How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

Time management and personal productivity training helps you manage time effectively to achieve your personal and professional goals and the necessary work, social and personal life balance. Therefore, it is important both for your company and for you in all aspects of life.

What is productivity?

One of the official definitions of productivity is “the relationship between what is produced and the means employed, such as labor, materials, energy, etc.” Evidently, as a concept, it depends on several factors that include time, although it is not explicitly mentioned in this definition.

The way in which material resources, our energy and, of course, time are managed determine our productivity. However, while the first two variables can be renewed or expanded, the third is limited by our human perception, is linear and cannot be recovered. Therefore, learning how to manage time effectively to achieve our goals becomes an incredibly useful tool.

How can the company’s productivity be increased?

Business activity experts have realized that many trained employees spend a large percentage of their time constantly distracted by task changes. That translates into stress and an on-going occupation, but not so much into productivity. Sometimes, we assume that being productive means doing many things throughout the day, which is wrong. Productivity involves doing important things systematically and, however much we are doing, there are always a few important priorities.

This concept brings us to the time management matrix that the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, designed, which was developed by Stephen R. Covey in his famous book The 7 habits of highly effective people. The author discussed the so-called fourth generation in time management, where managing the focus of attention at a certain moment was most important, not so much time management itself.

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

Four quadrants are created with two variables: urgent matters, which require immediate attention and important matters, which contribute to achieving medium and long-term objectives. To be effective, we would have to spend most of our time on the most important but less urgent tasks, included in the second quadrant, and minimize the time spent on the first, in addition to not worrying too much about the remaining quadrants.

Teaching productivity

Companies offer productivity and time management training to their employees to help them acquire resources that allow them to face their daily challenges more efficiently. For all the above, it seems that this training must at least have three core components:

  1. Clear information in relation to the roles and their priorities, rather than on the task priorities.
  2. Talk about attention management and not so much about time management.
  3. A comprehensive workflow management system.

Using the most important ingredients, this type of training can pick up elements of different time management models and adapt them to the personality of each team, team member and company, as elements with their own distinguishing culture.

The GTD (Getting Things Done) philosophy, explained in depth in the book with the same name, can be used as a source for ideas when drafting your projects and creating your tasks, making them more manageable and easy to establish their priorities. Moreover time, the well-known Pomodoro technique establishes that work must be limited to 25-minute periods, separated by 5-minute breaks. This methodology is based on the idea that our brain works better in sprints than in a marathon, insisting that the minutes of work should be of full concentration and with no distractions.

Therefore, why not mix what we like the most about different models to establish more flexible guides? Below are a few:

Do not resist to set alarms. Following the Pomodoro technique, promote the idea of respecting times and marking regular breaks.

  • Be consistent when marking regular breaks. Encourage a daily work and rest discipline that varies as little as possible. Above all, do not encourage employees to work during breaks.
  • Avoid distractions: Create an atmosphere that does not generate distraction during work time, or at least provide the resources to minimize it.
  • Plan everything: In line with the previous guide, having everything included in a previous plan allows you to concentrate on work and even block periods of time in the calendar to perform the most important tasks.
  • Address the tasks one at a time: In line with what the GTD model states, multitasking is not usually a good companion, however much merit it is granted in some professional circles. Whenever possible, it is best to focus on a single task.

In short, time management training to increase the company’s productivity should tend to choose the best of the attention and time management models, based on the activity, teams and personality of its members.

In your professional and/or personal experience, what other guides would you consider as basic?

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

You finish each workday feeling exhausted and completely depleted.

All you want to do is go home, put your feet up on the couch and forget about the day.

But then, as you pack your bag to leave the office, a coworker excitedly goes on about what a productive day they had. The guilt kicks in, and you decide you should pop your work laptop back open when you get home.

We all have the same 24 hours in the day. So then why does it feel like some coworkers get so much more done than you?

Productivity is an art and a science. The good news is…you can learn it!

Here are three ways to maximize your productivity at work and create more joy in your daily life.

1. Prioritize your workload based on your energy.

We have all heard the phrase, “Someone’s got a case of the Mondays.”

What if I told you “the Mondays” are actually the most productive day of the week? In fact, studies prove that mornings are the best time of day to tackle the hardest jobs.

