How to Be More Productive

These surprising strategies just might help you outwit your proclivity to procrastinate—and get the job done already.

By Jennie Dorris
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Challenge Yourself Physically

A lot of people don’t think they have time to fit exercise into their busy schedules. But I’ve found that engaging in endurance activities, such as a long bike ride or a triathlon, makes me more disciplined and diligent. If I go a few days without doing these things, my productivity declines. My energy decreases, my focus wavers, and I can’t make decisions as easily. So I encourage people—even those who don’t think of themselves as athletes—to commit to a physical event, such as a walkathon or a community 5K. Once it’s on your schedule, you’ll make the time to train and realize that you can accomplish more in a day than you thought.

Ted Kennedy is the founder of CEO Challenges, which organizes sports competitions for CEOs and business owners, and a cofounder of Ironman North America. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Think Small

I tend to avoid projects that seem too big, so in order to be productive, I have to cut overwhelming tasks down to size. I do that by working in small increments. When I first started to write novels while running a magazine, I told myself that I would write for only 15 min-utes a day. I knew that working for a short amount of time was an achievable goal, and I managed to get 10 books written in just this way.

Kate White is a former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and the author of numerous books, including, mostly recently, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This ($25, amazon.com). She lives in New York City.

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