10 Simple Things Productive People Do Better (And So Can You)

Learn some of the easy things go-getters do that can make you an entrepreneurial powerhouse.

learn more about Matthew Toren

By Matthew Toren

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Productive people appear to have the ability to do it all, but that's only an appearance. The truth is they've figured out some important lifestyle habits, that while simple, most of us have not yet mastered.

Here are 10 simple things that productive people are doing better than you -- at the moment:

1. Get enough sleep. Your body literally restores itself during sleep. In the four stages of a healthy sleep cycle, the first three are all dedicated to what is called Non-REM sleep and specifically act to restore the physical body. You know from experience what a bad night's sleep feels like the next day. You feel slow, sluggish and foggy. Your brain isn't firing on all cylinders. You body is craving carbs and sugar. You need to make sleep as important of a priority as your waking day and devote yourself to at least six hours of good sleep a night.

Related: Stop Wasting Time on the Details and Commit to the Fundamentals

2. Take a break. You aren't meant to sit at a desk or computer for eight to 12 hours a day, and yet many people do. While that may be the reality of your entrepreneurial path, mix it up by taking breaks in your day. Get up, walk, move and stretch. Try a standing desk platform for certain work portions of the day. Take a real break to enjoy a healthy meal for lunch and follow it up with a walk. Time is always precious, but breaks and moving will make you more productive and help your body to stay well adjusted in the long run.

3. Outsource to create time. Speaking of time being precious, get some time back by outsourcing anything and everything you can afford. Get a virtual assistant, hire a freelance designer, book your first CPA -- just start outsourcing as much of your business as possible to get some time back.

4. Work at the best time. One thing that's great about the entrepreneur lifestyle is the ability to be flexible. Really productive people know when they're at their best. Some love to cram out huge productivity sessions after 10 p.m. when the family is in bed while others know they shine first thing in the morning. Whatever you body's naturally most productive time, do most of your work then.

5. Prioritize everything. Productive people know that there are urgent things and then there are important things. They've mastered the skill of letting go of "urgency" for what's actually important and a priority. You won't be able to do it all every day. Prioritize and plan to make the most efficient use of your time.

Related: 3 Steps to Recovering Stolen Time: Confront Your 'Time Bandits'

6. Take actions vs. overanalyze. Productive people know that good planning doesn't work without taking action, too. It's important to plan, but many will get lost in the perfectionist trap. It's better to take action on a good plan then to sit on a perfected plan and wait. Productive people create the future by taking action.

7. Get organized. If time is always of the essence, productive people understand that having an organized life means saving time. It takes less time to label something properly or put something back properly than it does to try to find it later in a heap of disorganized junk. Get organized in every aspect of your life for maximum productivity.

8. Don't multitask. Some people make the case for multitasking and some have even managed to pull this amazing feat off, but let them be the expectation and not the rule. Productive people realize that multitasking is a myth and they choose to stay focused. So should you.

9. Create And uphold boundaries. Boundaries tie together many of the things productive people do. They keep productive people organized and help them prioritize. When you make boundaries and uphold them, you save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run trying to figure out and analyze all the exceptions. Boundaries are a great way to organize. Come up with your own and try them out.

10. Shop online. Productive people know the value proposition of time, and when possible, shop online. It's a simple trick that can save a lot of time. There are shops online that sell literally everything. From grocery service delivery to bathroom supplies and more, most of your everyday needs are available online to be delivered to your door. That saves a lot of time, and in most cases, money.

Related: 3 Simple Swaps That Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

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