18 Habits of Highly Productive People: What Efficient People Have in Common

Not being productive isn’t a crime.

There are many situations where being non-productive takes place, especially since we are now under the comfort of our home due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Being non-productive has various reasons, too much concentration on the wrong things, being distracted, being too comfortable, and more. 

These are the real reasons which you are aware of, that is stopping you from clearing that checklist you’ve set or that task which needed to be completed according to the deadline.

Well, we do have some good news for you.

Being productive is now easy without you having to force yourself to become one.

You believe that being productive is a tiresome task and can be only done with a few like-minded individuals.

This is wrong, in fact, after this article, you will start becoming more productive and that is a promise.

Want to find out how?

This article has got you all covered.

Table of Contents:

It’s time to get you out of your current zone.


Why do you fall in the non-productive zone?

Before we can head to understanding how you can be productive and what habits you need to apply, let’s first understand and analyze why you are even in the need to apply such productive habits.

1. Procrastination

Were you busy on the phone or speaking to your employees, when you knew that you have so much work to be completed that day?

Well, that is called procrastination. It is the process of pushing away a task or work which needs your immediate attention. The reason can be multiple as stated, speaking to your friends over the call for long hours, watching tv, being on the phone so much even during your work hours. 

The COVID-19 has put us at home to work in such a comfortable spot, but we have got more comfortable than we should be.

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2. Distractions

Wait, did your favourite artists just release a music video, did you get a message from your long lost friend, did someone send you a joke, all these notifications are distractions. Even when you’re at work, a small break offer breaks you from your ongoing task, all of these are distractions that we all face.

The power to say no doesn’t seem to fit in any of these. As a result, work is piling up and your targets haven’t been achieved.

3. No motivation

There have been days where the energy to work is just not present. You don’t focus well on your work and your mood to complete the task just fades away. This leads to more work piling up and your work increasing like a huge burden the next day you try to complete it. The lack of motivation could be stress, the thought of more work to do, or the party you need to attend in the next few hours.

If you’re an employer, make sure that your employees are motivated enough. It’s always a good idea to check it, measure employee engagement, and simply talk to identify possible bottlenecks and problems.

4. Zero focus

As stated earlier, no motivation leaves you with zero focus. You could be physically present in meetings and seminars and even at your workplace, but if your focus is away nothing can help you to work faster or better. 

Your loss of focus could be deviating from your plans for the day or getting distracted or being worried about something that is not in your control and more.

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5. Time wasted on unnecessary things

Is it really needed to video call your friends right now? Is it needed to call your peers and speak for an hour? All of these are time wasters and so are many other reasons or situations you’ve encountered. These actions consume so much of your time that by the time you even realize you have things to do, your panicking and that task is pushed to the next day.

6. Underestimating time

Have you ever felt the need to say, ‘oh this task can be done one hour before my work timings’ and when you sit and do it, you realize it takes a lot of time? This is exactly why your tasks are probably piling up in the corner. You believe that you think that every task can be completed for the last, this is another reason that pushes you away from being productive.

7. Pushing everything for tomorrow

Now because you couldn’t complete a task which you could have done, thanks to your distractions, you tend to push it for tomorrow. What you don’t realize is that the more you push it for tomorrow, the worse it becomes because for the next day you have another set of tasks you need to work on.

This will increase your workload and leave you with too much work in your hand and lesser time to complete it hence no or lesser targets being achieved.

It’s fine if you could relate to all this, we are all humans which is why there is a solution to all of this.

You can tackle this all right now if you just follow the top habits that can help you get back on track. 

Let’s get you prepped now, shall we?


How can you too be considered amongst highly productive people?

1. Focus on important tasks first

From your work, there will be quite a few of them that will require your immediate assistance. These are tasks that need to be treated on priority. Ensure that you finish that first. All the other tasks that require lesser time can be completed after that. The main focus here is to clear all the significant or important tasks so that your work continues to function better. 

2. Work according to a deadline

When you know that you have to complete a task by 6 pm, ensure it gets down by then. Never push your tasks for a later date, productive people always ensure that all their tasks are cleared on time and that there is no delay in their work. This helps them to always remain on top of their work game all the time.

Keep setting timings and due dates and plan accordingly how you will accomplish them throughout the day. If you practice working on deadlines, you will be surprised at home much work you were able to complete and feel productive from within.

3. Focus on solving a problem more

If there is a problem, emphasize your focus more on solving that problem. For instance, say that you received a client complaint, instead of focusing on the problem such as why did that client complain, how can this happen and so on, push your focus more on how you can solve it, this will help you remain focused on your work and the purpose of your role. 

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For instance, you can start providing a solution for that angry client such as a quick meeting or a discount and more. When the time goes more on solving a problem, work starts to escalate quickly and you have time to focus on your other tasks.

4. Take breaks

You will have a lot on your plate to complete for each day and if you are going to work round the clock without taking breaks, it can exhaust you physically and mentally which will intend to make you lose focus and the will to continue. This shouldn’t happen which is why it’s better if you start to take frequent breaks. 

Highly productive people are not machines, they do take breaks because they understand that even a small 5-minute break can help them reduce the work stress and give them the energy to work better. Your human, not a robot, the main focus here is to get your work done in the right mind frame which is exactly what taking breaks can help you achieve.

5. Conduct minimal communication only

You feel like talking to a peer do it, but that doesn’t mean you extend the call for hours together. You want to take a lunch break or even a small break to do it but ensure that it doesn’t extend for more than the time you allotted it. When you believe that there is a need for communication with your peers, it would be great if you communicate then.

Keep your communication as minimal as possible so that your work is being treated on priority as well.

