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I get that, however this thread came from me musing about all the “what do successful people do?” blogs and articles that are choking up the internet, and I realised there is one major flaw about them.Reframing this question into “what do successful people do?”
When are you going to sell me that document? $$$I have recently been inspired by the book we've been discussing on the forum, Atomic Habits by James Clear. A quote that hit me in particular, was the one whereby Clear tells us that our identities are the trailing sum of our habits, ergo when we take on new habits, we are actually attempting to change our identities.
After reading I decided to start a little experiment on myself and my family. You see, we are pretty messy and untidy, I have tried over the past decade to change this, and to some degree so has my other half, all to no avail.
After reading Habits, and thereafter reading all the various thoughts on it in the discussion thread, I had a mini epiphany and in the last couple of weeks our house is being transformed from perpetual mess, to a state that could almost be considered tidy!
So what did I do?
I simply created a Word document entitled; What Tidy People Do. In the document I wrote down about 20 bullet points, (which I've since added to). I then gathered my daughter and my girlfriend and asked them if they wanted us to be a tidy family, to which they enthusiastically replied, yes.
So I showed them the document, printed it out, and stuck it around the house, that's it. So now when I'm about to leave emptying the dishwasher till the morning, or leave an empty coffee mug on my desk till later, I can see that those actions are not what tidy people do, and lo and behold, it's working!
A lot of the list I got from the common sense part of my own head, however I got a good amount of feedback from the tidiest people I know, for instance a friend of mine with four children and a much larger, and infinitely tidier house than my own.
So now I want to use the same technique to start doing what productive people do, and I figure a lot of up and coming fastlaners (and maybe some established ones) would be interested in trying out this type of modelling, or if you are already productive, perhaps you can add to the list.
I'm hoping to have a good list of bullet points that I can keep in sight all of the time, so that I can copy productive people and become like them too.
I try and tend to keep it to what they do, rather than don't do, as it seems that has more psychological resonance, though I understand if anyone wants to chip in with a what productive people don't do.
Plus of course, this is a learning experience for me, so if any of the points I've put so far, or in the future are incorrect, I am very happy to be corrected by real honest-to-goodness productive people.
OK, without further ado, let's kick it off and let the games begin!
Productive people use scheduling tools to map out their days.
Productive people find time to work without distraction.
Productive people keep track of their progress from one day to the next.
Productive people plan their internet time.
Productive people always begin with the end in mind = HOME RUNSo as to keep this thread useful, as promised I'll list all what has been added, in some cases I will change the wording slightly. My reasoning for doing this, is to make an easy bullet point list that can be copy, pasted, printed, and pinned to the appropriate areas around your working environments.
I've also tried to take out the how, as this list is about focusing on the why, if that makes sense.
If I've changed the meaning of some of the original statements, or left out what you feel to be important, please correct me.
What Productive People Do
- Productive people use scheduling tools to map out their days.
- Productive people get rid of distractions before starting work.
- Productive people keep track of their progress from one day to the next.
- Productive people plan their internet time wisely.
- Productive people set deadlines, and then stick to them religiously.
- Productive people define the activities they want to do in a day, or a work session, and then they adhere to what they've defined.
- Productive people get up in the morning when the alarm goes off, even if they don't feel like it.
- Productive people set and enforce boundaries. If they say they're going to dedicate two hours to a task that's going to take three hours, they set the timer and stop at the two hour mark.
- Productive people allow themselves reasonable breaks, but when they're working, they work hard with intense focus and maximum effort.
- Productive people create win-win relationships that leverage the productivity of others.
- Productive people automate their business processes wherever possible.
- Productive people use website blockers to keep themselves away from waste-of-time websites such as Facebook etc.
- Productive people have a morning routine that sets their minds and bodies for the day.
- Productive people plan their days, either the night before, or first thing. They do not leave their days to chance.
- Productive people are certain what they want the day's outcome to be, and then concentrate on achieving it.
- Productive people use a system to track their work.
- Productive people use work tracking systems that are flexible enough to dump new tasks into all day long. This is another form of automation.
- Productive people work when they are working, and don't work or think about work when they are not.
- Productive people take full breaks so that when it is time to work, they aren't dreaming of taking a break.
