10 Things Super Productive People Don’t Do
Productivity isn’t just about what you do, it’s also about what you don’t do!
No matter how you slice it, you have only 24 hours each day. Now if you have healthy habits, habits that actually increase your productivity like exercising, spending time with God, and getting the rest you need, that leaves you with 15 hours. There are also some basic hygiene needs to factor in, chores like meal prep, yard work, or maintaining a home, which also reduce your available work hours down to somewhere between 10-12 hours a day depending on your circumstances. And don’t forget commuting, connecting, and relaxing. That leaves you with 8-10 hours to get your work done.
The bottom line: your time is limited.
If you work more than 8-10 hours, and I hope you don’t, key areas of your life suffer.
You can’t do all! You must prioritize.
If you were to shadow someone who is not only productive, but also gets results, you would discover that they are very intentional about what they invest their time in. And you would also notice that they are very intentional about what they don’t do!
Here are ten things super productive people don’t do:
1. Waste Their Most Productive Hours
Busy doesn’t equal productive!
Are getting results, or are you simply doing tasks that are keeping you in motion?
Make sure you are investing your limited time in the tasks that are going to move you closer to your goals and the results you desire.
Some tasks require more focus and concentration than others. Piddly, easy, mindless tasks can wait! You give yourself an advantage when you use your most productive hours in the day to tackle the activities that matter most in achieving your goals. Are you the type that wakes up bright eyed and eager to take on the world, or are you more likely to warm up as the day goes on? Perhaps your most productive hours are late at night.
Being clear on when you are at your best allows you to reserve that time for your most important tasks. You may want to save tasks that that require less focus for later.
How might you rework your routine so that you make the most of your peak productive hours?
2. Fall Into the Technology Trap
Nothing gobbles up time faster than mindless surfing the web or scrolling through social media. Before you know it, you’ve entered a black hole and an hour or two has slipped away.
While web research is insightful and helpful if done intentionally. Done mindlessly, it’s a time suck. One way you might limit the time you spend even intentionally exploring the web is to set a timer and limit the time you spend searching.
Social media is not all bad – it has its place. I’ve made some treasured friends via social media and it plays a significant role in my business. However, if left unchecked, social media also has the potential to consume big chunks of time. Even more concerning is the negative feelings and unconscious comparison that it arouses.
I know I am showing my age, but I’ve been around long enough to remember what life was like before Facebook, Twitter or “X”, Pinterest, and the host of other of social media platforms. Back then, you had no idea where so and so just ate lunch or who so and so was with. And void of this information the world kept on spinning!
Back in the day, there also less anxiety, comparing, and trying to prove that your crazy life was better than the lives of everyone around you!
3. Perform Tasks Others Can
There are tasks that only you are capable of doing. Do you know what those tasks are?
As a coach, it would be foolish for me to hand off my coaching clients to someone else. However, there are many other aspects of my business that others are perfectly capable of taking on.
While delegating well is a learned skill, it’s worth practicing even if you must pay someone. It might pinch at first, but your success hinges on doing that tasks that only you are able to do!
No matter what you tell yourself, you are less effective when you multitask. The more you are able to laser focus on the task at hand them quicker and better you will complete that task.
Focus on one thing at a time!
5. Pursue Good Ideas
I have lots of good ideas, how about you? In fact, I often have more good ideas than I have time! Rather than jumping into every good idea that crosses your mind, keep a “good ideas” list to possibly act on later.
Instead, focus on your “great ideas” – the ideas that will enable you to successfully achieve your goals!
6. Watch TV, Streaming, & the Like
When I was a kid, there were just a few TV channels to choose from. Today, there are literally hundreds of television channels and a host of other viewing options like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Endless hours of entertainment to eat away your precious time! Don’t let them eat away at your valuable time!
A close cousin to TV: games on your phone such as Candy Crush, Ballz, Farmville, Angry Birds, or Woodoku to name just a few! Or popular video games including Age of Empires, Zelda, or Final Fantasy.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and being entertained, perhaps a reward at the end of a full day. However, when TV watching takes precedence over reading to learn and growing in your area of expertise, keeps you from connecting with others, or stands in the way of you reaching your goals, you might want to consider making some changes.
7. Seek Perfection
Productive people know that seeking perfection is impossible and a complete waste of time! That doesn’t mean they are sloppy of careless. They seek to do excellent work and are content with good enough!
8. Pack Their Schedule
When your schedule is packed and lacks margin there’s very little room for error, breathing, or viable opportunities! And a packed schedule often leads to a hurried life. No one does their best work in a rush.
Productive people know their limits. They recognize that life is unpredictable. That’s why they also make sure there is plenty of margin in their schedules and blocks of time to complete tasks that require concentration and creativity.
Another key trait productive people possess: they schedule their priorities on the calendar with their values in mind.
9. Ignore Disorganization
Look around you – how much clutter surrounds you? Are there systems, processes or organizing that you’ve been putting off? Operating in the midst of disorganization consumes more hours than you realize!
Every time you pause to organize something you are giving yourself back time later! Maybe organization doesn’t come naturally to you. That’s a wonderful opportunity to enlist the help of a coach to help you turn the chaos into order!
You might be surprised by how being organized saves you!
10. Work Perpetually
You read that right: Work! It is actually counterproductive to endlessly work. In fact, working longer hours makes you less productive, more one dimensional, and that much closer to burnout!
If you are prone to working too much, then it’s time to tighten up your boundaries and trust God more to help you get done what really needs to get done. Setting work boundaries forces you to prioritize, encourages you to take breaks which actually improves your productivity, and it enables you to operate in a more balanced way.
Ready to become a more productive person? Not productive in the sense that you are able to complete an incredible number of tasks in a single day, but productive in that you successfully complete the tasks that leads to results AND have time for a meaningful life too!
What do you need to stop doing so that you are more productive, even super productive, so that you are getting the results you desire?