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How to become more productive, by the 10 most productive people

Main question: How to become more productive?

Following a historic year of the pandemic and its complications, more people are burnout than ever. With this in mind, Fitnest EU team has spent many meetings/chatting hours discussing how to be more productive, more motivated, and remain optimistic. We would like to share them with whoever finds it worthwhile their attention.

Everyone strives to achieve the life they desire most, but only a few make it. As if there is some dragging force that’s pulling you away from your dreams, ambitions, and goals. Many would refer to the lack of focus and procrastination. But is it the real problem? Is there a more fundamental root cause that rips you away from your goals? This shortlist showcases the 10 most high-performance people in the world. Let’s find out what makes them and you and me different?

Elon Musk

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Now, who doesn’t know Elon Musk? You have to be living under a rock if you don’t know the success journey of Elon Musk. He has redefined the term productivity through his pursuit of SpaceX and Tesla. People know Elon Musk for his work ethic, sheer determination, and abnormal lifestyle. This success doesn’t come overnight because he is intelligent. Going through Elon Musk’s works you will come to know specific principles of his life on how to become more productive. Quoted in his own words :

  • Question yourself and how you could do things better.
  • Focus on signal over noise. Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t actually make things better.
  • Go for the stretch goals: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor”.
  • Failure is not an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.

Jeff Bezos

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Jeff Bezos’s transition from his parent’s garage to becoming the world’s richest man may sounds like a tale like any other tech unicorns. It is not. He dedicated his journey to certain principles and habits. Not only did they enhance the productivity of his own empire, but it can also help you answer the question how to become more productive. Take notes if you are willing to:

  • “The two-pizza team rule” according to which, if you can feed the team two-pizza per meal, it is big enough. He opts for the few, but right people.
  • Don’t be afraid to make long-term decisions despite temporary failure. Even Amazon’s first product went in a loss in their first few years. He chose to move on.
  • It is never too late to take risks. Jeff Bezos quit his job and started in his parent’s garage in his 30. It did not turn out to be a mistake.

Warren Buffet

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Warren Buffett is a major business tycoon and the world know him as one of the wealthiest persons in this world. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is renowned for his investing wisdom. From the financial perspective, Buffett is >99% more productive than the rest. How does he manage to reach the 1%, and what can we learn from him? According to him:

  • Having a vision is a blessing, but it must be backed up by hard work and determination: “Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.”
  • We have often heard about how an environment shapes a man. So, you must choose : “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
  • Eliminate the non-essentials to stop getting distracted: “You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” Have you heard of “Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule”?. He helped a pilot’s career by asking him to pick the only 5 essentials life goals out of the 25 nice-to-have goals.

Steve Jobs

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We all know Steve Jobs by his co-founded legacy, Apple. The company remains a major trillion-dollar company even after his death. He was an entrepreneur throughout his life and had a major share in Pixar. Steve Jobs left an inspiring legacy for not only his company but for every entrepreneur there is. How did he share tips to become more productive?

  • Ruthlessly prioritizes your tasks: “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Don’t fall for the do-it-all trap.
  • “Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.”
  • Saying no is a skill in its own: “I am actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
  • Be hungry and stick with your vision: “Stick on to the vision and believe in it. You will achieve it.”

Bill Gates

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You cannot read an article about how to become more productive without mentioning Bill Gates. From a Harvard dropout to the co-founder of Microsoft, he shoved the whole world into a new age of computers. He earned himself the spot among the world’s richest men by guiding the world towards a new era of networked personal computers. Even though he has retired from Microsoft and dedicated himself to philanthropy, he is still one of the wealthiest human beings. Bill Gates has many productivity tips we can learn from. Whether to be proactive and productive or to become entrepreneurs or investors. According to him:

  • “There is nothing that was overnight.” Preserve your aims and stay committed.
  • Make dreams bent on bringing a change or an innovation: “If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act.”
  • “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” If something worked one time that doesn’t necessarily make it the formula of success.

Richard Branson 

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Started as a school drop out and diagnosed with dyslexia, Richard Branson chose not give up. By founding a successful magazine called Student. After some upheaval, he started raising funds by “Virgins” mail record as he considered himself inexperienced. Now he owns the conglomerates of businesses named after his own brand Virgins. Virgins Media, Atlantic, and Records are a few to mention. His successful life brought some effective tips that you should consider.

