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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

7 Things Highly Productive People Do

You have more important things to focus on than, um, focusing. Get back on track with these tips.
Inc.com
By Ilya Pozin@ilyaNeverSleeps   |  Dec 13, 2011
7 things highly productive people do
Flickr/ryantron
Want to be more productive and get your focus back? There are no secret tricks here… do one thing at a time. Stop multitasking—it’s just another form of distraction. ...
Recently I sat down with Tony Wong, a project management blackbelt whose client list includes Toyota, Honda, and Disney, to name a few. He’s an expert in keeping people on task, so I thought he’d be a good person to ask.
Here are his tips for staying productive:
  1. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. 
    … Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less: Sketch a wireframe, outline an introduction for the homepage video, etc. That’s how you set goals and actually succeed in crossing them off your list.
  2. Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multitasking than women). 
  3. Be militant about eliminating distractions. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, texts, email, and instant messaging. …Go to a quiet area and focus on completing one task.
  4. Schedule your email. Pick two or three times during the day when you’re going to use your email. …
  5. Use the phone. Email isn’t meant for conversations. Don’t reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead. 
  6. Work on your own agenda. … Most people go right to their emails and start freaking out. You will end up at inbox-zero, but accomplish nothing. After you wake up, drink water so you rehydrate, eat a good breakfast to replenish your glucose, then set prioritized goals for the rest of your day. 
  7. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals. Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes. …So take a break: Get up, go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. And yes, that means you need an extra hour for breaks, not including lunch, so if you’re required to get eight hours of work done each day, plan to be there for 9.5-10 hours.


  • Ilya Pozin
    Ilya Pozin founded his first company, Ciplex, at age 17. The digital marketing and creative agency caters to small businesses and start-ups. Ciplex, which has received the Inc.500|5000 award for two consecutive years,  is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Jerusalem, Serbia, and Germany. In 2010 Ilya hired a new CEO and moved into the President/CMO role so that he could focus on building new ventures.   Originally from Russia, he currently resides in L.A. with his wife and daughter.

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