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The human body moves in cycles, with peaks and valleys of high and low functioning. Everyone operates differently and on a unique circadian schedule. It is important to understand when your peaks are and your functionality is primed.

According to recent findings, your ability to be a morning bird versus a night owl may actually be based on your genetic make. This is all about understanding and paying attention to yourself.

Start to notice what time of the day, and what day of the week you seem to have more energy to tackle tasks. Spend a week or two taking note of what times and days you feel most alert. Check-in with yourself each morning, afternoon and evening and notice how you feel, and where your energy levels lie.

If you fall within the group that enjoys Monday mornings the most, block this time for you to focus on the most difficult and core tasks of the week. Needless to say, injuries and accidents occur 18% more frequently when employees report low alertness.

The majority of people have a major slump between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. given that natural light begins to fade during these hours; post-lunch blood sugar levels start to also drop during this portion of the day. Take this time for more physical activity at work. If you need to run an errand or walk across campus, save these tasks for the afternoon slump.

2. Find peace and quiet away from your coworkers.

Staying on top of the office gossip, or keeping in touch with workplace friends can be really entertaining, but when you’re focused on a big project and in deep thought, their footsteps and conversation can be a huge annoyance. In fact, 32% of employees reported their chatty coworkers as the single largest culprit to killing productivity.

I’m not telling you to remove your workplace relationships, but I am telling you to create boundaries around your work. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The majority of employees report finding enjoyment in their work when they have close friends on staff.

If there is a specific coworker or group of employees that repeatedly distract you from your work, make a point to instead set up a specific time of day or place to meet and chat. This shows that your work hours are times of focus for you, and creates a space for you to connect outside of the office. Grabbing lunch together or making a habit out of getting your morning coffee together is a great way to make time for bonds before you head into a focused day of work. This way, you separate your work chatter from your office desk.

It isn’t just in person chit-chat that can be distracting. Office messaging and email is dangerous ways to distract you from getting your work done, which is why I recommend turning off all online communication during the time blocks you determined as your best times of day to focus. If you’re feeling like you need breaks during these times, consider focus sprints of work followed up by a short five minute break to stretch your legs.

When you all can create good habits, it will be easier to get more done, which means more morning coffees, happy hour cocktail dates and fitness classes for you and your work friends!

3. Create a workspace that inspires you.

It isn’t just the when, it’s also the where that matters when it comes to being productive.

The open office layout has its perks but 58% of employees report wanting more quiet workspaces to get tasks complete efficiently. If your office has breakout rooms for individual work or space created specifically for quiet work take advantage of this and commit yourself to work there.

If that is not an option, you can still make your office space a solitude of focus and productivity. Invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones to not only drown out any noise, but also to use as a kind and silent indicator you are working and don’t want to be disturbed.

4. Get into a musical mix that helps you focus.

Do you do well with music? I’ve found that the combination of noise-canceling earphones and incredible music has made for a lot of focus. Calming music with around 60 beats per minute has been proven to reduce stress, not only just before going to bed but also while you work. In fact, I made a mix called “writer” on my personal Spotify when I was in the process of writing my first book, and I also have loved Spotify’s mix called Deep Focus.

In order to get everything out of every hour within the day, start small and build in these habits to make change.

You will be a productive rockstar at work in no time!

Чему вы научитесь

Требования

Описание

Productivity Hacks To Improve Focus And Concentration

A Complete Training To Effectively Increase Your Concentration and Focus By Boosting Your Personal Productivity.

Doing twice the work in half the time is just the LAST step of achieving long-term success for your personal and professional goals.

Before boosting your productivity, you need to increase your focus and concentration by eliminating all those useless activities that have nothing to do with your goals: time wasters and distractions.

First you need to eliminate distractions, prioritize tasks and improve concentration, then you can focus on developing self-discipline and boosting productivity.

This course will teach you how to focus on what really matters to achieve your goals by increasing productivity, prioritizing high-value tasks and getting rid of time wasters.

Check the time you spend every day focusing your attention on social media or watching videos of someone else’s life: is that time useful for achieving your personal or professional goals?

This focus + productivity formula will solve the root cause of wasting time: reset your priorities and get results faster!

What will you be able to do upon completion of this course?

