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.

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


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Categories: Time management, Working

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95 Responses so far.

  1. You’re welcome! I hope you will be able to better manage your time and be more productive :)

  2. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  3. gillian2 says:

    Can I transtrate your message and post to my blog? I’ll ping back to you. You can read my blog. please followup comments for this. Thanks~ :-)

  4. @gillian2:
    Of course, I’ll be very happy if it can reach audience from other languages as well. Thanks!

  5. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  6. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  7. Favorites from Probloggers Top 5 Group Writing Project (Part 2)

    Part of participating in an event like Probloggers Top 5 – Group Writing Project is of course visiting, reading and when relevant commenting and linking to the other participants. I screened the entire list for posts that were relevant to the subject a…

  8. ??? ??? says:

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    ?? ?? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????. ?? ???? RSS ?? ‘?? ??? ??? ???? ????’ 5 ?? ??? ?????, ??? ??? ? ????. ?????…

  9. Alan says:

    I agree. There are things that we need to realize.
    Multitasking is something we can’t take without any experience. Some may have no problems with multitasking, especially if they are doing it for a long time. But to some, I believe that it will only cause them to be less productive

  10. @Alan:
    Yes, especially for tasks which require deep concentration, multitasking will surely cause them to be less productive.

  11. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  12. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  13. […] Dans ce billet, Donald propose 5 astuces pour améliorer son efficacité. Ces dernières semblent évidentes au premier abord mais elles peuvent faire une différence énorme si vous les mettez en pratique. Vous trouverez en liens des ressources en anglais pour chaque astuce. […]

  14. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  15. […] Just like you should start your day by doing the most important task, you should start your reading by reading the most important book. Take the book which is not just interesting, but also has the biggest potential impact on your life. Take the book which has the biggest potential return for your investment of time. […]

  16. Ryan Pratt says:

    Great list! If you like lists like this one – check out http://www.listafterlist.com/

    It is a great place for YOU to find and create lists about anything and everything.

    You can create a list just like this one at ListAfterList.com.

  17. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  18. simplejoe79 says:

    Great…

  19. Yuri says:

    So much agree about point 1 – Rise Early!

  20. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  21. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  22. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  23. […] Wake up earlier. If you’re capable of getting up earlier than usual, you just might find that not only is life quieter then – allowing more concentration – but that you’re more productive, especially with creative work. If getting up early doesn’t work for you, challenge yourself to be more productive in the same amount of time. […]

  24. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  25. […] stuff you’ve been reading about. Donald Latumahina at Life Optimizer mentions this in his Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do post . So remember this tip as you read through the rest. When you learn something good, make it part of […]

  26. shubhranshu says:

    No doubt, many of us know lot of trusted productivity enhancing tricks but don’t apply to get benefits. There may be differnt reasons behind this tendency. I think the main reason may be the shortage of time required to concentrate on the analysis and application of those suggeseted measures. After hiring OutSorcerer.com to accomplish some of my time consuming tasks, I can say that outsourcing is the best way to manage your time hours according to your priorities.

  27. Ribeezie says:

    I’ve done an excellent job with the first task: rising early. Where I need to make progress is in eliminating “interruptions”. If I can successfully do that, completing tasks would be much easier. I know what interrupts me (phone and the internet)…but the procrastinator in me takes hold sometimes; I can’t help it.

    I’m practicing time-blocking and that’s worked. So slowly but surely I’mmaking progress…

  28. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  29. mono says:

    Hi,

    Perfect tips actually. I believe multitasking and interruption are the biggest problems in my life. But I don’t have an idea how they can be eliminated in an open-office environment.

    Cheers,
    Mono

  30. […] Top 5 Productivity Tips Most People Know But Do Not Do by Donald Latumahina […]

  31. Praktic says:

    Hi,

    very well written post.

    Good general tips.

    About the books, it´s true, that buying doesn’t mean reading…

    It’s all about doing and applying the know-how.

    All the best,

  32. superb article. answered so many questions which were floatin in my mind for a long time. it’s like; you have the solution, but don’t know how to (or lazy to) start from somewhere. I’ll use these tips in my daily freelancing life. thanks a lot! it was enlightening.

  33. Dana Cataldi says:

    Thank you for the insight and keeping us all on track with life and work productivity tools!

  34. magnus says:

    love it, if i can figure out how to get up earlier i can do it, and i can only do one thing at the time, not an issue for me.great stuff.

  35. Mike King says:

    Great information and all very actionable. I have been working with a schedule for years and yet still feel there is a lot of room for improvement.

  36. Dana, Magnus, and Mike,
    Thanks for the kind words!

  37. KHird says:

    Why are early risers so convinced that they are more productive? The ones I know come in and read the paper for an hour before starting to actually work, then leave early because they came in early. The real work then gets finished by those who stay late to get it done.

  38. […] Being Productive? Or Just Busy?I think one of the reasons that taking breaks from work can increase productivity is that taking a break might reduce your dependence on activities that we call “work”, […]

  39. […] According to lifeoptimizer.org “There is an illusion that we will accomplish more if we multitask. But study shows that it […]

  40. Multitasking is less productive, especially on tasks or activities that require deep concentration. When you multitask on things that needs mental effort, your productivity drops off rapidly. In short, stick to one thing at a time. No matter how fast you are at multitasking, it will always slow things down, increase the likelihood of mistakes and increase your stress leve To learn more about the effects of multitasking, take my free exercise at http://www.davecrenshaw.com/exercise

  41. jamie says:

    hey some pretty decent productivity tips, thanks, keep it up!

  42. mac says:

    Great tips, many thanks for that. early rising is my biggest problem, but I am working on that!

    Merry Christmas

    matthias

  43. Alicia Keys says:

    I really need to do some of these. Thanks for sharing this great list! You’re absolutely correct that multi-tasking is a big no no.