Monday, February 6, 2012

How To Be Productive and Achieve Success

PALO ALTO, CA - JULY 06:  Facebook CEO Mark Zu...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeSuccess may be happiness, job security, making a lot of money, or achieving a goal. Everybody's idea of success may be different. However, a way to get success for everyone is to be productive.
What exactly does productive mean? Being productive is creating, producing abundantly, bringing about a result.
Being productive and achieving isn't something that happens overnight. You have to work hard, train yourself, have willpower, and have motivation. Being productive also means managing your time, having habits, following a schedule, focusing, being organized, and avoiding distractions.
If you live life being lazy it can actually be hard. You probably won't have a lot of money or success. If you live life working hard it can make life easier. You will be able to get most of the things that you want.
The following are a dozen steps to help you become more productive and therefore more successful.
1. Stop doing things that drain your energy and won't help lead to success.
Think about everything you do in a day. There is probably something that you do, that you might be able to skip without having any negative effects. Eliminating unnecessary things saves you time and energy.
2. If you don't have any habits, start one.
Pick anything that can help you in some aspect of your life. It could be waking up early, working out, pretty much anything. Give yourself about a month to master it. It will be hard, but don't give up. Habits help you develop a routine and a schedule which will keep you on time, and getting things done quickly.
3. Stop doing any bad habits.
Bad habits are a waste of time and energy. Stop doing them and make more time for starting new positive habits. A bad habit to stop is being messy. Disorganization is not good for being productive. So if you tend to have a disorganized desk, closet, or house change it. You probably waste so much time searching for things you need.
4. When you work avoid distractions and interruptions.
Don't constantly check your cell phone, e-mail and Facebook. You need to focus on whatever task you have at hand, not what your friends might be messaging you about. Focus on what you're doing and you will actually get the task done faster. To keep your focus, don't answer phone calls. Set aside time to call people back later and also to check your e-mails. It's like having a designated distraction time.
5. Eat a healthy breakfast.
It sets a good tone to the rest of your day. Eating a nutritious breakfast will also help you stay full and awake. Also, make sure you eat lunch and dinner. You need to be physically and mentally energized. Plus, if your stomach is growling and you are hungry, you will be distracted.
6. Get plenty of sleep every night.
Some nights it may seem impossible to get enough sleep because you have so much to do. However, you need at least 7 hours of sleep. It keeps you energized so you are logically, emotionally, and physically ready for each day. If you are tired, you will move slowly and it will be hard to think at full speed and be as productive as you can be. If you didn't get enough sleep the night before, make time for a short nap after eating your lunch.
7. Focus on one task at a time, don't multi-task or become distracted.
While multi-tasking seems efficient, it isn't always. In order to be most productive you should focus everything on one thing at a time. When that task is complete you can take a break and then move on to the next thing with complete focus. The more focus, the quicker and easier a task becomes.
8. Take breaks.
Working not stop will wear you out. You will feel so drained and you probably won't be very happy. Take frequent breaks even if it's only a break to stand up and stretch or to get a drink. You need at least a minute to relax before having to focus again. Plus, if you work at a computer it is good to give your eyes a break from the screen.
9. Practice a talent over and over until it is a great strength.
If you have a talent that can lead to success, take advantage of it. It may not be perfected so practice and practice until you are very good at it. Then use the strength to get what you want, to get success.
10. Manage yourself, to manage your time.
You can't stop time, you can't turn all the clocks back. So, if you want to have good time management skills, you need to manage yourself. Keep yourself focused, on track, and on time. Give yourself deadlines even if you really don't have any. Avoid distractions that can use up your time and cause you to get things done late. Resist the urge to be lazy and procrastinate. Managing yourself takes a lot of willpower and it may take some time, but it can be done.
11. Use willpower to get things done, but not so much that you have none left.
Managing yourself and starting new habits will take some willpower. Using willpower is a good thing, but keep in mind that you can't use all your energy to force yourself to do something that you really don't want to. If you spend so much time and energy forcing yourself into something, you won't even have any time or energy left to complete whatever it is. You have to slowly stop the resistance. This may take some time.
12. Try to keep yourself in check, emotionally and physically.
Sometimes your body feels energized, but your mind is just out of it. You can't seem to concentrate or do things right because you are upset or worrying about something else. Then, there are other times when you want to do things, but your body is tired. You need to keep both sides of you in good shape. Sleep, eating, and exercise can help both your mind and your body. You can even try meditation. Taking breaks is another way to keep yourself in check. These things are so important, but if you are conflicted it is very difficult to be productive. You need to use your different sides together to be your best and most productive self.
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