How To Identify And Focus On The High-Value Actions That Improve Your Performance And Results

Reset Your Priorities, Redirect Focus And Get the Right Things Done

Stop Procrastinating and Complete your To-Do List Every Day By Mastering Self-Discipline

Create A Daily Success Routine Based on Your Personal and Professional Goals

Develop The Productivity Mindset for Long Term Success

Get Rid Of Time-Wasting Habits and Improve Your Concentration At Home

Kill Distractions, Achieve Deep Focus and Become 10x More Productive At Work

Effective Ways To Meet Your Deadlines Every Time

Boost Productivity to Achieve More in Less Time

Improve Your Work Environment and Optimize Productivity

Powerful Concentration Techniques To Learn Faster and Improve Memory

What you’ll find in the course:

Getting Started: Improve Focus by Eliminating What Prevents You From Reaching Your Goals

Create high performance habits that will make you successful, get rid of time wasters that hold you back from meeting your deadlines and improve concentration to get twice the work done in half the time. Kill distractions and stay focused on what really matters to achieve both your personal and professional goals.

Productivity Killers: How To Identify Time Wasters And Get Rid Of Them – How to identify your personal productivity killers and how to eliminate them to improve concentration

The 8 Wastes In Everyday Life: Opportunities For Improvement – Every time you identify waste, identify an opportunity and plan for change

Parkinson’s Law: How Focus And Time Management Can Improve Your Life – Manage your time more effectively and improve concentration and shartp your attention at home and work

Mental Focus: 6 Effective Ways To Set and Meet Deadlines Every Time – How focus and concentration are essential to meet deadlines within specified periods of time

5 Ways to Kill Distractions To Improve Concentration – Focus on the essentials, avoid distractions and stop procrastinating

The Next Level: Multiply Your Productivity And Achieve More in Less Time

Golden rules to achieve deep focus, improve your concentration, do the right things at the right time, boost your productivity and train your brain to learn faster. High productivity techniques to improve your work performance and maximize results.

Achieve Deep Focus And Improve Your Work Performance – How to Effectively Improve Your Concentration and Work Better

The Art Of Doing One Thing At A Time – You Can Achieve Anything If You Focus On ONE Thing.

What Time Of Day Are You Most Productive? – The Best Time Of The Day To Study Or To Work: Day or Night? You can find your most productive work times and patterns just by paying closer attention to your daily habits.

Create a More Productive Work Environment: Say Goodbye To The Boring Office – Boost your workplace productivity: how much work is accomplished in a particular work environment, over a particular period of time?

Top 3 Laws Of Productivity To Improve Efficiency – The Laws Of Productivity You Should Apply To Work Smarter, Not Harder

Conquer Your Concentration: 4 Strategies For Training Your Brain To Learn Faster – How To Improve Your Concentration By Training Your Brain With These Learning Strategies

BONUS MATERIAL

From theory to practice: downloadable resources to use as a reference and exercises designed to put into practice what you have learned in order to maximize your chances of success by developing goal-oriented productive habits.

ENROLL NOW! Stop wasting time and start investing it!

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever wondered how some people just seem to get so much done?

And others always seem to be going 100-miles an hour, but get nothing done.

We all have the same amount of time per day…

So how do some just squeeze so much out of each day?

Maximizing productivity is all about habits!

Stay Focused & Tackle the Big Task

Ever hear of Charles M. Schwab?

Under his leadership, in the early 1900s, Bethlehem Steel became the second largest steel maker in the United States, and one of the most important heavy manufacturers in the world.

It didn’t come easy… In fact, for years he was frustrated with the lack of productivity within his organization.

It wasn’t until he met Ivy Lee, who gave him the most transformative advice that changed the course of his company.

The advice was simple…

Every Evening Before Finishing Work

  • Write down 3-5 things you man to get done next day.
  • Rank them from highest to lowest
  • In the morning, start working on the task of the highest priority
  • Only move on to the task #2 when you complete #1.
  • Repeat.

Ivy Lee stressed the importance of completing the task of priority and resisting the urge to go on to the next task before completing the previous one. If you don’t complete all of the tasks, don’t sweat it.

The important thing is to focus on getting the highest priority task done.

Keep in mind that usually the most important task you should be working on is the most uncomfortable or most procrastinated upon.

Break down overwhelming tasks

As humans, we really suck at planning.

We will write insanely large tasks like finish powerpoint presentation, write book, or review document.

