Imagine a day without unnecessary meetings, colleague distractions, social app notifications, checking emails every minute and a day without procrastinating most tasks. Sounds impossible, right? But it really shouldn’t be that hard to get real work done everyday.
If you eliminated all the time you spend on what doesn’t amount to real work, you will be surprised at what can be achieved every week. Here are daily and weekly productive habits of 8 business founders and leaders. What has been your most productive habit? Share with us in the comment box below.
1. Scott Young (writer, programmer, traveler) of ScottHYoung.com
Before I explain the cure, let’s look at the illness. Everybody procrastinates. But if you ask why, most people will shrug and say something about lacking self-discipline or motivation. Procrastination isn’t mostly about knowing when to start. It’s about knowing when to stop.
At the end of each week, make a new to-do list entitled, “Weekly Goals”. Write everything you want to accomplish in the next seven days. Every night, make a new to-do list entitled, “Daily Goals”. Pull from your weekly list and routine every task you want to finish tomorrow. During your workday, focus only on completing the daily list. Pretend your other work doesn’t exist.
2. Dustin Moskovitz, Co-founder & CEO, Asana; Co-founder, Facebook
One of my favorite hacks is No Meeting Wednesdays, which we borrowed from Facebook. With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week.
The high level goal of NMW is to ensure that everyone gets a large block of time each week to do focused, heads-down work. The gist is that makers suffer greatly from interrupts in their flow time. Managers are generally used to having a schedule-driven day, so it’s easy for them to throw a disruption into somebody else’s calendar.
3. Christian Sutardi, Co-Founder at Lolabox
For two months now I’ve been following David Allen’s famous ‘Two-Minute Rule’. It’s very simple: When a new task comes in and I see that I can do it in less than two minutes, then I do it right away. This easy rule increased my productivity a lot.
I love it, because it’s not a groundbreaking rule, it’s no fancy app or software, it doesn’t even require learning or dedication and you can start doing it today.
4. Matt DeCelles, Serial Entrepreneur, Technology Advisor, and Lifelong Learner
Prioritize the most important task you need to get done (often the one you are putting off) It is critical to set objectives before working. – A great book on this topic is Eat That Frog.
Remove temptations with Self Control. SelfControl is a tool that blocks websites you have listed as distracting for a set period of time. Once you set it, there is no way to shut it off until the time expires..
5. Juan Carlos Hernandez, co-founder at H Creativos
Use Asana app to schedule the first 15 to 20 minutes of work to review the pending tasks and to plan my day. It also works having it as the default web page of my browser.
I use a browser extension (WasteNoTime) to block Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Feedly after 30 min of combined use each day during working hours.
6. Marius Ursache, Founder/Chief Design Officer at Grapefruit
It’s not about time. It’s about energy.
Your memory sucks. Get everything out of your head, even if you’re a genius. Write it down in a notebook, put it in your to-do list app, on your phone, talk to Siri, I don’t care.
As few tools as possible. I’ve tested most of the to-do managers and finally stayed with Cultured Code‘s Things app and Google Calendar (iCal is ok, but Google Calendar integrates well with Gmail, my default client). It doesn’t matter what you use (pen & paper are fine) if you understand the next rule.
7. Mike Davidson, Designer
I have set up an email policy that limits any email he sends to five sentences. As he explains, many email messages in his inbox take more time for him to answer than they did for the sender to write. Analyze your email habits and institute time-saving policies that work for your particular situation.
8. Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, founders of Birchbox
Set up email rules to maintain sanity. They insist that team members indicate when they need a response in all emails. This simple tip helps with prioritization.
Consider subscribing to Lifehacker’s How I Work series, which asks highly successful people to share their best time-saving tips.