Hey there, Dean here. I write and publish articles on productivity, self-education, psychology, health, finance, entrepreneurship, philosophy, and more. You can read more about me here or join my free 10x Performance email course here.

12 Best Routines of Highly Productive People

Productivity is learned, not born. Highly productive people do not born to be productive, instead, they make an effort to carefully select their routine and master their behavior. After studied many highly successful and productive people, I found that they all share a certain trait.

Productive people have some routines in common that made them productive. And here are the twelve you can start practice and include into your daily life to ramp up your overall productivity and performance.

1. Plan for the next day before bed

Productive people know what they need and want to do way before it’s the time to do it. If you failed to plan, you’re planned to fail. People who never plan for what they need to get done the next day usually get nothing done. Besides, having a clear mission and purpose for the next day also give you a solid reason to get up early and kick some asses the next day.

2. Wake up early

We usually perform best in the first few hours after we get up from the bed, given that we had a good amount of quality sleep. But most people wake up 30 minutes before work, are you one of them? Get up 2 to 3 hours before work or any daily obligation, invest this period of time into your mind, your body, or maybe your side hustle.

3. Get enough sleep

To get up early (with your energy at peak). You need to get enough sleep. The optimal period of sleep is 7 to 8 hours. But it depends on each individual, I sleep for 6 to 6.5 hours a day.

4. Frame your emotional state in the morning

Highly motivated and productive people don’t just feel pumped for no reason. One key factor that affects our productivity directly is our emotions. While most people wake up feeling bad, tired, bored; productive people wake up, and get into the routine to frame their emotional state. They train their mind to feel and think what they want in order to perform their best day in and day out.

5. Do nothing

Spend 10 to 15 minutes a day every morning to breath. Some call it meditation, I usually call it the do-nothing time. Any busy people will understand how messed up their mind is each day when facing multiple urgent tasks in the never-ending chaos. Invest a short amount of time to wind down, think of nothing, plan for nothing, and literally do nothing. Focus on your breath, this simple (but not easy) routine helps to improve your focus. The best part is, you could use this skills of focusing on everything when you master it.

6. Make a to-do list with maximum 6 tasks

Productive people have a to-do list, but highly productive people have a short to-do list. Don’t write every single task – walk your dog, clean the car – into your to-do list. Limit the number of a maximum of 6. This simple technique will force you to prioritize. And give you a closer look of what’s truly important.

7. Workout

A healthy body is going to serve you better in the long run. Some might think they have no time for a workout, but what they tend to overlook is that you can perform 10x better with the energy level and sharp mind that come with a healthy body.

8. Limit information consumption

Go low-information diet. Stop reading the newspaper or browsing social media sites (unless those are your job). Consuming more information gives an illusion that we’re actually doing something and being productive, but the truth is – we don’t. Spend 80% of your time on executing, and only 20% of the time on learning. You are going to gain more from the results and feedback from the real-time execution.

9. Delegate/automate tasks at hand

Highly productive people know how to delegate their task. Ask yourself TWO questions: (1) Am I the only person capable of doing this? (2) Am I the one who does this the best? If both answers are NO, find someone else to do it for you. Next, be open to embracing automation. There are thousand web applications that can automate tasks for you today with a small fee. Even it might be not cost effective now, but in most cases, it usually paid back well in the long run.

10. Take a nap

A 20 to 60 minutes nap will do wonders. It allows your brain and body to rest, organize the information you overlook during work subconsciously. Even it seldom happens, you’re much more energized after a quick nap.

11. Reflect the day in the evening

You can write a daily to journal your day, or simply rewind it in your mind. Think about what went well and what went wrong; what you had done well and did wrong. You will definitely gain some lessons and insights unexpectedly, and you can always come up with some plans to make tomorrow better.

12. Cultivate good habits

It’s hard for you to apply all of these at once. Productive people make these their habits slowly, up to a point where they’re doing them automatically.

. . .

Most people think being productive means being busy or to get more done in a shorter period of time, but it’s not. In fact, the difference of highly productive people with average procrastinators is that they have clear vision and goals, understand their priority, and always focus on the important things only.

Enjoyed this article? Then you’d like this…

Top performers succeed not by the lack of challenging problems, self-destructing habits, and limiting beliefs. Instead, they succeed by thinking and doing things differently.

Here, I’ve compiled the best lessons and insights in a self-pace email course to show your how to do just that.

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1 comment… add one
  • Krystelle Thomas

    Great article! I’ve taken up bullet journaling to increase productivity, but often become overwhelmed by all my tasks. I’m definitely going to try limiting my to do list to a max of 6 tasks.

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