Ice freezing offices. Social media. YouTube. Fantasy football leagues. There is one thing all of them have in common – they are all primary suspects for causing your productivity at work to plummet. Even the top-level CEOs fall under temptation to watch the latest cat video uploaded on YouTube. The difference is, they found a way to overcome these bad habits with some simple hacks and tricks.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” –Paul J. Meyer.
Your environment cannot always be controlled, but you can control what you get accomplished. In addition to that, you can always learn from others, mimic their behavior, and discover how they get things done more efficiently. Certainly, there are some easy ways to accomplish more, like turning off your smartphone or blocking access to YouTube.
However, these are all small things that wouldn’t get you far enough. There are far better ways to become the best version of yourself at work. And the best thing is that you can learn these productivity skills by following the good examples of some of the world’s most successful people.
Below are some productivity secrets top-level CEOs swear on.
Develop the growth mindset
You should never be satisfied with where you and your company are right now. You should know that there is always room for improvement in every area. There is always a better and faster way of doing something.
Elon Musk once said: “You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”
And that is growth mindset at its finest.
This skill separates successful people from everyone else.
When your mind is trained in such a way, you know that anything is achievable as long as you put enough effort into it. And if by any means you fail, don’t take it too personally. Instead, approach the problem from a different angle until you get it right.
Use technology for productivity, not for the distraction
We bet that now you are saying: “What are they talking about? In the beginning, they said that technology is credited the most for all the distractions at work.”
Well, yes and no.
Technology can be of great help and top-level CEOs know that. There are plenty of mobile apps that can make their lives a lot easier and stress-free, especially for the ones who travel a lot. Business apps allow them to stay productive and work from wherever they are. They can basically bring their whole offices with them through a device that fits perfectly into their pockets.
Therefore, we decided to share with you one very interesting interactive infographic created by the people from Cometdocs. It will show you what mobile apps can completely and effortlessly replace traditional office equipment. Just click on the blue dots in order to find out what mobile app replaces the selected office element.
Schedule your day around when your brain is at its finest
What we mean by this is you should schedule your day around when your brain is at the peak of its power. Postpone all brainless and unimportant activities until it is fatigued.
First of all, there is one question you have to give a precise answer to: “When is my brain at its peak power?”
Let’s say it is from 7 to 11 a.m.
During that period, you should only focus on your most challenging tasks. Your schedule should be blocked off so you could have as little distractions as possible.
What about after 11 a.m.?
Well, continue with your everyday work, respond to emails, do those charts or call people back.
Basically, your mornings or whenever your concentration is at its best should be kept for important stuff and that time should be non-negotiable. Only afterward should you start dealing with your everyday work.
By following this little hack, you will achieve in 6 months what other people wouldn’t achieve in 2 years!
Set limits for everything, meetings, emails, tasks, you name it
There is no time for wasting time – see what we did there?
Previously, we talked about how you should plan your day around according to your level of concentration. And now, we will let you know how you should manage your everyday work aside from those prime time hours.
Top level CEOs know how to make the most out of every minute and that is easily achievable by limiting your everyday tasks.
For example, you could limit your meetings to 1 hour, 20 minutes for presentation and 40 minutes for the discussion. Nothing less and nothing more.
Or you could set the limit for the length of the emails you send. That way, you could respond to every work-related email you get and save time because you are keeping the responses short. Basically, every task can be limited in some way and you should definitely take advantage of it.
Replace “but” with “and”
Whenever you say “but” in a conversation, you are indicating that everything that you said before the “but” is not relevant. People are subconsciously trained to immediately forget everything you said before the “but”.
For example, someone may say: “I completely agree with everything you said and did, BUT here is what I think.” Have you felt it? Like your brain is preparing to fight.
Replacing “but” with “and” completely changes the tonality and dynamic of communication and this really works. People feel more appreciated and are likely to be open-minded to new ideas and suggestions when you approach them this way. Try it the next time you want to suggest something, you won’t regret it.
You may try all of these productivity secrets at once or one tip at the time. The case is, all of the top level CEOs focus on doing several things really well each day rather than doing a hundred things poorly.
We truly hope you enjoyed reading this article and we would love to hear about the hacks you use to stay productive in the comments below.
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Author: Sandra Rodgers
My name is Sandra Rodgers. I run the Cometdocs blog and post on it regularly. I love yoga, travel, photography, cooking foreign cuisine traditional meals and I’m a major tech enthusiast. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.