Then our brain will become overwhelmed with the task, that it wants us to default to browsing on Facebook or checking emails.

Those who maximize their productivity really put effort and deep thought around the task and if it’s too overwhelming they break it down into smaller more manageable tasks.

Want to lose weight? Don’t just put it on your todo list. Really think about how you’re going to achieve that goal.

Here’s how to break it down.

  • Join Weight Watchers or a gym.
  • Hire a personal trainer.
  • Go for a 20 minute jog every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Prepare meals for the week every Sunday.
  • Record weight every Sunday.

Reduce the interruptions

Notifications, checking email, instant messaging are all things that literally suck your attention away.

Honestly, take a look at your phone. How many notifications did you receive since you started this blog post? Probably too many!

Facebook, Google, and so many more are fighting for your attention so they can generate more advertising revenue!

Do yourself a favour and go through your phone/computer and turn off all notifications! Even better if you put your phone in Airplane mode while you’re working.

Also commit to checking your email once or twice per day. I’d challenge you to look through your “Sent Mail” and find one of your responses that was truly urgent. I bet it is extremely hard to find!

If you really want to protect your time, I’d suggest using Freedom to block certain websites (eg. Facebook, Twitter, Email) during certain hours.

Using the right tool

If you follow all the habits above, I guarantee you’ll become more productive overnight!

If you really want to commit to it, then I’d really suggest checking out Hello Focus.

We built Hello Focus because we found most other tools were making our team less productive.

As an entrepreneur they say the best thing to do is to scratch your own itch, so we built it!

It is free to create an account, so there is no risk on your part!

    Twitter Facebook Google+

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

Isabelle Daigle

Isabelle Daigle runs all content marketing for Hello Focus. She’s an avid writer and loves long Netflix binge sessions!

For many of us, productivity sounds like an intimidating word. Or it’s akin to catching a butterfly. You keep running after it, and just when you think you’ve got it and can bask in its beauty, it slips away from you.

But productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s also not about chasing after elusive goals. It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.

Three productivity experts dish on the details on what makes some people so productive. (Hint: They’re not innate qualities but instead skills and habits that you can acquire with hard work and effort).

1. They know what’s important.

Like Sara Caputo, MA, productivity coach, consultant and trainer at Radiant Organizing, says, “everything can’t be important.” Highly productive people are able to distinguish between important tasks and trivial ones.

They don’t get bogged down with busy work. In other words, “Productivity is about getting the right things done,” she says.

How do you know what’s important? Caputo says that it’s “all about setting time aside on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to strategize about [your] goals and values.”

2. They plan their day.

According to Caputo, planning your day the night before helps you “hit the ground running rather than take precious time and figure out where to start.”

3. They’re able to get back on track faster.

If productive people are interrupted or “things don’t go as planned,” “they quickly make decisions to get them back on track or to keep them on track to get those things done that are aligned to what’s most important,” Caputo says.

4. They know their priorities, and protect them.

For one, highly productive people are clear on their direction, says Laura Stack, MBA, president of the consulting company The Productivity Pro® and author of The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best.

Again, they don’t just get things done, they get the right things done, as Caputo says. Stack adds that “value determines priority; priority determines goals; and goals determine activities.”

They also delegate. They don’t spend time on tasks that someone else can do. Instead they focus on “where their energy is best spent,” Caputo says.

Likewise, they know how to “say no, and maintain healthy boundaries,” says Hillary Rettig, productivity coach and author of the forthcoming book The Seven Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer’s Block. As Stack says, productive “people control their schedules, so they can make time for important activities. They know they can’t be available to everyone every day.”

Saying no, establishing boundaries and delegating are all “nonnegotiable success skills that can be learned and practiced,” Rettig says.

5. They problem-solve.

“Highly productive people respond to barriers, problems and challenges with much more of a problem-solving orientation,” Rettig says. On the other hand, people who are unproductive try to shame and blame themselves into productivity, which only causes more paralysis, she says.

They engage in an inner defeatist dialogue. Rettig gives the following example: “”What’s wrong with you? This is easy! Anyone can do it? Why are you so lazy? And with all the money you just spent on classes! What a loser!”

A better strategy, which productive people use, is to observe what’s happening and find a solution: “Oh, I’m underproductive. That’s interesting. Let’s see what’s going on and how I can fix it.”

