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We’ve all known that person who always seems to be getting things done. This is the person whose work is always done early. The one people describe as a robot or machine because surely no simple human could work as quickly as they do. Yet, these people exist, cranking away at maximum efficiency. What do these highly productive people have in common? How do they do it? Here are a few tips on becoming more productive.

Focus on important tasks first:

The theory behind Most Important Tasks is that any given to-do list has some tasks that are more important than others. If you focus on simply checking off to-do list items, you’ll end up with a mix of important and less important tasks completed. It also exposes you to the potential for procrastination — it’s easy to spend the whole day checking off easy, less important to-dos instead of buckling down on the hard stuff.

Keep a distraction list to stay focused:

Whether you’re trying to focus on deep work or just dealing with smaller tasks, distractions are the bane of productivity. It’s hard to maintain efficient work habits with distractions around. Keep this list nearby while you’re working, so when you get distracted with something, write it down on the distraction list.

Break tasks into smaller pieces:

If you have to-do list items that are large in scope and not very specific, tackling those tasks becomes challenging. You look at the item and think “I don’t even know where to start.” You can start by breaking large to-dos into smaller to-dos. Set small goals for each task. That will give you more motivation to get them done.

Take breaks:

Nobody, not even highly productive people, can focus for eight hours straight. It simply isn’t possible. No matter how many efficient habits you build, you can’t maintain distraction-free focus for that long. That’s why taking breaks is so important. Even breaks that are just a few minutes long can help you recharge and come up with new ideas.

Don’t multitask:

With so many distractions in our surroundings, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of multitasking. The research on multitasking is clear: people are bad at it. The reason is that “multitasking” is actually misnamed. When you try to multitask, you aren’t really doing two things at once — you’re rapidly switching your focus between two things.


Productivity tactics, email templates, and prioritization are valuable methods of improving your productivity but they won’t help if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

Highly productive people spend time recharging. That means getting enough sleep every night, exercising, and eating healthy.