and sender. 
  • Answer important emails immediately instead of flagging them.
  • Managing incoming emails needs to be paired with other, more big-picture habits. 
  • Focus on your primary objectives: Every night, revise your next day's schedule to understand your top priorities. 
  • Manage your work overload: Skip over 50-80% of your emails based on the sender and the subject. Break large projects into small steps — and start with step one.
  • Support your colleagues: Limit any meeting to 90 minutes or less and end each meeting with clearly defined next steps. Agree on success metrics with your team.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • Procrastinating on tasks—both small, nagging ones and large, challenging ones
  • Boring work that needs just to get done
  • Responding to email and other messages while working
  • Staying motivated and energized throughout the entire work day
  • Focusing and finishing the most important projects on their plates
  1. Focus on most important tasks first
  2. Cultivate deep work
  3. Keep a distraction list to stay focused
  4. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to identify long-term priorities
  5. Use the 80/20 rule
  6. Break tasks into smaller pieces
  7. Take breaks
  8. Make fewer decisions
  9. Eliminate inefficient communication
  10. Find repeatable shortcuts
  11. Learn from successes as well as mistakes
  12. Plan for when things go wrong
  13. Work before you get motivated or inspired
  14. Don’t multitask
  15. Fill the tank — recharge
  16. Sharpen the axe
  17. Manage your energy (not just time)
  18. Get better at saying “no”

Laura Earnest of Whole Life Productivity  had this to say on the importance of prioritization as a productivity habit:

“Let me say that I distinguish between efficient and effective, but that both are needed for peak productivity. Efficient is doing things right and effective is doing the right things. So the most productive people work on the high value tasks, making sure that how they are doing those tasks is the best way.

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IDEA

Organizational Health

According to a decade long research, the health of an organization is based on alignment with a robust strategy, deep-rooted culture, and a clarity of vision.

The health of an organization can also be defined as the capacity or ability to deliver superior financial and operating performance.

Steps To Improve Time Management

The way to improve your Time Management skills requires us to figure out where to focus. This can be done by:

  • Getting an objective self-assessment done by your peers or boss, or establishing a baseline behavior to measure your performance against.
  • Understanding that it is your skills, not your personality or preferences that can be developed to provide the best results.
  • Identifying the key skill(s) that you need to prioritize, and avoiding spreading yourself too thin.

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