6. They arm themselves with the right tools.

Sometimes, we might wait until we’ve truly made it or reached a certain goal until we invest in a better computer, a nicer website, a business coach or (insert any other item or service you’ve been waiting to buy or action you’ve been waiting to take). Productive people surround themselves with the right resources and workspace, Rettig says.

She says that you should “resource yourself abundantly now so as to maximize your productivity and odds of success going forward.”

7. They have laser-like focus.

Productive people are able to concentrate on the task at hand and tune out distractions, Stack says. Like productivity, finding focus isn’t a natural ability. It’s a skill anyone can cultivate. (Here’s 12 ways you can find and foster focus.)

8. They’re well organized.

High productive people “have systems in place to find what they want when they want it, and can quickly locate the information needed to support their activities,” Stacks says.

When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces “you to relinquish your focus. Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back — and that’s where the real time is wasted,” Stack writes in her e-book, SuperCompetent: The Six Ways to Perform at Your Productive Best. (You can check out her books here).

9. They’re disciplined.

Stack says that highly productive people are able to eliminate time-wasters, take personal responsibility and “strive for constant improvement.” As she writes in her e-book, “It’s about consistently hitting goals, meeting deadlines, fulfilling promises and committing to teamwork.” In a word, it’s about being “accountable.”

10. They keep learning.

If highly productive people don’t know the answer, they work to find it. They “get the requisite skills and training when they lack ability,” Stack says, and “They have the motivation, drive and can-do positivity to make things happen.”

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever wondered how some people just seem to get so much done?

And others always seem to be going 100-miles an hour, but get nothing done.

We all have the same amount of time per day…

So how do some just squeeze so much out of each day?

Maximizing productivity is all about habits!

Stay Focused & Tackle the Big Task

Ever hear of Charles M. Schwab?

Under his leadership, in the early 1900s, Bethlehem Steel became the second largest steel maker in the United States, and one of the most important heavy manufacturers in the world.

It didn’t come easy… In fact, for years he was frustrated with the lack of productivity within his organization.

It wasn’t until he met Ivy Lee, who gave him the most transformative advice that changed the course of his company.

The advice was simple…

Every Evening Before Finishing Work

  • Write down 3-5 things you man to get done next day.
  • Rank them from highest to lowest
  • In the morning, start working on the task of the highest priority
  • Only move on to the task #2 when you complete #1.
  • Repeat.

Ivy Lee stressed the importance of completing the task of priority and resisting the urge to go on to the next task before completing the previous one. If you don’t complete all of the tasks, don’t sweat it.

The important thing is to focus on getting the highest priority task done.

Keep in mind that usually the most important task you should be working on is the most uncomfortable or most procrastinated upon.

Break down overwhelming tasks

As humans, we really suck at planning.

We will write insanely large tasks like finish powerpoint presentation, write book, or review document.

Then our brain will become overwhelmed with the task, that it wants us to default to browsing on Facebook or checking emails.

Those who maximize their productivity really put effort and deep thought around the task and if it’s too overwhelming they break it down into smaller more manageable tasks.

Want to lose weight? Don’t just put it on your todo list. Really think about how you’re going to achieve that goal.

Here’s how to break it down.

  • Join Weight Watchers or a gym.
  • Hire a personal trainer.
  • Go for a 20 minute jog every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Prepare meals for the week every Sunday.
  • Record weight every Sunday.

Reduce the interruptions

Notifications, checking email, instant messaging are all things that literally suck your attention away.

Honestly, take a look at your phone. How many notifications did you receive since you started this blog post? Probably too many!

Facebook, Google, and so many more are fighting for your attention so they can generate more advertising revenue!

Do yourself a favour and go through your phone/computer and turn off all notifications! Even better if you put your phone in Airplane mode while you’re working.

Also commit to checking your email once or twice per day. I’d challenge you to look through your “Sent Mail” and find one of your responses that was truly urgent. I bet it is extremely hard to find!

If you really want to protect your time, I’d suggest using Freedom to block certain websites (eg. Facebook, Twitter, Email) during certain hours.

Using the right tool

If you follow all the habits above, I guarantee you’ll become more productive overnight!

If you really want to commit to it, then I’d really suggest checking out Hello Focus.

We built Hello Focus because we found most other tools were making our team less productive.

