There are many best-seller books out there. By definition, best-seller books are books which are bought by many, many people. Unfortunately, buying doesn’t mean reading. From those many people who buy a book, only a fraction of them actually read the book. Even worse, reading doesn’t mean doing. From those who read the book, very, very few of them actually do what they read. Reading a book is one thing, but applying it is a different thing. No wonder very few people experience what the authors write.

The same thing applies to productivity. Many of us read productivity books or blogs and know a lot of productivity tips. Unfortunately, knowing doesn’t mean doing.

In this post, I’d like to remind us to actually do what we know. Here I highlight top 5 productivity tips which I think will make great difference if we actually apply them. For each tip, I put links for more resources to help you do it.

Here they are:

  1. Rise early
    Why do you need to rise early? This is the reason: early-risers have more productive mornings, get more done, and report less stress on average than “late-risers.” Many people find early morning as very productive time to do their tasks. You will be able to accomplish more in the same amount of time.
    Here are some tips on becoming an early riser:
    How to Become an Early Riser
    Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM
    How I Became an Early Riser
  2. Start with the most important task
    After doing your morning routine like exercising or having breakfast, you should start your day by tackling your most important task for that day. Remember that it is the most important, not the most urgent task. Some people choose to start their day with things that seem urgent but actually not important. Be careful. Read Habit 3: Put First Things First of the classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for more information about the difference between important and urgent.
    Here are some more tips about tackling the most important task:
    Control your workday
    Purpose Your Day: Most Important Task (MIT)
  3. Do not multitask
    There is an illusion that we will accomplish more if we multitask. But study shows that it is wrong. Be sure that you do only one task at a time. Doing only one task at a time allows you to have the necessary focus to accomplish the task with the highest possible standard.
    Read “Use single handling” section in this article for more information.
  4. Prevent interruption
    Preventing interruption is important to help you enter a state of deep focus and concentration, which is called the flow. Find what may interrupt you, such as the cell phone, people around you, or the Internet. Then take necessary steps to eliminate any possible interruption as much as possible (turning off the cell phone, telling people around you not to interrupt you, and so on).
    Read more about preventing interruption in 7 Rules for Maximizing Your Creative Output.
  5. Actually do what you need to do
    The key to productivity is actually do what you need to do. I wrote about it in my post What is the Key to Productivity?. For example, if you are a writer, you need to actually do the writing. Be careful not to get trapped by secondary activities. The most ironic thing is spending your time to maintain your productivity system instead of actually do what you need to do.
    One trick I like to get myself actually do is the 50 minutes rule.

These are all common productivity tips. But the question is: have you actually done them? Use these list as your personal checklist. Day by day check which items you have done and which haven’t. Concentrate on doing these 5 things everyday.  Even with only these 5 tips, if you actually do them day by day, your productivity will significantly increase.

This post is my submission to the ProBlogger Group Writing Project.

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Categories: Time management, Working

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