15 most important tips for being productive


Leon Ho is the creator of Lifehack, a well-known Internet resource in the West. In recent years, he has read over 100 books on productivity and has identified 15 universal recommendations that will make your work much better.

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Leon recalls that ten years ago he got a promotion at his previous job and became one of the leaders of the company. After working in a new position for some time, the young engineer noticed that he no longer had enough time – he did not have time to do everything he had to, and to spend his free time the way he wanted. From someone he heard that productivity books solve this problem, and he took up reading.

“I was hoping the books would teach me how to do more in less time. They not only helped me achieve this goal, but also improved other aspects of my productivity. “

Of course, reading 100 books on productivity won’t be quick. Therefore, Leon brings to your attention 15 universal ideas from these books that will make you a much more productive and successful person.

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1. Do not wait until a deadline is set for you – set it yourself

The system of education at school and university taught us that within a certain period of time we must study new material and prove that we have understood it. Pass – free, get ready for the next deadline. But there is one unpleasant side effect here – when we finish training, we already have no one to set deadlines. As a result, people become lazy and lack of initiative (by the way, this is why many high school and university students do not get the best job in life).

Successful people don’t expect someone else to decide something for them. They adhere to the minimum external deadlines necessary for a smooth life (imposed on them from the outside – for example, to file a declaration and pay taxes on time) and are actively involved in the implementation of internal (set by themselves) deadlines. The main thing in this business is to be (pro) active, not passive.

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2. Track your time like a bank account

We like to think we know ourselves well. But when we are asked to remember what we did on the same day a week ago … But time is the most valuable resource that we have. It must be monitored as carefully as the money in a bank account. You can always make more money, but you won’t be able to get back wasted time with all the desire.

Track the time you spend on various tasks – including daily and personal. You will be surprised how much time you are wasting.

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3. Don’t dwell on your weaknesses – work on your strengths

People think the first step is to correct their own shortcomings. But it’s actually more important to improve what you do better than others. After all, if you already have a strong point, it means that you are already doing something better than most, and you know what you should improve. And growth in this case will be exponential! None of this will happen when working on weaknesses – because there you start from scratch.

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4. Prioritize by importance, not in order

All tasks are of different importance. Always ask yourself “What needs to be done right now” and do what is more important.

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5. Don’t take more than you can handle

You can’t eat the whole pizza yourself (unless, of course, you want to get problems like overeating and being overweight) – and you can’t take on too much. If you want to do everything in the world personally, then your psyche may simply not stand it and will hit you with stress, depression and demotivation. What if you can’t refuse? Find helpers for yourself or divide a large task into several smaller ones.

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6. Delegate on time

Do not force yourself to do everything down to the smallest detail – doing more does not mean doing better. Identify tasks that you can transfer to other people without big problems, and focus on more important things yourself.

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7. Think, don’t memorize

Humanity has generated so much information that no Homo Sapiens can remember it. There is a good saying on this score: “You have already forgotten more than you know.” At the same time, access to it in the 21st century has become much easier than before – just take a smartphone and enter a search query. So it is better to use the capabilities of the brain for thinking. Thinking is generally useful :).

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8. At the end of the day, take stock

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What have I done well?
  • What have I done wrong?
  • Why didn’t I manage to do what I planned?
  • How can I make things better tomorrow?

When we don’t think about what we’ve done, the next time we face the same situation, we give ourselves up to chance. Successful people consciously ask themselves questions like the ones above and look for new opportunities for improvement. Even if you think that you did everything perfectly, think, maybe it can be done even better? There is always room to grow …

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9. Sometimes it is better to give up than do it

Regularly clear your list of tasks that you do not consider valuable to yourself. It can be anything – everyday issues, business affairs, and even relationships. Here you can draw an analogy with reinstalling Windows – it removes all accumulated garbage from the system, and as a result, the computer runs much faster.

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10. Learn to schedule time for each task

It is very useful! First, you can better manage your own time. Second, a “timed” approach will quickly show you that you are not doing well enough or fast enough so that you can make adjustments and learn to be more effective over time. For example: you want to make a vegetable salad. How quickly can you complete this task – in 30 minutes, in 15 minutes, or in 3 minutes? Of course, no one wants to spend extra time preparing food, so you start looking for ways to speed up this process.

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11. Become a more creative person

Of course, talent is from God, but a little creativity should be present in any task that we do. It’s easy to sit and think and present an interesting idea to the world.

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12. Learn to know when it’s time to stop.

When a project does not start working as efficiently as before, you must not miss the moment when you have to say goodbye to it. The longer it takes to complete the tasks associated with it, the less likely it will be successful. As soon as the success of your business begins to decline, you should cut costs and re-look at the project development plan.

Example: When a businessman notices that every month his company is losing more and more money, he changes his development strategy.

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13. Always remember: you don’t know as much as you think.

The truth is, most people don’t know that much. And this is impossible – as we have already mentioned, there is too much information to “digest”. Never be satisfied with current successes, always remember that there is always something to improve. Don’t stop, strive for more. Remember – the best is only the one who is constantly looking for new ways of growth. And, of course, don’t let yourself be arrogant – neither in public, nor “inwardly.” Stay humble and the people around you will appreciate it.

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14. Don’t give in to instant gratification.

Instant gratification – words or actions after which you immediately feel confident, productive … and that you don’t need to do anything else. Example: Your boss is a very friendly person and constantly praises you for the way you work. As a result, at some point, you just relax. In fact, the words of the boss should be taken as motivation to become even better (of course, first of all for himself, and not for him).

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15. Start Big, Finish Small

Define the main goal, break it down into tasks, and them into sub-tasks. Perform subtasks one after another in the order in which you should do it, and do it, as they say, wisely, and do not work “stupidly”. At the same time, keep in mind the big goal and your progress towards it.

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