As an entrepreneur they say the best thing to do is to scratch your own itch, so we built it!

It is free to create an account, so there is no risk on your part!

    Twitter Facebook Google+

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

Isabelle Daigle

Isabelle Daigle runs all content marketing for Hello Focus. She’s an avid writer and loves long Netflix binge sessions!

For many of us, productivity sounds like an intimidating word. Or it’s akin to catching a butterfly. You keep running after it, and just when you think you’ve got it and can bask in its beauty, it slips away from you.

But productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s also not about chasing after elusive goals. It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.

Three productivity experts dish on the details on what makes some people so productive. (Hint: They’re not innate qualities but instead skills and habits that you can acquire with hard work and effort).

1. They know what’s important.

Like Sara Caputo, MA, productivity coach, consultant and trainer at Radiant Organizing, says, “everything can’t be important.” Highly productive people are able to distinguish between important tasks and trivial ones.

They don’t get bogged down with busy work. In other words, “Productivity is about getting the right things done,” she says.

How do you know what’s important? Caputo says that it’s “all about setting time aside on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to strategize about [your] goals and values.”

2. They plan their day.

According to Caputo, planning your day the night before helps you “hit the ground running rather than take precious time and figure out where to start.”

3. They’re able to get back on track faster.

If productive people are interrupted or “things don’t go as planned,” “they quickly make decisions to get them back on track or to keep them on track to get those things done that are aligned to what’s most important,” Caputo says.

4. They know their priorities, and protect them.

For one, highly productive people are clear on their direction, says Laura Stack, MBA, president of the consulting company The Productivity Pro® and author of The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best.

Again, they don’t just get things done, they get the right things done, as Caputo says. Stack adds that “value determines priority; priority determines goals; and goals determine activities.”

They also delegate. They don’t spend time on tasks that someone else can do. Instead they focus on “where their energy is best spent,” Caputo says.

Likewise, they know how to “say no, and maintain healthy boundaries,” says Hillary Rettig, productivity coach and author of the forthcoming book The Seven Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer’s Block. As Stack says, productive “people control their schedules, so they can make time for important activities. They know they can’t be available to everyone every day.”

Saying no, establishing boundaries and delegating are all “nonnegotiable success skills that can be learned and practiced,” Rettig says.

5. They problem-solve.

“Highly productive people respond to barriers, problems and challenges with much more of a problem-solving orientation,” Rettig says. On the other hand, people who are unproductive try to shame and blame themselves into productivity, which only causes more paralysis, she says.

They engage in an inner defeatist dialogue. Rettig gives the following example: “”What’s wrong with you? This is easy! Anyone can do it? Why are you so lazy? And with all the money you just spent on classes! What a loser!”

A better strategy, which productive people use, is to observe what’s happening and find a solution: “Oh, I’m underproductive. That’s interesting. Let’s see what’s going on and how I can fix it.”

6. They arm themselves with the right tools.

Sometimes, we might wait until we’ve truly made it or reached a certain goal until we invest in a better computer, a nicer website, a business coach or (insert any other item or service you’ve been waiting to buy or action you’ve been waiting to take). Productive people surround themselves with the right resources and workspace, Rettig says.

She says that you should “resource yourself abundantly now so as to maximize your productivity and odds of success going forward.”

7. They have laser-like focus.

Productive people are able to concentrate on the task at hand and tune out distractions, Stack says. Like productivity, finding focus isn’t a natural ability. It’s a skill anyone can cultivate. (Here’s 12 ways you can find and foster focus.)

8. They’re well organized.

High productive people “have systems in place to find what they want when they want it, and can quickly locate the information needed to support their activities,” Stacks says.

When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces “you to relinquish your focus. Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back — and that’s where the real time is wasted,” Stack writes in her e-book, SuperCompetent: The Six Ways to Perform at Your Productive Best. (You can check out her books here).

9. They’re disciplined.

Stack says that highly productive people are able to eliminate time-wasters, take personal responsibility and “strive for constant improvement.” As she writes in her e-book, “It’s about consistently hitting goals, meeting deadlines, fulfilling promises and committing to teamwork.” In a word, it’s about being “accountable.”

10. They keep learning.

If highly productive people don’t know the answer, they work to find it. They “get the requisite skills and training when they lack ability,” Stack says, and “They have the motivation, drive and can-do positivity to make things happen.”