- Productive people primarily use their phones to place and receive phone calls/texts.
- Productive people do not neglect life itself. They make sure every week they are checking in with friends and family, and also themselves (leisure time).
- Productive people know what they are trying to accomplish. They are focused on the result.
- Productive people complete top level tasks that achieve goals.
- Productive people schedule focused time for large scale tasks that achieve goals.
- Productive people block time, ditch distractions, and complete top level tasks.
- Productive people schedule blocks of focused distraction free time to complete large scale top level tasks to get shit done to achieve goals sooner.
- Productive people always begin with the end in mind
- Productive people put first things first
- Productive people seek first to understand THEN to be understood...
- Productive people are consistently looking for new ways to be productive.
Hmm, others have said similar, I'm not sure I agree. Everyone starts a project with the end in mind. It's like when people say you'll get what you want if you really focus and want it. Every single athlete in the Olympics wants to win gold, every football team wants to win the cup, every business person wants success. However only some make it...Productive people always begin with the end in mind = HOME RUN
I dont agree, the problem with just focusing on just the process is that you will get clogged up with tasks that are not 100% necessary for the end result.Hmm, others have said similar, I'm not sure I agree. Everyone starts a project with the end in mind. It's like when people say you'll get what you want if you really focus and want it. Every single athlete in the Olympics wants to win gold, every football team wants to win the cup, every business person wants success. However only some make it...
I'm thinking productive people understand about focusing on the process, the little things that move them forwards...
I dont agree, the problem with just focusing on just the process is that you will get clogged up with tasks that are not 100% necessary for the end result.
For example you could spend the hole day cleaning up your workspace so that you are more "productive there" but this task will do 0% to the end result of your one thing.
So I think its very important that you keep the end result in mind so you wont be distracted by tasks that are not relevent to the end result.
Agreed. Having a concrete, tangible picture of what it looks like--instead of generalities--makes it clearer to see how I can apply it, specifically, in my own life.It's just the way my brainbox works, there's no point in telling me to "just do it", I want to know how I "just do it".
In the spirit of productivity, I have just mapped out my week, inspired by Cal Newport, author of Deep Work.
Cal's productivity tip is to set yourself up so that you don't waste a single second of each day. So I've mapped out my entire week.
Red = Deep work time (At least 2 hours of uninterrupted work, whereby nobody is in the house, or they're asleep)
Purple = Semi deep work (More than one, yet less than two hours of uninterrupted work).
Yellow = Me time (gym, mealtimes, dog walking, menial yet necessary tasks, phone calls, emails, etc.).
Green = Family time
What's interesting is how little red time I can make in the week. My goal is to make at least another 8 hours on the weekend, which will almost double my deep work time.
As I posted above, I think I'd rather use a different tool than Google calendar, however this is the best I can do at the moment.
Any thoughts, suggestions, observations, are most welcome.
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They get to work. Don't believe the hype that Forbes, Inc tells you about morning routines, books to read, people to hang out with etc.
Make a list. Get it done.
Do the work.
I'm not saying it doesn't work - it does help and I use it but most of these articles are positioned as "10 things you need to do to be successful...". Like that's it, that's the blueprint.Yikes, why wouldn't they believe in reading books, morning routines, and building a useful network?
I have almost every one of my clients do those things, and they work well in the entire picture.
The real story is, there is a reason you aren't getting things done. That issue can be in any part of your life. If you have a significant other and you had a big blow out fight this morning, are you likely to be as productive and focused as you can be? Probably not.
Struggling with money... your more likely to focus on things that solve that immediate problem and not the things that are really making an impact and solving the issue as a whole in the long term.
Does reading books and waking up with a morning routine itself make you productive? No, nothing makes you get work done outside of your own mind. So you have to set out each day to get yourself in the right mindset with the correct vision of what you are working on and why, and the working part becomes much easier.
I know a lot of very successful people.... they do each one of those things every day. In fact, guess who "Forbes" interviewed for those articles? Likely successful people. Not saying there is a trend buttttttt..... jk yes I am.
Sanj, I am definitely not trying to put you on blast here, but these things are absolutely part of a larger picture.
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