Productive people are usually viewed as freaks of nature when in reality all they have is a willingness to improve. They don't set out to separate themselves from the crowds. Thinking of others would simply be a waste of their time. But their intentions to do things they've set out to do as opposed to dreaming or talking about them separates them from the rest.
With that in mind, here are ten habits of incredibly productive people.
1. They know where they want to be
A common problem young people have, and even some middle-aged and senior people experience later on in life is not having a dream.
Everyone needs a goal and vision. If you have these two things, and you put in the work, then, with a bit of luck along the way, you may just get to where you want to be.
2. They aren't afraid of saying no
How many times have you felt guilt-tripped into saying yes? Yes, I'll go out for one drink, which soon turns into ten. Yes, I'll meet you in town for a whole day of shopping.
These activities can be fun, but if you aren't prepared to create your own time, then you'll find yourself with little time to work on anything productive. Say no, however, and you might start devoting more time to something worthwhile.
3. They practice what they preach
Ever thought of a killer app idea? Or a protagonist that you think would make a great character in a novel?
Well, productive people have a burning desire to bring these ideas to life. If they fail, then they can always move onto something else. In the words of Shia La Beouf, "If you never roll the dice, you'll never be successful."
4. Failure is part of the process
A famous president once said, "The only thing to fear is fear itself." Few people have got to where they are without being told they are not good enough. Or to come back and try again next year.
It can be draining and highly demoralizing, but if you learn to accept failure and learn from it, you'll only benefit from it further down the line.
After all, if everybody stopped trying after receiving a knockback, few people would have gone on to achieve anything. So always work on something, regardless of how unlikely your chances are of succeeding. As long as you keep coming back stronger, with patience and belief, results will follow.
5. They are always looking ahead
A goal requires one to look forward, but that doesn't mean those who do detach themselves from the present. What it means is that they live every second as though it's there last.
Remember, you only have one life, and it's ticking every second. So ask yourself this: If my life ended today, would I be pleased with everything I've done? If not, then get working on your dreams.
6. They don't wait for permission
Many of us need assurances and clarifications that what we are doing is right. But if you keep seeking the approval of others, then it's likely you'll never have the confidence and drive to do what it was you intended.
Productive people don't wait for the responses of others because they are in charge of their own lives.
7. Their work is more than just a hobby- it's their life
Being productive could mean that someone is highly successful at their day-job. Or they could be incredibly driven with a passion project they are working on after work. It could even mean both.
One thing each will have in common is that they treat their job like it is their baby. They see it as their duty to care for it and give it the best possible future. Some may even call the commitment selfish. What they know, however, is that they are doing something they love in the hopes their work will be respected. So imagine you have a child. It needs nourishing, support and constant attention. Apply that level of care to your hobby or job, and you'll see your productivity rocket.
8. What others think isn't important
We tend to get bogged down by the thoughts of others, After all, everyone is a critic nowadays, and thanks to the Internet, there will always be negative people who put you down. But don't let them. If they think you can't act, then that's their opinion.
Life's too short to let others tell you you're not good enough. If you want to do something, even if it's in a field you're not the best at, that shouldn't stop you. Get better and practice, and in time, you'll prove those naysayers wrong.
9. They stay focused on the present, without getting carried away about future possibilities
While dreams are the beginning of something special, productive people never let hopes of success (which is all they are) distract them from working on their craft. Take baby steps. If you're writing a book, focus on the chapter and nothing else.
If you're an actor, don't fret over agents being in certain rooms or casting directors coming to individual performances. Focus on your lines and your abilities as an artist.
The only way you will go onto greater things is to keep working hard and trying to improve. If you focus on the work as opposed to the outcome, then the desired results will come.
10. They are self-disciplined beyond belief
Productive people's primary asset is self-discipline. Let's face it, at times, all we want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV. But that's the easy option. You can do that when you're old. When young, why waste it being idle?
At least, that's what the most productive and successful people of our time will tell you. It doesn't hurt to try. But it hurts never to know what could have been.