For many of us, productivity sounds like an intimidating word. Or it’s akin to catching a butterfly. You keep running after it, and just when you think you’ve got it and can bask in its beauty, it slips away from you.

But productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil. It’s also not about chasing after elusive goals. It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.

Three productivity experts dish on the details on what makes some people so productive. (Hint: They’re not innate qualities but instead skills and habits that you can acquire with hard work and effort).

1. They know what’s important.

Like Sara Caputo, MA, productivity coach, consultant and trainer at Radiant Organizing, says, “everything can’t be important.” Highly productive people are able to distinguish between important tasks and trivial ones.

They don’t get bogged down with busy work. In other words, “Productivity is about getting the right things done,” she says.

How do you know what’s important? Caputo says that it’s “all about setting time aside on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis to strategize about [your] goals and values.”

2. They plan their day.

According to Caputo, planning your day the night before helps you “hit the ground running rather than take precious time and figure out where to start.”

3. They’re able to get back on track faster.

If productive people are interrupted or “things don’t go as planned,” “they quickly make decisions to get them back on track or to keep them on track to get those things done that are aligned to what’s most important,” Caputo says.

4. They know their priorities, and protect them.

For one, highly productive people are clear on their direction, says Laura Stack, MBA, president of the consulting company The Productivity Pro® and author of The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best.

Again, they don’t just get things done, they get the right things done, as Caputo says. Stack adds that “value determines priority; priority determines goals; and goals determine activities.”

They also delegate. They don’t spend time on tasks that someone else can do. Instead they focus on “where their energy is best spent,” Caputo says.

Likewise, they know how to “say no, and maintain healthy boundaries,” says Hillary Rettig, productivity coach and author of the forthcoming book The Seven Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer’s Block. As Stack says, productive “people control their schedules, so they can make time for important activities. They know they can’t be available to everyone every day.”

Saying no, establishing boundaries and delegating are all “nonnegotiable success skills that can be learned and practiced,” Rettig says.

5. They problem-solve.

“Highly productive people respond to barriers, problems and challenges with much more of a problem-solving orientation,” Rettig says. On the other hand, people who are unproductive try to shame and blame themselves into productivity, which only causes more paralysis, she says.

They engage in an inner defeatist dialogue. Rettig gives the following example: “”What’s wrong with you? This is easy! Anyone can do it? Why are you so lazy? And with all the money you just spent on classes! What a loser!”

A better strategy, which productive people use, is to observe what’s happening and find a solution: “Oh, I’m underproductive. That’s interesting. Let’s see what’s going on and how I can fix it.”

6. They arm themselves with the right tools.

Sometimes, we might wait until we’ve truly made it or reached a certain goal until we invest in a better computer, a nicer website, a business coach or (insert any other item or service you’ve been waiting to buy or action you’ve been waiting to take). Productive people surround themselves with the right resources and workspace, Rettig says.

She says that you should “resource yourself abundantly now so as to maximize your productivity and odds of success going forward.”

7. They have laser-like focus.

Productive people are able to concentrate on the task at hand and tune out distractions, Stack says. Like productivity, finding focus isn’t a natural ability. It’s a skill anyone can cultivate. (Here’s 12 ways you can find and foster focus.)

8. They’re well organized.

High productive people “have systems in place to find what they want when they want it, and can quickly locate the information needed to support their activities,” Stacks says.

When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces “you to relinquish your focus. Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back — and that’s where the real time is wasted,” Stack writes in her e-book, SuperCompetent: The Six Ways to Perform at Your Productive Best. (You can check out her books here).

9. They’re disciplined.

Stack says that highly productive people are able to eliminate time-wasters, take personal responsibility and “strive for constant improvement.” As she writes in her e-book, “It’s about consistently hitting goals, meeting deadlines, fulfilling promises and committing to teamwork.” In a word, it’s about being “accountable.”

10. They keep learning.

If highly productive people don’t know the answer, they work to find it. They “get the requisite skills and training when they lack ability,” Stack says, and “They have the motivation, drive and can-do positivity to make things happen.”

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)

Who doesn’t want to maximize productivity and gain confidence? At some point, everyone has struggled with feeling unproductive and likely noticed the impact that it has on one’s confidence. Putting off tasks, goals or daily activities can make one more depressed, anxious and insecure (How Procrastination Hurts Your Confidence). Whether you are trying to achieve a goal, break a bad habit or make the most of each day, it’s important to try and take advantage of the time you’ve got.

