How you can identify the best productivity habits [PMP #174]

There are loads of habits you can adopt to be more productive. Some people like to meditate, journal, wake up early (or stay up late), drink coffee, set timers and so on…

Don't want to read this post? Listen to the podcast instead:

If you think this post is going to tell you which habits are the absolute best to adopt in order to be more productive, sorry to disappoint you. The not so exciting answer is that there is no secret recipe to productivity. If you ever read headlines like ’The 10 best habits to help you get more done’ or something like that, you should be sceptical.

Improved productivity is going to be different for each person.

In this post, my goal is to help you to identify the right habits that you should focus on in order to be more productive. Below I have listed a series of questions you can ask yourself to determine if the habits you’re trying to adopt are indeed the right ones. As you read this post, perhaps have a habit in the back of your mind that you can think about while answering these questions for yourself.

How do you identify the best productivity habits for YOU? @paulminors shares some ideas here!Click To Tweet

Which habits help you most with your productivity? Please leave me a comment below and share!

Do you enjoy it?

When adopting a new habit, you’re far more likely to succeed and maintain the habit over the long-run if you enjoy that habit.

I love exercising. Whether it’s walking, running or going to CrossFit classes, I just love to move. Some people struggle to find the motivation to go to the gym or get out and be active. For me, it’s never been an issue because I genuinely enjoy exercising so much.

I find it much harder to meditate. I understand the benefits and I feel good afterwards. But it’s just not as fun or exciting for me.

At the end of a busy day my goal is to unwind and switch off from work. For me, I’d much rather go for a walk than meditate. The end result is similar either way, but I’m going to do the one I enjoy more.

I try and meditate every now and then but it’s not one of the more important habits that I want to adopt which is why I don’t make as much time for it.

Does it easily fit into your day?

We often fail to build new habits because of simple timing issues. Depending on your routine, commute time and schedule, certain habits are going to be harder to incorporate into your day.

It’s easier to find time to read if you have an hour commute each day. If you don’t have this commute time but still want to read, you’re going to have to find the time elsewhere. This means taking the time away from other potential habits.

This is why waking up early is such a beneficial habit. If you can add 30 or 60 minutes to your morning, now you have some time to do things that perhaps you normally wouldn’t be able to.


Does it feel natural?

Does this habit you’re trying to adopt feel natural? Is it easy to do, or does it feel like a chore? If you have a choice, you should pick the easier habit.

A common theme you may have noticed with these questions is that you will start to gravitate towards the habits that are easier, more enjoyable and that you have time for. And this might mean you forgo adopting a really beneficial new habit simply because it’s not as fun or easy. But I’d rather see you succeed by setting the bar lower and adopting habits that you enjoy and sustain for longer than give up on more beneficial habits.

For example, I’ve talked about my ‘time blocking’ habit many times before. For me, it’s a natural and easy way to plan my time. Other people hate time blocking. They find it restrictive and time-consuming to do. And that’s fine. If you have another method that’s easier and more beneficial to you, do that instead.

Does it make you feel better?

Finally, do your habits make you feel better? Can you see improvements as a result of the habits that you’ve adopted? Whether it’s improved productivity and happiness, or reduced stress and anxiety. Can you see a difference?

It goes without saying, if you try a new habit and don’t notice a difference, maybe it’s not the best use of your time.

A lot of people drink tea or coffee out of habit as it’s a nice way to kick start the day and sharpen their focus. But if you drink too much, the caffeine can quickly start to work against you and results in headaches or even a lull in energy. If you’re no longer seeing the benefit, perhaps it’s time to revisit your habits and make some changes.

Which habits help you most with your productivity? Please leave me a comment below and share!