Do you feel like there are never enough hours in the day? Do you feel like you never get everything done? Lots of studies have been conducted into how to be more productive. We outline the 6 top work habits of productive people, with facts, so you can get more done in a productive way.
6 Top Work Habits of Productive People
1. Regular Breaks & Often
The makers of Desktime, software that tracks workers usage of time throughout the day, looked at their employee user base. What they found was the most productive 10% of workers took regular breaks, often. This top 10% out of 36,000 people, worked for 52 minutes then took a break for 17 minutes before working again.
Instead of checking emails or social media during these breaks, they most often zoned out or went for a walk.
Julia Gifford, author of the report, says the following about the most productive workers: “They make the most of those 52 minutes by working with intense purpose, but then rest up to be ready for the next burst.”
2. Say No To Multi-Tasking!
The human brain was not designed for multi-tasking and it creates brain overload. A 2009 study by Stanford University found that chronic multi-taskers use their brains less effectively. Multi-tasking also increases the likelihood of errors.
True multi-tasking is a myth because in reality our brains are switching extremely quickly between tasks. Stay focused on one task at a time and get more done more quickly.
3. Stay Organised
Whether it’s keeping track of your meetings, or having a to-do list so you don’t forget anything, staying organised is a no-brainer when it comes to being productive.
Being disorganised is stressful and stress leads to making mistakes and being unproductive. Get out that to-do list, start prioritising and get more done!
4. If Procrastinating, Just Start
Researchers have found that the human brain is naturally wired to want to finish a task it’s started. This is down to our brains feeling uneasy when tasks are begun but left incomplete.
So next time you are procrastinating, just begin and see how your work flows from just beginning the task.
5. Start Your Most Important Tasks Of The Day First
‘Ego depletion’, a term coined by psychologist Roy Baumeister, describes our inability to push ourselves through task after task. Through an experiment, Baumeister found that the human brains willpower was used up as it did more tasks.
At the beginning of each day, work with your brains natural leaning and start with the hardest or most important tasks first. At the beginning of the day your concentration and energy levels will be at their highest too.
6. Eliminate Distractions To Get Important Tasks Done
In 2001, John Bargh, a social psychologist at Yale, studied procrastination. He found that completing lots of meaningless tasks tricks us into feeling like we have accomplished something.
The takeaway? Fight the urge to tidy your desk or check your social media updates and get some important tasks completed before your brain feels it has accomplished enough for the day.
Did you find this article interesting? Read more top tips for work and careers on our blog.