How Confidence Improves When You Maximize Productivity

When you maximize productivity your confidence increases. You can feel more energized, motivated and accomplished. You can achieve your goals. I’ve faced depression and debilitating anxiety in my life and hard days can make you feel anything but productive. I’ve learned how to maximize productivity in small ways (getting out of bed can certainly be one of them) and in larger ways. When we let the day waste away it can make symptoms even worse. This takes a big toll on your self-esteem.

11 Tips to Maximize Productivity and Gain Confidence

How to focus and maximize your productivity (the definitive guide)Productivity doesn’t mean checking off items on your to-do list or working tirelessly at something. I want you to feel like you can make the most of each day and get closer to achieving your goals in life. A surefire way to deplete confidence and get stuck in unproductive patterns is to overthink goals and tasks. The most important thing is to do something, even if it feels small. Learn how to maximize productivity and feel more confident and positive with these tips.

  1. Make your bed. If you make your bed in the morning it will automatically make you feel productive since you just achieved something. You can throw your covers over the wrinkled sheets, it doesn’t have to look perfect. One small task can make a huge difference in making you feel more motivated to start your day.
  2. Organize your phone. Think about how many hours you waste looking for things on your phone. From trying to find the contact you need to deleting old pictures to make room for more, you can feel out of sorts and super disorganized. Dedicating a few moments to clean up your digital device can make you feel much more productive. Five minutes of taking important contacts and making them easier to find can make your whole day or week so much easier.
  3. Take five minutes. I play the five-minute game with myself when I have a difficult time getting motivated. I put a timer on my phone for five minutes and do one task. I like to see how much I can get done. It may be folding 15 pieces of laundry or cleaning up the dishes. When the alarm goes off it feels like instant gratification and accomplishment. A little goes a long way.
  4. Try StayFocused by Google Chrome. Most of us waste a tremendous amount of time on social media. Google has a Chrome extension (StayFocused) to maximize productivity and decrease distractions. You can customize it to meet your needs and help you achieve a goal or task. Plus it restricts the amount of time you can spend surfing the web. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
  5. Learn to say no. The most confident and assertive people don’t put others first, and sometimes they have to say no. One of the world’s richest and most successful people, Warren Buffet says, You’ve gotta keep control of your time, and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life. This means putting yourself first even with friends, family, and coworkers.
  6. Do one task at a time. Pick the task that’s causing you the most anxiety and start there. If you feel like it’s overwhelming, just try it for five minutes. See how much better and more productive your day is when you get the most anxiety-producing task done. Avoid multitasking, it will just make you less productive and more anxious.
  7. Be mindful of your time. As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself, “Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?” This one simple question can be an excellent boost to turn your mind back to the task at hand when it’s wandering. This question can help maximize productivity.
  8. Be accountable. Tell other people about your goals and you will instantly be held accountable. Pick friends or family members who show up for you and can support you emotionally.
  9. Minimize your wardrobe. Even if you’re a fashionista, this can apply to you, too. I decided to take a tip from Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, both innovators have been known to wear the same outfit (similar outfits) almost every day. Zuckerberg says “I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.” Now I always have five-to-seven clean, black shirts hanging in my closet. Mornings are easier than ever.
  10. Stop doing what you hate. A client told me she hated going to the grocery store. It’s one of the tasks she loathes: it makes her anxious and takes a lot of time. So we started having her son, who passes the store on his way home from work, do the shopping for her. Worrying about tasks we dread takes lots of energy. In order to maximize productivity stop doing what drains you.
  11. Avoid morning distractions. Those who maximize productivity don’t start the day with technology. In fact, most successful people I’ve talked to don’t even look at their phone or computer until at least 30 minutes after they wake up. Your social media stream may be alluring but it distracts your focus and messes with your confidence, especially if it’s the first thing you consume in the morning. Try a five-minute meditation, journal writing or a quick shower to wake you up. Leave the social media and emails until you’ve had your coffee and breakfast.

So, try your best to maximize productivity. Start small and be gentle with yourself. You deserve to reward yourself for your efforts, even if you don’t get it all done. A little bit is better than nothing.