There is no magic formula for being enormously productive–just extremely good habits. Here are 9 that can help.
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Have you ever wondered why some people are more productive than others? What’s the magic formula?
I have had the privilege of working with and coaching some outstandingly successful men and women who are out there changing the world in a profound way. Each one of them is extremely busy, but they’re never too busy to do what needs to get done, because they’ve built good habits and practices that they follow every day.
Their good habits for super-productivity include being disciplined about the things they refuse to do.
Here are nine of the most important that you can start implementing today:
1. Refuse to pursue perfection. We all know that waiting for perfection is a waste of time. If you want to be productive, you seriously need to let go of the notion of being a perfectionist. Nothing in life is perfect–everything comes with complexities, outcomes are uncertain, and many things are irrational. Accepting these truths will help you accomplish the things you need to do.
2. Refuse to become distracted. Winston Churchill said, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Especially in our age of 24/7 access to, literally, a whole world of distraction, it’s easy to let go of your attention. If an action is not moving you toward a purpose or goal, stop doing it. Focus on what you want to accomplish, and refuse to become distracted. The successful person is always the one with the laser focus.
3. Refuse to let negativity drag you down. There will never be a shortage of negative people. They’re out there, and they have a tendency to connect with people who are trying to accomplish something. If you truly want to be productive, you must refuse to allow the energy of negative people to pull you off track. Instead choose people who inspire and lift you.
4. Refuse to allow others to make your decisions. Enormously productive people refuse to look for people’s approval. They decide for themselves what they want, what they need, and how they will proceed, all on the basis of their personal values.
5. Refuse to allow past failures to drag you down. To move ahead in top form, you have to forget past mistakes, overcome old failures, and get past everything except what you are doing now. We all know that failures are not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. Failure can even be an important part of later success. Use your failures as steppingstones for your desire to succeed.
6. Refuse to give mental space to self-limiting beliefs. The first step in attaining success is to give up the belief that you can’t have it or don’t deserve it. Challenge your self-limiting beliefs at every turn, because most of them are not true at all, and none of them are helpful. It’s the things we whisper to ourselves that are the most powerful. Dream big, and take action.
7. Refuse to believe what you want is impossible. When you know that impossible means only that you haven’t yet found the right solution, you can create a vision for the things you want to accomplish. It may be hard, but hard is a long way from impossible when you have a willing heart.
8. Refuse to become overwhelmed. If you want to stop being overwhelmed, concentrate on being productive and not busy. That means focusing on the things that fit your mission and goals, making time for the things that matter by cutting out the things that don’t. Learn to say no to things that fall outside that range and to ask for help when you need it.
9. Refuse to stop learning, developing, and growing. It’s easy to put aside your personal growth or study time in the day-to-day crush. But the most effective people are those who remain committed to learning and growing in everything they do. It’s not only about learning about the facts, but also training your mind to be open to new opportunities, ideas, and opinions. What you learn will always be part of who you are and who you want to become.
Refuse bad habits, create productive ones, and you’ll find yourself able to do amazing things every day.
Why ‘Busy’ Is Not the Same as ‘Productive’
Kory Kogon, author of The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity, thinks people have become too proud of being busy.