Make Productivity a Habit

In the interest of efficiency combined with saving time, a list is easy to read (and clip to the fridge). So here’s what the experts say about what productive people do to, well, be productive.


  • Seize the day early — and make their bed and drink water after a night of sleep.
  • Exercise early — to get the blood flowing. (Don’t skip breakfast).
  • Don’t multitask — to focus on one thing to avoid distractions.
  • Create a plan — starting with planning the day. For any project, a proper plan helps one see the breadth of a project.
  • Create to-do lists — oh the euphoria of checking something off.
  • Tackle important work first — take advantage of that fresh morning mind.
  • Take breaks — whether a quick snack or brisk walk, breaks throughout the day are energizing.
  • Say “no” occasionally — enough said.
  • Chose an effective worksite — this can be an office, home, park bench or coffee shop.
  • Use a second monitor — take advantage of more room to work with.
  • Reward themselves — to prevent burnout and provide motivation partake of a favorite candy, movie, music or just schedule free time (and use it).
  • Don’t seek perfection — give 90% to a project and fix things as needed once it’s launched.
  • Avoid fantasizing about the future — stick to attainable goals (another chance to plan).
  • Break a big goal into smaller ones — to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Use a standing desk — works wonders for some people.
  • Work in 30-minute intervals — to keep focus and concentration.
  • Unfollow, unsubscribe — so catching up and addressing email, text messages, newsletters, tweets, etc. is more efficient.
  • Set time limits on meetings — helps keep people on point.
  • Pencil in time to check email — and keep to a time limit.
  • Listen to instrumental music — lyrics are TOO distracting.