Category: Habits

ClocksandHourglassBeing The Time Wielder, I’m always looking at how people do things and I’ve seen what the most productive people are in the habit of doing. I’m going to share 5 of those things with you here in this post.

First and foremost, productive people are early risers. These folks can get more done before the work day begins than most people. They seize their day. That early morning time is filled with meditation, exercise, some plan and strategize and some even start working on their top priority. Each of these contribute to their overall productivity and their ability to get things done.

Highly productive people are focused. Because they know their priorities they’re not struggling to figure out what should get their time or what to work on first. They know what matters most. One thing at a time it is easier to manage and complete to a good standard, instead of spreading your efforts over multiple things. Think about hitting a target. If you focus on 5 different points on the target, you aren’t going to hit anything. Prioritize your projects so that you automatically know the priority of the tasks related to each.

Productive people know how to block out the distractions and the interruptions. Setting periods of time during the day when you blocking out everything else works. You don’t have to block things and people out all day every day, but trust me, if you know when and how to do it, it will contribute to ending the day with things completed.

Manage your meetings well. Have your rules about meetings. One of mine is that there must be an agenda, doesn’t have to be written, but I have to know the purpose. I also have to know how long it’s supposed to last. Here’s a secret for you…people don’t always need the amount of time they ask for. A lot of time gets wasted around meetings. Having and sticking to your rules creates a more productive flow, allowing more things to be handled.

This next one is a big one…having rituals or systems in place. Look at the things that you do on a regular basis and find ways to automate the process. Create systems that will support you. First of all, create your time management system. Simply put, a system has three components: tools, processes and people. Determine which tools you need, document the processes and determine who is going to use the tools you designate or perform the tasks that the tools can’t. Set up your systems so that your business can run like a well-oiled machine.

There you have it, 5 things that the most highly productive people do to get it all done. Incorporate them one at a time and you’ll see how well they work to make you more productive.


Sharpen The Saw

Habit 7-Sharpen The SawStephen Covey’s 7th habit is Sharpen The Saw. Doing so means engaging carefully in selected recreational activities that offer you the opportunity for self-renewal so that you can regain your “production capability”. Time off, time away and regular breaks during the day are essential to your increased level of productivity and time for said activities are just as important to include on your calendar as are the tasks that get you to the end of the road. When I help clients plan, the first thing that we get into their calendar is their time off. The long weekends, “me time” and vacations come first.

Working day in and day out does not make you productive nor does it make you successful. It actually diminishes it. Taking time off and away from business actually helps to fuel you forward and is part of taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t run your business or take care of the things or people you’re charged with taking care of. It’s like getting on an airplane and having the cabin pressure cause the oxygen masks fall down in front of all the passengers. If you do as the flight attendant instructed prior to take off, you put your mask on first and you’re able to assist the child or person next to you who needs help. If you try to help them first, you may end up in a situation where you don’t end up with your mask on. You have to take care of yourself first so that you can tend to the things around you that you’re responsible for. Stepping back is part of sharpening the saw.


To Do-DoneI know that you’ve probably had the experience of setting aside time to do things and found that somehow, it always takes the exact amount of time that you set aside to complete a task.  This is known as Parkinson’s Law. The amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete it. In other words, if you schedule an hour to make phone calls, then it will take an hour.  If you scheduled half an hour to make those same calls, it would take half an hour.

The task expands to fill the space that you have created for it. When you’re planning remember that the time you schedule becomes the space for what you’re doing. Be in the habit of setting the right amount of time necessary for each task to keep from wasting time. Initially it may be difficult to gauge the perfect amount of time, so keep a log so that you have a record of the amount of time it takes to do particular things. Use that in the future to estimate the amount of time you need. Realistically speaking, in most cases you don’t need as much time as you may think, so give yourself smaller spaces of time and allow the task to expand to fill that space.

When you do you will discover that you get more done in less time.  Your work becomes more focused because you know that you don’t have a larger space to work with, you have a smaller frame of time to complete what’s before you and then it’s time to move on to something else. It also causes a change in your perspective and attitude about time and getting things done. It can also make your days more productive and raise your overall productivity level. You may not find it easy at first, but like any new habit, it takes time to build the muscle to develop. Continue to build it and it will become a key factor in getting things done in less time.



Habit 6-SynergizeCovey’s sixth habit is “Synergize”. Synergizing makes magic happen. There’s something to be said for working in collaboration with others, be it with your team or fellow business owners. When your mind is open enough to exploring new things, ideas and solutions you open doors to possibility. When you make the conscious choice to consider someone’s expertise and how it compliments your own you can go a lot farther and produce better results that you can on your own. This process allows for a bigger vision, increased creativity, and new beginnings.

At the core of synergy is valuing and appreciating differences on all levels and utilizing that to make decisions, create new products and programs and expand your business. The sky is the limit. Know that differences are strengths you can build upon and they open new possibilities for you and for your business.



Habit 5-Seek FirstHabit number 5 of highly effective people is Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. This calls for completely listening to another person’s concerns and not giving advice before you understand a person and their situation. Communication is key, more importantly, it’s how you communicate that’s key and it’s necessary when it comes to building relationships and working with others to get things done. With communication being so important you have to operate in a different manner when you talk to people.

How important is it for you to listen to your clients? I know that I really have to listen to people when they talk and I have to come from a place that allows me to really hear what they’re saying. Listening in that way allows me to hear things that they aren’t telling me. It allows me to be able to get an understanding of the things that are hindering them and to draw conclusions about how they’re operating. Are you listening to your clients to hear what’s said and remains unsaid? Listening with the intent of understanding allows you to see what’s really going on and to respond accordingly.

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