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More Career Tips for You

The Only 5 Productivity Tips You’ll Ever Need to Know

Lifestyle |

Every day, we’re inundated with new schemes for helping people live more productive, successful, and professionally savvy lives. If you’re looking for a shortcut to success, it doesn’t exist. However, many business self-help programs frequently repeat the same five productivity tips, just in different ways.

1. Wake up early.

World leaders, savvy business gurus, and all other types of successful people say waking up bright and early is a key to getting a jump start on your life and your success. Establishing a productive morning routine is critical for framing your day, getting off to a good start, and achieving goals. Be sure to schedule time for a good breakfast!

[Learn: Find Your Purpose]

2. Practice visualization.

The key to finding success is knowing what it looks like. Visualizing your goals helps you paint a portrait of what you want to accomplish through your efforts and can help you to understand the necessary steps to achieving that success. Inspiration boards, meditation, and a manifesto or mission statement can help you to clarify your vision and intentions, detailing short-term and long-term goals, as well as processes you plan to implement to make your vision a reality.

[Read: 9 Things Successful People Do Right Before Bed]

3. Take small steps every day.

Great ideas can’t materialize into well-developed and cohesive structures overnight. Take your grand idea and break it into manageable parts, and then take those parts and break them into baby steps that you can take each day. It’s much easier to achieve a goal or complete a project when you break it into bite-sized pieces that you can really think about and perfect each day.

4. Listen first.

“Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment,” says Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The best way to gain popularity and success is to listen to the advice and criticism of others and learn from it. People will tell you everything you need to know so long as your mind is open and ready to understand the messages.

[Read: 8 Things That May Be Decreasing Your Productivity]

5. Be consistent.

Consistency builds trust between companies and clients, and likewise between companies and employees. Although it may be hard to earn the trust of others, its harder still to keep that trust. Consistency with your work, values, and efforts helps others to understand you and what they can expect from you.

Ask friends, family, coworkers, and clients their opinions on what you do best and which of your qualities they respect. Then keep that list with you for reference and check it from time to time, asking yourself if the work you’re doing reflects those positive traits. Over time, you’ll have that list memorized and without a second thought, you’ll put those qualities into action in each and every project you undertake.

What do you think about these tips? Want to add your own? Share with us in the comments!

Ask Emily Heyward, partner at Red Antler, what tips she suggests for staying productive as a budding entrepreneur.

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Photo: Kaboom Pics

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I love these tips are wonderful! I have engaged in waking up earlier than normal, but I haven't fully committed to it yet. But when I do wake up earlier than I am suppose to or choose to I see a big difference in what I can get accomplished in a day. Keeping to-do lists and a planner with me allows me to be even more productive than I imagine

Elana Gross

When I first opened this article I thought it would tell me about new productivity apps. It was so refreshing to read about the simple steps that people can take to be more productive and effective - sans cell phone.


Waking up early is my go-to productivity tool. I also like the tip about taking small steps everyday. I always want to accomplish goals in the shortest time possible but I have learned that small steps are way more productive and successful in the long-run!


Awesome productivity tips! I especially like the one about waking up early - I do this myself and it truly helps so much, because personally it is the time I am the most productive.


I love these, it's nice have five short and sweet productivity tips, thanks! Being consistent is definitely a problem for me because I try to do too much! Hopefully I can work on it, thank you for these!


Whoa, this came at a good time for me. Lately I feel like my productivity has been flagging a little bit, and these were the exact tips I needed to jolt me back to life. I'm especially interested, these days, in visualizing my goals. I need to start making inspiration boards, whether on Pinterest or in real life!


Productivity is a quality everyone should possess; when you're on top of your work and you stay motivated, success comes naturally. Being productive, especially for me, reduces my anxiety and worry about the little things because I know I'm working as hard as I can. I really love all these tips because they are a recipe for success!


I love these tips! First and foremost, there is a reason why Pinterest is one of my favorite outlets for inspiration. It allows you to visualize anything and everything and is so helpful in achieving and "seeing" your goals. Waking up early, being consistent and listening have done wonders in past few months for me. It is necessary to take a few steps back when your plate seems full. When you tackle things head on one by one, you can get a lot done in an efficient manner. Love this article! Thank You Alexis.

Alexis Giostra

Alexis runs the website Strange & Charmed {} where she writes about technology and lifestyle from a woman’s point of view. She has been blogging consistently since 2008, after graduating from James Madison University with a double major in Art History and Political Science. She is particularly fascinated with the intermingling of our modern digital and analog lifestyles and enjoys teaching others about productivity and the role of technology in aiding our day-to-day pursuits. She currently resides in Bucks County, PA with her husband, graphic designer Michael Cousineau.