If you want to be successful, if you want to accomplish a goal, if you want to create something amazing, focus on doing just that. I’ve found if you want to bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Don’t spend your time worrying what is the fastest track there or make excuses for why you can’t do this now. Just do it.
Here are my “rules” of productivity, applicable to anyone, from the laziest of workers, to the most meticulous of them all:
1. Know who you are. I can’t tell you how many people have started chasing a dream without knowing, exactly, how they themselves are factored into it. Know your strengths as well as your weaknesses and find the rhythm that works for you, whether it’s working 70 hour weeks, or working remotely. Know what works for you.
2. Emphasize your priorities. It can easily seem like there’s way too much to get done in a day, and, in most cases, there usually isn’tenough time to get it all done. Master the art of prioritizing and setting realistic, attainable goals, so your most important tasks don’t get lost in the mix.
3. Love what you do. You’re probably tired of hearing this phrase, but it’s the truth. What most don’t realize, however, is that there are ways to make work seem more enjoyable if you just can’t convince yourself that making yet another spreadsheets on Excel is something you truly love doing. If you can, work outside on nice days, reward yourself with an expensive latte when you’re really crunching to meet a deadline, or enjoy a nice glass of wine if you’re pulling a late night.
4. Finish it…all of it. No matter how productive you are, you should always have a strong work ethic. You should believe in your work and be proud of what you’re producing, from the smallest of tasks to the most impactful of projects. Get done what’s expected of you, after all, you’re getting paid for it.
5. Work hard, but not all the time. Your job will almost always require you to do things that aren’t listed in the original description. If it hasn’t, consider yourself lucky. So long as when you’re on the job, you’re giving your all, don’t feel like you have to work when you’re not required to. If you’re given PTO, take it, and enjoy yourself.
6. Value your own well being. While you may think that having coffee for breakfast, eating lunch at your desk, and working until the wee hours of the night is the best way to get the most done, you’re wrong. Turning yourself into a work-obsessed monster will only turn you into a giant stress ball, leading to, you guessed it, the opposite of productivity! Sleep well, eat right, and leave time for physical activity every day. Thing’s won’t fall apart, you’ll be a better worker because of it.
7. Create, adapt, evolve. We’re often told that in order to be successful, we need to “be our own bosses.” Now, when it comes to being a self-starter and doing more than what’s asked of you, that phrase absolutely applies. But in other realms, forget about it. your customers, investors, and fellow employees should be the person you want to please the most. They are the stakeholders in your business, so be creative, adapt to their needs, and evolve with them. Chances are, they’ll do the same for you when it’s most needed.