8 Characteristics of the Highly Productive
The best way to learn is not from our own experience but from the experience of others. We can shortcut years of mistakes, and failures by following the success and time management strategies the most successful people in your field or in others.
Ritualize Productive Behavior
It all starts here! Highly productive people ask what is time management really? Highly successful productive people know that productivity is about owning behaviors and setting rituals for success. Note that I said, Rituals not habits, because rituals are a conscious part of who you are rather than unconscious behaviors.
Connect with their purpose
They know why they are doing what they are doing and what difference it will make for others. By daily connecting to their purpose / goals / vision they stay passionate and focused on the related and relevant tasks and activities that move them towards those goals. I work with many entrepreneurs who were passionate when their businesses started but that passion got lost over time. They have gotten stuck in the day to day and have forgotten why they loved this business in the first place. To keep a fire burning you have to keep putting wood on the fire. What business are you really in? A building company I worked with increased their sales because everyone got connected to the real business they were in; building stable families and communities.
Protect their time
The most basic of the time management tips is protecting your time. Productive people know the value of their time. They know their strengths and weaknesses. They delegate as much as possible to create leverage and make the best and highest use of their time. They say no often. They have a gatekeeper to ensure they are in control. Have you calculated the value of your time? How do you protect your time?
Quick decision making process-
By the practice of making decisions quickly, leaders are to quickly identify what information they need to make the decision and don’t agonize over details or get stuck in analysis paralysis. Highly productive people ask high quality questions to assess opportunity, the risks and the opportunity cost. This process allows them to stay objective and see the situation for what it is.
Know their energy cycles
Highly productive people may be early risers because that is when they get the most done, or they may be night owls. What matters is when you are most productive and working your schedule of activities around the times when you are at your best. If you use your best time reading emails or making phone calls you are not making the best use of this high performance time.
Start the day with a clear plan
Highly productive people start the day knowing what the most important objectives are and work on these items first. When you don’t have a plan, you are left to reactive figure it out as the day goes along. So many people are stuck in the day to day and have little to no time for what is really important. That is simply because they didn’t plan in that time. Short term and long term planning are important time management skills to practice. No excuses.
Hour of power
Most highly productive and successful people start their day with exercise, meditation, or some type of energy boosting mental exercises to get their day started. This is not the time to watch the news and filling your head with negativity, it is a time to fill your mind with empowerment. How you start your day will set the tone for the rest of the day.
No email first thing in the morning
If you start your day with email, you start your day reactive. To be proactive is to focus on the hour of power and to plan your day with what steps will bring your goals forward. Emails come after the first major objective is handled.
Highly productive people know that by checking in on your progress, you are creating momentum. Serotonin and dopamine are release when one recognizes their progress individually and as part of a group. If you get stuck in just moving on to the next thing you are quicker to burn out. It is like being in a marathon, if you didn’t see the mile markers you might defeat yourself with unproductive self talk and slow down feeling like you will never get there.
You want to know how to improve your time management? Assess your rituals and make some changes accordingly.