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Remaining productive at work can be the most difficult thing to achieve, especially in this digital age where. In fact, studies show that our attention span as humans has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today.

Apart from that, there are other factors that can affect our productivity. This includes fatigue, procrastination, or lack of planning. However, there are people who have mastered the art of being productive. You’ve seen them at work; the colleagues who just seem to get things done seamlessly.

Being productive takes effort

So what is that secret sauce in their lives that helps them say productive while under pressure? We’ve compiled seven habits of highly productive people. We assure you that if you incorporate these into your lifestyle, your productivity will shoot beyond the roof. 

1. Automate stuff

There’s always the need to take some tasks off your shoulders so that you can focus on the most important ones. For example, instead of manually sending a welcome email to every new subscriber of your website, you can use Active Campaign. 

The software has exciting features that help you send automated emails, and you could tweak it to send different messages depending on what a user chooses to do. That helps you avoid sending the same marketing emails to people who have already bought your service or item, for instance.

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Another example is how you can simply schedule meetings on Zoom and get reminders instead of manually writing down a to-do list. It’s always better to do things the smart way!

In fact, a 2017 study showed that 89% of people were positive about the benefits of workplace automation.

2. Morning routine

What you do in the morning truly affects how your day will be like. According to a 2019 study by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, reattaching yourself to your work every morning can help boost your productivity levels a great deal.

When we go to sleep, due to exhaustion, our minds detach themselves from work. Most people usually wake up, go to work and start going to their to-do lists. This can lead to demotivation and lack of love for your job.

However, taking a few minutes in the morning to consciously reattach yourself to work, goals and priorities can energize you. 

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When we consider how to achieve our goals, we become more aware of our autonomy to accomplish them, as well as the resources and people we have supporting us,” explained Jessica Lindsey, who authored the study article.

So the next time you feel demotivated at work, just start your morning focusing on the good; the rewards you’ll get after achieving your goals.

3. Buffer tasks

Ever been in a situation where you have a tight schedule and something happens in between that ruins your entire day? Let’s say you are just about to leave for work and you spill coffee on your only clean shirt because all your suits are in the laundry. That definitely means that you’ll be late for work.

Another scenario is when you extend a meeting with a client so that you can win them over. This means that you’ll eat into the time needed for your next task. 

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However, if you ‘buffer’ tasks, that is having time allocation between them to cater for any eventualities, you’ll boost your productivity a great deal.

That means, always have up to two hours breaks between tasks so that you don’t end up ruining your day in case an emergency comes up.

4. Manage procrastination

One of the things that hurt productivity is procrastination. Having a long list of tasks that need your attention isn’t a sure way of getting work done. Instead, break your tasks into smaller portions and do them in stages. 

Instead of having a ‘prepare a presentation for the team’ ambiguous tasks on your schedule, have something like, ‘get sales data for the team presentation’ that you can start with.

When you organize your tasks into smaller, easily doable bits you’ll find that your productivity improves.

5. Selfish with creative time

With the ‘new normal’ in place, we tend to find ourselves working from home. There can be a lot of distractions. Construction work in the neighboring compound, a pet that needs your attention or even a visiting relative.

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These might be things a little bit out of your control. However, there should be time for general tasks when working. For tasks that need a great deal of creativity, make sure that you have several hours of uninterrupted time for you to work alone.

This ensures that you get things done more quickly, instead of waiting for the right moment to come. Be selfish with your creative time, and you’ll see productivity skyrocket.

6. Avoid multitasking

One sure way of getting lost in the maze of the loads of items that need our attention in this new age is trying to multitask. Want to read the latest industry report while having a work tab on the other screen? Want to attend a zoom meeting while trying to contribute to a WhatsApp chat planning for a vacation with friends? 

That’s never going to end up well. To be as productive as possible, ensure that there’s a time for everything. Thank me later.

7. Follow the 80/20 rule

In case you didn’t know, only 20 percent of what we do daily results in 80% of the results we need. With that said, try to eliminate all the tasks that will have little to no impact on the end product of what you seek. You’ll see a complete change in the way you achieve things at work.

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