Having an ultra-productive day leaves you on a high that is comparable to none. But the trick isn’t to exhaust yourself by working harder, the real success is found by those who work smarter. By using these hacks, ultra-productive people manage to use every spare moment to their benefit, without even breaking a sweat:

1. Act Now: Don’t wait to respond to an email or return a call. As soon as something comes to your attention, act on it, delegate it, or delete it. Saving it for later only wastes more time by having to address the issue twice. Start your day with the biggest problem and tackle it head on. After completing it, you are free to work on the projects that actually excite and inspire you.

2. Plan Ahead: Before leaving work for the day, prepare for tomorrow. By recognizing what you have accomplished today and outlining your tasks for tomorrow, you ensure an equally productive 9-5.

3. Stick to a Schedule: Ultra-productive people learn to stick to a schedule. As the biggest time waster, meetings should be kept on task and limited to the agenda at hand. Efficiency and speed are key. Ultra-productive people even schedule time to check their email. Setting up alerts for important contacts ensures that the vital tasks are taken care of. The less concerning emails are left to be addressed at another point in time.

4. Say No: Ultra-productive people are not afraid to say no. Saying the word with certainty is not easy, but it does reap its own rewards. Saying “No” to a new commitment ensures that you will be successful in honoring existing engagements. This method also refers to those seemingly urgent tasks. If you succumb to the power of the urgent, you may find yourself going days or weeks without touching the actual important things. Again, saying no, dismissing, or delegating such tasks can help you tackle your more paramount projects and issues.

5. Do Not Multitask: Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is a productivity killer. Research concludes that multitasking is less productive than tackling one item at at time. Believe it or not, multitaskers performed worse than their counterparts. Their inability to organize their thoughts was made more difficult due to a lack of being able to filter out irrelevant information. Overall, multitaskers worked at a slower rate when switching from one task to another.

By implementing these ultra-productive hacks, you will get more done in less time… and save yourself from exhaustion.

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