7 Things Highly Productive People Don’t Do

They understand that time is limited.

Toni Koraza
Oct 15, 2020 · 4 min read
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Photo by Toni Koraza on Unsplash

You can travel the world, write books, start businesses, and retire by the time you’re 35.

People that run 10 companies from a Yacht in the Mediterranean are real.

The good news is that you can be one of those founders with 10 companies and more free time than a toddler. The ideas and concepts are easy to understand. I’ve published 300+stories, wrote a novel, traveled 6 months this year, started a Medium publication and a digital agency in London, and lost 20 pounds while never having to lose a single second from my social life.

However, most people will never dare to take control of their time.

Focus on getting the right stuff done to achieve more in less time.

1. Highly productive people don’t create unnecessary conflict.

I’d rather wash the dishes myself every day than have to discuss who’s house chore it’s supposed to be that day.

Taking 10 minutes out of your day to avoid an unnecessary conflict feels good and keeps your mind focused on what’s important. Trust me, dishes are everything but important. And cleaning can be quite therapeutic. I’ve cut down on friction at home by simply taking the whole task for myself. Mutual respect is essential for any co-living and co-working environment, but sometimes picking your battles can free more mental bandwidth for what is important to you.

And the dishes are rarely that important.

2. Highly productive people don’t fall out of the blue on every task.

My writing routine jumped to another level when I started annotating my plans and images.

You can create mental maps and timestamps about any of your plans and tasks. With free tools like Good Annotations, you can simply snap your screen and add text to it for later use. Also, design your workflow, how-to images, and product templates with simple annotation tools.

Good annotation skills made a difference between writing a single article and writing two in the same time-frame.

3. Highly productive people don’t tease themselves with things they might regret later.

Know yourself.

Are you one of those all-in addictive personalities, like most people?

My life changed when I just stopped trying to self-contain myself around personal vices. I know I can’t just smoke socially, and that trying to smoke only a few cigarettes a week leads to eventually buying a pack every day. I don’t entertain myself with only one beer because I know that it might lead to a wild party and a hangover the next day.

Know yourself, and don’t push the wrong buttons when you’re trying to stay productive.

4. Highly productive people don’t indulge in random distractions.

I don’t entertain myself with only 10min of YouTube in the middle of my workflow.

I know YouTube binge will probably take an hour, and I’ll feel frustrated with myself later on. Focus on the task at hand until you reach the flow-state. When you’re chasing the next task just for the sake of getting it out, it is a telltale sign that you’re in the flow-state. Your work becomes self-sustaining, and you want it only for itself.

Who you’re working for and why you’re doing it is not as important as getting it done.

5. Highly productive people don’t create unattainable goals in short time frames.

Instead, develop long-term systems and chase short-term goals. My shift from working for a boss to being a self-sustaining entrepreneur comes from systems and not goals. I decided to write every day and publish every day.

I wrote 15min every morning until I had a 300-page novel in my hands. I study languages daily with 15min tasks and can communicate in 5 languages, and speak two fluently.

6. Highly productive people don’t overstuff their schedule.

How many nights did you go to bed with the plans to change the world the next morning?

I did that most of my student days. Some something happens within your brain right before you fall to sleep. The doors of immense creativity open, everything seems possible, and you suddenly know how to fix everything. My plans fell short from the reality of the next day. I was still the same person, and now I felt unaccomplished because of all these unrealistic ideas I had planned for the day.

Motivation plays a key role in staying productive, and having a real to-do list is essential to win the day.

7. Highly productive people forgive themselves when they fail.

Dwelling on your mistakes and bathing in self-pity is the surefire way not to accomplish anything for the day.

Your life is full of bad and good karma, and you can choose what you focus on. Focusing on salvaging, damage-control, and proactive approach has helped me overcome the worst days. I know I can’t perform at my best and realize all my plans exactly how I imagine them in my head. And that is fine.

Forgive yourself.

You can always make more money, but you can’t ever get the time back.

Highly productive people understand that time is the only commodity that is limited for everyone. You’re getting more of your life for yourself by staying productive and using more time within your hours. I’m buying time now.

Once you run out of time, you can’t ever get it back.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Thanks to Melissa Berdine

Toni Koraza

Written by

Curious Fellow | Founder at Mad Company | Koraza’s Letter: koraza.substack.com | Free Covers: unsplash.com/@tonikoraza

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 150,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Toni Koraza

Written by

Curious Fellow | Founder at Mad Company | Koraza’s Letter: koraza.substack.com | Free Covers: unsplash.com/@tonikoraza

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 150,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

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