We saw this article and thought it was so interesting it deserved to be a blog…
Kevin Kruse recently interviewed over 200 ultra-successful people, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians, and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs. One of his most revealing sources of information came from their answers to a simple open-ended question:
“What is your number one secret to productivity?”
Kruse coded the answers to yield some fascinating suggestions. What follows are some of my favorites from Kevin’s findings.
1. They focus on minutes, not hours. Most people default to hour and half-hour blocks on their calendar; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day and that there is nothing more valuable than time. Legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Kevin You must master your minutes to master your life.
2. They focus on only one thing. Ultra-productive people know what their “Most Important Task” is and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions.
3. They don’t use to-do lists. It turns out that only 41% of items on to-do lists ever get done. Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live by that calendar.
4. They beat procrastination with time travel. Your future self can’t be trusted. Successful people figure out what they can do now to make certain their future selves will do the right thing.
5. They make it home for dinner. Highly successful people know what they value in life. They consciously allocate their 1,440 minutes a day to each area they value (i.e., they put them on their calendar), and then they stick to that schedule.
6. They use a notebook. Richard Branson has said on more than one occasion that he wouldn’t have been able to build Virgin without a simple notebook, which he takes with him wherever he goes. Ultra-productive people free their minds by writing everything down as the thoughts come to them.
7. They process e-mails only a few times a day. Ultra-productive people don’t “check” their e-mail throughout the day. They schedule time to process their e-mails quickly and efficiently.
8. They avoid meetings at all costs. You should get out of meetings whenever you can and hold fewer of them yourself. If you do run a meeting, keep it short and to the point.
9. They say “no” to almost everything. Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Remember, you only have 1,440 minutes in a day. Don’t give them away easily.
10. They follow the 80/20 rule. Known as the Pareto Principle, in most cases, 80% of results come from only 20% of activities.
11. They delegate almost everything. Ultra-productive people don’t ask, “How can I do this task?” Instead, they ask, “How can this task get done?”
12. They touch things only once. Highly successful people try to “touch it once.” If it takes less than five or ten minutes–whatever it is–they deal with it right then and there.
13. They practice a consistent morning routine.
14. Energy is everything. You can’t make more minutes in the day, but you can increase your energy to increase your attention, focus, and productivity. View food as fuel, sleep as recovery, and breaks as opportunities to recharge in order to get even more done.