from Forbes.com Zine 1/20/16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
I recently interviewed over 200 ultra-productive people including 7 $B billionaires, 13 Olympians, 20 straight-A students and over 200 successful entrepreneurs. I asked a simple, open-ended question, ?What is your #1 secret to productivity? After analyzing all of their responses, I combined their answers into these unique ideas.
#1: Focus on 1 thing at a time. Ultra productive people know their Most Important Task (MIT) and work on it for a time each day (if possible), without interruptions. Tom Ziglar, CEO of Ziglar Inc, shared, “Ideally, invest the first part of your day working on your #1 priority that will help build your business.” What task will have the biggest impact on reaching your goal?
#2 Don’t use TO DO Lists. Eliminate your To Do list; instead schedule everything on your calendar. It turns out only 41% of items on to-do lists are ever actually done. And all those undone items lead to stress. Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work & live from that calendar. “Use a calendar and schedule your entire day into 15-minute blocks. It sounds like a pain, but this will set you up in the 95th %…”, advises the co-founder of The Art of Charm, Jordan Harbinger. [I don’t agree with this. I think you should put the most significant things on your Calendar and work in your other priorities when you have time. Maybe you don’t have time for #1 or 2, but 3 or 4 may be short and you can squeeze them in – and feel good about it. Situations change often. Flexibility is the key to accomplishing more. Wiz4biz]
#3: beat Pro-crastination with “Do it Now !!! Your future self can’t be trusted. That’s because we are “time inconsistent”. We buy veggies today because we think we’ll eat healthy salads all week; then we throw out green rotting mush in the future. I bought P90x because I think I’m going to start exercising vigorously and yet the box sits unopened one year later. What can you do “Now” to make sure your future self does the right thing? Anticipate how you could self-sabotage in the future, and come up with a solution to defeat your future self. (ie, Just do it Now !!!)
#4: make it Home for Dinner. I first learned this from Intel’s Andy Grove, “There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.” Highly successful people know what they value in life. Yes, work, but also what else they value. There is no right answer, but for many, values include: family time, exercise, giving back. They consciously allocate their day to each area they value (ie, they put it on their calendar) and then they stick to the schedule.
#5: use a Notebook. Richard Branson has said on more than one occasion, that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple Notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes – to capture ideas he thinks of. In one interview, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said, “Always carry a Notebook. Write everything important. That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school!” Ultra-productive people free their mind by writing everything down and reviewing it later
#6: process Email only a few times a day. Ultra-productive people don’t “check” Email throughout the day. They don’t respond to each vibration or ding to see whats in their Inbox. Instead, like everything else, they schedule time to process their Email quickly & efficiently. Morning, noon & night are ideal for most people.
#7: avoid un-necessary Meetings at all costs. When I asked Mark Cuban to give me his best productivity advice, he quickly responded, “Never take meetings unless someone is writing you a check.” LoL Meetings are notorious time killers. They start late, have the wrong people in them, meander in their topics & run long. You should get out of meetings whenever you can, hold fewer of them yourself, and if you do run a meeting, keep it short & concise.
#8: say “No” to almost everything. Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between average successful people & “very” successful people is that very successful people say ‘No’ to almost everything. Remember, you only have 1440 minutes in every day. Don’t give them away easily – without a good cause
#9: the 80/20 rule, 10: Delegate, 11: Theme Days, 12: only Once, 13: Morning Routine, 14: Energy and more in next Post.