  • Richard Branson keeps himself fit, his morning routine is waking up at 5 a.m to work out. He’s an avid runner, tennis player, and cyclist. “I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit, it keeps the brain functioning well”.
  • He always keeps a notebook around. Ultra-productive people free their minds by writing everything down. “Regardless of where I am or what I’m doing – perhaps with the exception of kitesurfing or swimming – I always have a notebook on hand.”
  • Being an effective listener makes you more attractive. This common trait is told by his daughter on CNBC news.“Listen as much as you speak, or listen more than you speak. There are a lot of great things my dad has found by listening to everyone”.

Mark Zuckerberg

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From his dorm room in Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg initiated a social tool that was available only to students at that time. It then went on to become a global internet village with a population of users that has surpassed both China and India. Facebook has become a sort of ritual for all us that we complete each day. How did the 36-year-old billionaire get here? How did he become more productive? Was it luck or a series of habits that can also guide everyone, provided you are willing to take notes? According to him:

  • Sheer Focus on the work all the time: “I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself… if you count all the time I’m focused on our mission, that’s my whole life.”
  • Set annual goals and keep learning. You can’t be busier than Mark Zuckerberg, but he squeezes whatever time he can get to improve his skill set.
  • “I think a simple rule of business is, if you do the things that are easier first, then you can actually make a lot of progress.” You may not agree with this statement. I agree with Mark Zuckerberg because that initial sense of victory you gain add confidence for when you deal with bigger problems.

Tom Ziglar

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Tom Ziglar, the Proud Son of Zig Ziglar(the motivational icon), maintains his father’s legacy of motivating others to achieve their goals. He is recognized as a public motivational speaker and author. Tom started the Zig Ziglar Corporation in 1987 and learned to upvote himself from the warehouse onto leadership. Today, he hosts the Ziglar show, one of the top-ranked business podcasts. Few productive tips that one get from these motivational icons are:

  • He had maintained his father’s legacy in his business. He repeats this saying in his keynotes. “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
  • A good trait of productive people is to control their emotions rather than let it control you. “Never blame anyone in your life. Good people give you happiness. Bad people give you experience. Worst people give you a lesson. And the best people give you memories.
  • ”You should prioritize tasks that would have a greater impact on your life rather than being stranded away by every other task. “Invest the first part of your day working on your number one priority that will help build your business”

Serena Williams

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Serena Williams, an American tennis player who holds the record of being Grand Slam winner 23-time. She won her first major championship in 1999. That didn’t stop her there, she expanded her brand into film, television, and fashion. She is known as most powerful woman in 2019, highest paid-athletes etc. Moreover, she has invested in more than 50 startups over the past six years. When being asked how to become more productive, she answered:

  • She prioritizes time like other productive people. She focuses on being top of her game, and her friend is an app named Toggl, a time tracking app. This app helps her to divide the day between her family, her businesses, and tennis.
  • Relax. Many people we see get tired because they drain energy faster. That’s not the case for Selena Williams as she knows when to turn her mind off to her business and tennis. “Sometimes it’s meditation. Sometimes it’s watching a program [on TV] that has nothing to do with anything, like something that is silly or fun”

Tim Ferris

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Tim used to be suicidal as a college student. Now, he is a prestigious author of 5 books. Many are best-sellers, “The 4-hour Workweek” and “Tool of Titans” along with his podcast “Tim Ferris Show” which exceeded over 3M downloads. He is famous as an American entrepreneur, investor, author, and podcaster. We are gonna abstract some of his points to provide you Tim Ferris’s manifesto to productivity. According to Tim:

  •  “Hard work does not solve impotent goals and unclear priorities. It actually magnifies and multiplies all the problems, so I focus on efficacy, doing the right things”. Tim not being a fan of efficiency enhances his productivity by maximizing his efficacy.
  • “Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work. If the recipe sucks, it doesn’t matter how good a cook you are.”
  • “$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows.” The 4-hour work-week represents the same ideology of more freedom.

To conclude: How to become more productive?

Today we have shared with you 10 of the most productive people Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Ziglar, Serena Williams, and Tim Ferris to motivate you. All of these are icons in their respective fields and have dedicated their lives to a certain set of principles. We have gathered many sets of personalities for you with each having his/her/their own unique principles. Now it’s all up to you to tailor your own answers to the question: how to become more productive. Whatever you decide to adopt, remember it’s never too late to set your life back or to bring a new purpose to your workflow. All the habits are intended to help you in this path. If you have any questions or want to give your feedback, we would love to hear it.

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