10 Secrets of Super-Productive Women

We all have that enviable friend who somehow gets everything she needs done, yet never seems like a massive ball of stress in the process. She’s simply a highly productive person. And you can be one, stealing these secrets.

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1. They start their day the night before

An insider tip to kickstarting your day is to prioritize your top to-do’s and write them down the night before. This good habit spares you from early-morning anxiety over what to start first. Tip: Start with tackling the most time-consuming task first. It will get the ball rolling on your productivity and may motivate you to check off the rest of your list.

2. They don’t wake up and scroll

Arianna Huffington famously said she waits at least 30 minutes after waking before checking her phone. Use this “me-time” to start your day in silence, jumpstart your morning routine and mentally prepare for the day. By not immediately scrolling through work emails, trending news and Instagram notifications, you can take a moment (or a few) to appreciate the calm before diving in headfirst to productivity-mode.

3. They don’t multitask

According to a study at Stanford University, people who multitask “do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.” Focus on one thing and complete it before moving onto the next.

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4. They prep their morning cup of coffee

Productive women know the value of a good cup of coffee first thing in the morning (there’s nothing like waking up to that fresh scent, amirite?). Tip: Pre-set your coffee maker to start brewing right before your alarm goes off—it’s an easy motivator to get out of bed and one less thing you have to add to your to-do list. For the best aroma (you know the one), try Folgers Black Silk roast.

5. They minimize early-a.m. decisions

When possible, try to eliminate as many routine decisions that you know will pop-up during your morning routine. Prep your outfits (tie-dye sweatpants, included), set aside lunches (even if you’re going to eat them at home), and anticipate all the small things that have the potential to overwhelm you throughout the day. This way, your morning is already streamlined and super productive—even before the sun rises.

6. They’re experts at delegation

This could mean anything from getting your kids to help meal prep to assigning part of a presentation to a colleague who has a little more time than you do. The sooner you delegate, the sooner you can refocus on your most crucial responsibilities.

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7. They aren’t perfectionists

Productive people value a job well done, but they aren’t obsessive about everything being flawless—nor do they agonize over every little detail, which slows down the entire process. Let things go, learn from imperfections and adjust your routine accordingly.

8. They take care of themselves

Being truly productive requires firing on all cylinders, and to do that you have to be at your best. That means getting enough sleep and living a healthy lifestyle where diet and exercise are concerned. Listen to what your body tells you and prioritize your health and happiness.

9. They value quality over quantity

Quality and quantity of time, that is. The most productive person at work might be the person who spends the least amount of time on Zoom. It’s not about how long you work, it’s about how much you get done. Train yourself to have only a finite amount of time for something (see: finding your golden hour), and you’ll soon adjust your approach to finishing tasks.

10. They Say “no” Often

It’s not easy, but when you have a ton of stuff to do already, saying no is necessary. It’s about knowing your limits: If an extra task is going to push you over the edge, deny it in a polite but firm way. You don’t want to come across as rude, but you also don’t want to overload yourself and hinder your overall progress

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Freelance PureWow Editor