Yesterday, we tested the first four habits of highly productive people. Today, we will test the final four habits and see if they truly do make me more productive.
Habit 5: Create Barriers
The Take Away: It's easy to get distracted when people can get hold of you so easily (G-chat, Facebook, email, phone calls, texts). You need to put up barriers in order to focus on the task at hand.
Results: To complete a project that I need to finish, I have started turning my ringer on mute, closing my email, and putting in my headphones. This has helped me focus on what I am doing at that moment and not get distracted by the little things.
Habit 6: Optimize time pockets
The Take Away: Use every minute to maximize your productivity. Are you waiting for the microwave to finish? Put away the dishes. Are you waiting for a print to go through? Clean out your inbox.
Results: My house is a lot cleaner and the little tasks that always end up getting pushed aside for more important items are getting done now. It's a win.
Habit 7: Set Timelines
The Take Away: Give yourself a deadline to get something done. For example, give yourself 30 minutes to go through your email. Anything that hasn't been filed away, deleted, or flagged to complete later can wait until your next scheduled inbox time. This will teach you to prioritize and quickly determine what emails are worth looking at and which aren't.
Results: It is easy to get sucked into email wonderland. However, if you stick to the time limit, it really does help you learn to prioritize better.
Habit 8: Automate Everything Possible
The Take Away: Simplify your life. I work in marketing, so it is essential in order for me to get anything done to automate my social media. It can take up a lot of time (and, please refer to Habit 5, it also can be a time wasteland). I automate all of my social from a dashboard. Anyone can automate. I also automate my inbox. Emails that aren't a priority automatically get filtered to a sub folder that I can look at later.
Results: Amazing. Since implementing automation, my life is so much easier. I find a way to automate every task that is possible to automate. Scheduling, billing, social media, emailing -- all automated.
Final Thoughts: The 8 Habits of Highly Productive People is certainly challenging. It takes time to build these habits up, but once you do, they work like a charm. You'll be able to get more done in less time.