How to Be More Productive

SavvyMom April 14, 2016
expert_the_french

According to a 2009 survey by UBS, people living in Paris worked an average of 1,594 hours per year while people globally worked an average of 1,902 hours per year. Yet somehow, working with a deficit of more than 300 hours per person per year, the French have achieved romance, they’ve achieved Chanel, and they still find the time to perfect French bread. How do they do it? Here are 6 habits that the productive French keep:

  1. They are motivated by progress. Productive people look at the progress they’ve achieved to sustain their seemingly-endless drive. Ari Meisel told Greatist.com that his definition of success is being better off today than he was yesterday.
  2. They take care of themselves. Not even Superman could save the world on an empty stomach. Productive people prioritize proper eating and sleeping into their daily regimes. Ideally, we should get 7.5’€“9 hours of sleep a night and our diets should consist of about 35 percent vegetables, 15 percent fruits, 25 percent whole grains and 25 percent healthy protein’€”as in fish, poultry and beans. Interestingly, a University of Chicago study found that people who sleep less (four hours a night) are more likely to choose sugary, starchy, high-carb foods. Sleep-deprivation and hunger are your Kryptonite’€”and they usually work as a team.
  3. They spend less time talking about doing’€”and more time actually doing. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told Inc.com that he skips meetings to increase his productivity. Inc.com got a second opinion on the matter from Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, regarding those time-sucking meetings. Whenever she held meetings, everyone would drink 16 oz of water before sitting down. The meeting was over when the first person went to the bathroom, she divulged.
  4. In lieu of a to-do list, they have a when-to-do list. Rather than spend time creating a to-do list for the day, week, or rest of your life’€”focus on the scheduling aspects of that list. Normal people work systematically down a to-do list, checking off another stencilled box as they complete each task. Conversely, productive people strive for perfectly-timed execution.
  5. They do one thing at a time. Author Douglas Merrill argues that multi-tasking produces less-tasking. It can also lead to poorer short-term memory and increased fatigue. When trying to be averse to multi-tasking (and effectively less-tasking), that ‘when-to-do’ list comes in handy.
  6. They keep their schedules busy’€”on purpose. Productive people know that humans are creatures of habit. We form routines and adapt to change with ease. We can either play these to our advantage’€”or to our dismay. If we let ourselves get used to the feeling of accomplishing less in the same amount of time, we will adapt by limiting our productivity. Staying busy is a good way to stay on one’s toes (and you can prove to people that you actually have a life).

Every Fortune 500 company is continuously on the hunt for ways to increase employee productivity. It’s a critical aspect of our professional lives’€”but it can also act as an indicator of our overall happiness levels. Researchers at the University of Warwick found that happiness and productivity react with one another by way of cause-and-effect. The study found that happy people outperformed those in the control group by 10 to 12 percent. The more you get done, the happier you must be.

It leads us to think there must be a second meaning behind Miss Coco Chanel’s famed ideology: ‘You live but once; you might as well be amusing.’ Those Parisians are right again!

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