6. Set a routine

Setting a routine is great because it can help you complete your work better. When setting up your routine, you don’t need to do much, all you need to write is, what time you plan to start your work, what time you will end it, what task you will be working on for the day, how much time and more. 

This will help you function better for each day and help you be more productive. When you are able to tick off what you have aimed to achieve for the day, the feeling itself is different, you will realize on your own how productive you were. 

7. Watch motivational videos

A motivational video doesn’t have to be something long and extreme, you need to start reading quotes or just view success stories so that you are able to understand your purpose better. For instance, say that you read about how selling to clients requires a little more effort, you will apply the same when you communicate next to your clients.

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Doing this will help you be better at your work and also strive for you to work more efficiently. This in turn will help you be more productive in your actions.

8. Focus on the task being completing the same day

Never wait for tomorrow, this is one of the principles which any productive people would follow. If your task is stated that this work needs to be completed today, ensure that it is being done the same day. Keeping it for tomorrow without any valid reason is not what a productive person would do. 

You are on a journey to be productive and you are aware that if you want to be productive, you need to get the most out of your work and so when you complete your work on time without pushing it for tomorrow, you will be able to see the results of your productiveness better. 

9. Convert every mistake as a learning opportunity 

You will have failures, you will have complaints and that shouldn’t be the reason why half of your time goes on stressing on them. This way being productive will never take place for you. You need to start converting your mistakes or drawbacks as a learning opportunity. When you do that you tend to improve your next action on that task. You get better and are able to cater to that task better.

Productive people understand that mistakes happen and so their next action would be to avoid it and focus on making it better. They take it as a lesson and move on. They focus on making the work better and enhanced with the mistakes they have learned and that is exactly what you need to do as well. 

10. Never multi-task

If you think that you can complete 3 tasks at the same time and get over with it, that is not called productivity. Productivity gets better when you try to work on a task with your full efficiency and focus. Multi-tasking isn’t great because the focus here would be just to complete the task and that is not what productivity revolves around.

Being productive is ensuring that what task you do is serving its purpose. When you are able to excel in your tasks and do it right, that is when your productivity becomes better. Continue to focus on delivering one task at a time.

11. Write down your distractions

In between your work you might remember that you had to pay some bills or had to call someone, don’t let that stop you from continuing your work, instead all you need to do is write down those thoughts. Once you are done with your work, you can get back to it. This will help you focus on one thing and complete it and also cater to your other tasks. 

12. Break your tasks into smaller pieces

This is another efficient method for you to get started to become a productive person. For instance, say that you have to write a blog on social media which needs to be completed today, instead of just starting it, you can divide your work and then get started. 

For instance, you can start with researching articles for one hour and then finding keywords, then finding the right images and more. When you divide your task, it becomes easier to get started with your blog. When you have all the information you need, your blog can be started immediately without you having to stop to conduct another action.

No matter what tasks you have, break it down so that when you conduct your work, you have everything you need to complete it. This will speed up your work better and have you complete everything you require to finish that task. 

13. Conduct your repetitive tasks via automation

In your work, there will be a lot of repetitive tasks and if you are going to do that manually, you will have no time to complete your other important tasks. Hence it is important that you conduct such tasks with automation. For instance, say that you are catering to leads, you will have to follow up with leads and then nurture them and this process takes time.

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So if you’re going to continue to do this every day, how will you achieve your other work tasks? Automation does the repetitive process for you in the same way you would do. While one part of your work is being taken care of if you can continue to complete your other work. 

14. Focus on yourself

As stated earlier, productive people are not machines, they are humans, and for every human to function well the small basic things are essential in their well being such as getting good sound sleep for at least 8 hours, eating right, exercising, and more. Even in such a situation such as COVID- 19, conducting these actions can impact your productivity levels for the best. 

15. Manage your energy

How active you would be in the day you might not be the same by the time you end your work. This is important to be balanced otherwise it can impact your work in a poor way. Hence it is important that you learn how to balance your energy.

The best way to do this is to first understand what are the tasks you need to complete and see which requires your attention the most, put your energy to complete that first, and the remaining which doesn’t require much attention can be completed later. When your energy is high, it helps you be productive in what you do and deliver the best results hence balancing it and managing it is a better option. 

16. Learn to say ‘No’

There are times where you will be asked to take a longer break or to work later or tomorrow or to get on a call during work hours to speak to your friend, in times like this practicing the word no can be helpful. A productive person understands the time they have in hand and they believe that spending it the right way is necessary because that is what will help them become productive in what they are delivering.

All the other works can wait and if it isn’t necessary, saying no can help save you a lot of time to complete your work. 

17. Reward yourself

If you were productive for a day or even the week, continue to reward yourself because you were able to tackle all distractions and focus your energy on what you had to do. Rewarding yourself can push you to do your best self once again with your next task. 

18. Learn to love what you do

You are in this position because you always wanted to be here. A productive person never takes their work for granted they understand why they are here and what purpose they are serving. It is important that you continue to love what you do and always see it as a sign of growth and positivity. This will help you work better and give your best each time.


The Bottom Line…

Productive people understand their purpose and always work towards achieving it. You now have the 18 habits you need to be just like them.

But before you head out to apply it, let’s take a quick summarization of what we’ve covered:

Key Takeaways:

  • The reason why we fall in the non-productive zone is because we give in to distractions, are less focused and motivated and more
  • To become like the highly productive people, you have a list of 18 habits you can adapt. To name a few are, getting on a routine, not multitasking, setting deadlines, learning from mistakes and more

So, which productive habit are you planning to apply first and why? We would like to hear more from you.

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