We all want to be more productive, don’t we? To that end, many of us gravitate toward various time-management tips and other tactical approaches. While these can certainly be helpful, we must take a more strategic approach if we wish to become ultra-productive. This strategic approach involves adopting some of the attributes of ultra-productive people, the things they do that most others don’t do. Here are three things ultra-productive people do that set them apart from the crowd:

1. They over-prepare.

Before you can accomplish anything worthwhile, you must understand that accomplishment comes at a price. It’s not about just going through the motions; it’s about going through the right motions. Most people say they want to accomplish a certain thing, but they’re not willing to engage in the necessary preparation to accomplish that thing. As a result, they are ill-prepared to deal with the inevitable bumps in the road to accomplishment. Ultra-productive people over-prepare, leaving nothing to chance. Their road may still have bumps, but preparation helps absorb most of the shock.

2. They stay focused.

Ultra-productive people set specific daily goals that are components of a larger goal, and focus their energy and effort on accomplishing those daily goals.

Author Nido Qubein says:

“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.”

By breaking down your goals into subsets of daily goals or tasks, focusing all your energy and effort on today’s tasks, and repeating that process every day, you’ll harness that power Qubein spoke of.

3. They make and keep commitments.

Ultra-productive people are committed. Whether that commitment is to themselves, others, or the task at hand, they keep it.

The thing is, most people already believe they’re committed. But many mistake desire for commitment. We all have a list of things we wish or hope for every day. But continually wishing and hoping only means we’re committed to wanting something. That’s different from being committed to getting it.

To know whether you’re truly committed to accomplishing a goal, ask yourself the following question: “Are my habits, actions, and behaviors congruent with my commitments to my goal?” Answering this question truthfully requires serious, critical thought. 

As you work on developing these attributes, it’s essential that you be honest with and about yourself. Only then will you become ultra-productive yourself, and stand apart from the crowd.

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