Forbes Magazine interviewed over 200 ultra-productive people including seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, 20 straight-A students and over 200 successful entrepreneurs. They were asked a simple, open-ended question, “What is your number one secret to productivity?” After analyzing all of their responses, their answers were coded into 15 unique ideas:
•ENERGY IS EVERYTHING
Food, sleep, breaks
•CONSISTENT MORNING ROUTINE
Nurture the mind & body (exercise, journal, meditation)
•AVOID MEETINGS AT ALL COST
Get out of meetings whenever you can, hold fewer of them yourself, and if you do run a meeting, keep it short.
•PROCESS EMAIL ONLY A FEW TIMES A DAY
Schedule time to process email quickly and efficiently.
•USE A NOTEBOOK
Write everything down, it frees the mind...That is a million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school.
•MAKE IT HOME FOR DINNER
Values of the successful include: family time, exercise, giving back
•BEAT PROCRASTINATION WITH TIME TRAVEL
People buy veggies for the week, only to throw them out later. What can you do now to make sure your future self does the right thing?
•DON’T USE TO-DO LISTS
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 percentile…”
•FOCUS ONLY ON ONE THING
Know your most important task and work on it without interruptions.
•FOCUS ON MINUTES, NOT HOURS
Keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute. You must master your minutes to master your life.
•TOUCH THINGS ONLY ONCE
Deal with it right then and there
•THEME DAYS OF THE WEEK
Batch your work to maximize your efficiency and effectiveness. Monday’s for team building, Friday for financials, etc.
•DELEGATE ALMOST EVERYTHING
Successful people don’t have control issues, aren’t micro-managers . Don’t ask, “How can I do this task?” Instead ask, “How can this task get done?”
•FOLLOW THE 80/20 RULE
80% of outcomes come from only 20% of activities
•SAY “NO” TO ALMOST EVERYTHING
You only have 1,440 minutes in every day. Don’t give them away easily.
•TYING IT ALL TOGETHER
These secrets just might help you to get more done in less time, and help you to stop feeling so overworked and overwhelmed.
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.