High productivity is a major goal for many people, because more things can get done if you are in a high-productivity environment. While this concept may seem simple, to fully understand what it means to increase productivity, the definition cannot be taken literally. You actually must develop a stronger understanding of this concept wholly and use it to your advantage fully.

To put it in simple terms high productivity means that you are putting out products more quickly or completing tasks at higher speed than before. Theoretically, it made sense – the more products someone produces or services the person completes, the more positive results come in, making increased productivity a high priority for many workplace environments.

There are some things, however, that studies say cause your productivity at work to plummet, such as unfavorable environment, distractions and plain old procrastination

You cannot always control your environment, but the good news is you can control what you get done. Plus, you can learn from others to be even more productive. There are probably more direct ways to help your productivity increase such as a conducive environment or closing the Facebook tab on your browser. But these are small hacks that actually only do so much. There are more meaningful ways to be your best. And you can learn these skills by taking some cues from the world’s most successful people.

1. Have Big Goals in Mind

Firstly, you can set big goals and then act to fully accomplish them. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a master at this, making room each year for a new challenge, which he says allows him to “learn new things and grow outside my work at Facebook.” And it pays! He’s now fluent in Mandarin and is meeting new people all the time.

Looking at it backwards can help too, link Amazon’s Jeff Bezos does. He makes room for big goals by starting with the customer’s needs and working backward to build skills to get that work done faster. As Bezos said it, “We learn whatever skills we need to service the customer. We build whatever technology we need to service the customer.”

2. Give Each Day A Theme

Try copying CEO Jack Dorsey for this. When splitting his time between Square and Twitter, he stays productive by giving each day a theme — Mondays for management, Tuesdays for product, etc. As he explains, “There is interruption all the time, but I can quickly deal with an interruption and then know that it’s Tuesday, I have product meetings, and I need to focus on product stuff.”

Another tip you can use is the “no-meeting Wednesdays” Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz believes that this gives him and his team a good amount of time each week for “focused, heads-down work.”

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10. Clear Out Your Inbox Everyday

“Email is unidirectional—anyone, at any time, can just go to your inbox without permission, invitation or consideration, Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of HighTower, writes on LinkedIn. “Empowering the world to demand a thin slice of your attention is more than unfair—it’s a recipe for constant distraction.”

He uses three rules to simplify things and keep him focused and productive;

  1. Unsubscribe from newsletters. It takes more time than simply deleting, but actually saves hours every year.
  • Delete and completely forget about it. “When in doubt, delete. If it’s that important, someone will follow up with you. Then respond to what you can and move the rest to recycling” he writes.
  • Don’t bother filing. Use a good search tool to scan your folders and find things you need instantly.

“If you do nothing else but these three things, your inbox will be a lot leaner,” he writes. “Whatever messages are left become a to-do list of the items that actually need your care and attention. Keep this list short, between two and five items, or what you can actually hope to achieve on any given day. Get those items done and you’ve just reached Inbox Zero.”

It might seem unorthodox that some steps make you seem less productive. But again, it is more than simply cranking out more than you usually do. Being productive is not only being efficient. It also means you are effective in your work, where you take steps to completely turn problems into solutions that make extra work unnecessary.

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