Habits of productive people

Below are tips on how to improve your productivity. Creating a system is an excellent way to get quality work done. The demand for our attention is intense, from phone alerts, emergency meetings, and constant communications and, rather than reduce, is likely to increase as the years go by.

1. Cut your to-do list in half. Stop taking on more than you can manage in an eight-hour day. Spend more time on less and focus on accomplishing things that matter.

2. Take more breaks. The same way your muscles ache after a workout, your brain hurts after too much cognitive load. Scheduling time in the day to rest your mind will help with greater efficiency. Go for a walk, eat a healthy snack, or zone out on nothing.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent of what you do daily produces 80 percent of your results. Scope your next project and break it into tasks and sub-tasks to drill down to the crucial 20 percent. And eliminate as much of the 80 percent as possible without affecting overall results and productivity.

4. Use your morning to focus on yourself. Many's golden hours of the work day are between 8 am and 11 am. Do your best to schedule your day and work on what matters most during this windowβ€”heavy cognitive meetings and irrelevant tasks like checking email until later in the day.

5. Tackle your challenging tasks before lunch. Crank out your demanding projects while your brain is fresh. Some examples are creative projects or critical thinking tasks. Make this part of your daily routine and you will see that it a more productive way to manage your schedule.

6. Improve your email habits. Stop checking your email, and turn off your Slack notifications because it's a time trap. Allocate time in the day to review and respond to communications. Avoid the temptation to talk throughout the day and respond on demand. If your communication takes longer than a few responses, it's time to pick up the phone.

7. Time box your day. Create a strategy to manage your bad habits and distractions. Dedicate specific times throughout the day to your compulsive habits like checking email, Slack, Twitter, WebEx, Outlook, etc. Otherwise, you'll be distracted from working on your day's 20 percent driving productivity.

8. Stop multitasking. Stop trying to do fifty things at once! Multitasking is a problem. Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes, and comments, and our colleagues are complaining that the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.