Priceless Productivity Tips From The Busiest People In The World

Originally published at lmt-lss.com on September 19, 2015.

We have a start time for meetings, but do we have an end time? Not keeping a time limit for meetings can lead to unnecessary conversations that waste valuable time. The key is to have a fixed start time as well as a fixed end time.

We complain about several things when someone questions our productivity. We give excuses like “not enough time” or “too many emails” and get away with it. But being productive doesn’t work that way.The important thing is to remind ourselves that we all equally have 24 hours in a day, and it’s how we use that time that makes all the difference.

Here are a few tips about being productive from some of the busiest people in the world.

1) Time your Meetings

We have a start time for meetings, but do we have an end time? Not keeping a time limit for meetings can lead to unnecessary conversations that waste valuable time. The key is to have a fixed start time as well as a fixed end time. And don’t start a meeting without a clearly defined agenda and end the meeting as soon as the agenda is discussed.

“For meetings on a single topic that aren’t regular operational meetings, I’m very strict. The maximum is one hour and 30 minutes. Fifty percent of the time is for the presentation, 50 percent is for discussion.”
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan

2) Wake up Earlier

Being an early riser can help you become more productive. Waking up with the sun at around 5:30 is an ideal time to start your day. This lets you have enough time to exercise and meditate, which indirectly makes you productive at work.

“No matter where I am in the world, I try to routinely wake up at around 5 am. By rising early, I’m able to do some exercise and spend time with my family, which puts me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.”
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

3) Take Breaks every 90 Minutes

Taking breaks from time to time helps you switch off from work for some time so you can recharge yourself and start fresh, almost like refueling your inner engine to get more work done in less time.

“The counter-intuitive secret to sustainable great performance is to live like a sprinter. In practice, that means working at your highest intensity in the mornings, for no more than 90 minutes at a time, and then taking a break.”
Tony Schwartz, president of the Energy Project

4) Get rid of Distractions

Most of the time we procrastinate because of the distractions around us — calls, messages, emails and what not. Productivity is basically the result of a laser-like focus on the most important tasks without being interrupted by unnecessary distractions.

“I concentrate on concentrating.”
Martina Navratilova, Tennis player

5) Don’t Work Alone

Often times we fail to realize the power of teamwork. We forget the magic of dividing tasks and getting them done together, instead of working alone. Take any successful project and you’ll see an excellent coordination of a team behind it.

“The myth of the lone genius, who comes up with these ideas, and sends them down, is a myth.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

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