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Productivity comes from the inside out, and looking for external stimulus to drive you to be productive will not yield any result. Instead, the focus should be from within.

Writer Charles Duhigg defines productivity as “making certain choices in certain ways” that moves us from being “merely busy” to “genuinely productive.”

The following things are what productive people do to accomplish more of what matters to them every day.

Be clear about what you want

Start your day with a clear picture of what is essential and what you want to accomplish. Clarify this the evening before. Taking out five to ten minutes can easily save you thirty minutes the next day. Never start a new day without knowing what is essential.

Know your flow of genius

“Flow state” is where you are “in the zone,” fully absorbed in whatever activity you are doing. You lose track of time and you are fully present. Being in “the flow” is crucial to high performance and creativity. It is crucial to being happy. Therefore, it is imperative to know your flow triggers.

Some people are naturally more productive and alert at specific periods of the day, whether it is morning, noon or evening.  Learn which hours result in your peak performance and take advantage of them whenever possible.

One outcome at a time

An outcome drives everything we do. So one flow trigger is always to have one outcome that you are seeking per time. Simplify it, focus on what matters and do one thing at a time. The goal is quality over quantity.

Create a system that works for you.

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there. This year, spend less time focusing on outcomes and more time focusing on the habits that precede the results.”- James Clear

While you are scheduling, consider breaking your day into various time slots. For example, it could be an hour-long block or half-hour block. Identify what works for you.

Set deadlines for yourself

Set deadlines to achieve specific goals, even if they do not have deadlines naturally. It motivates you to get things done faster. It takes less than 2 minutes. DO IT NOW.

Reward yourself

After making a breakthrough or achieving a big goal, take a break and treat yourself to something pleasant.

Choose to say No

In order to get more done, productive people are not afraid to decline, defer, or delegate items that are not in alignment with their priorities. Know where your limits are, and try to remain within those limits.

Have a firm cutoff time

It is easy for work to creep into your personal life, impacting your mental health and productivity. Therefore, it is crucial to set a firm cutoff time and not allow work to interfere with your time away from work.

It is essential to identify what works for you. Then, every day, choose to evolve and be better than yesterday.


Writer: Olusola Amu


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