A man who studied employees at Google and Disney says this is what makes someone highly productive


Charles Duhigg


Charles Duhigg.

Ever notice that your cube mate finishes projects twice as fast as you do? Does it take your boss hours to read a report that would take your intern 20 minutes to get through? Some people are just more productive than others.


There are lots of reasons for this: We all manage our time differently; we approach projects differently; and we work at different paces, to name a few.

But according Charles Duhigg, a journalist and author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business," the biggest difference between "uniquely productive people" and unproductive people is that the former group govern their minds in a different way, he tells Lisa M. Gerry of Motto. Rather than just reacting to things going on around them, the most productive people "control how they think through problems and how they set goals."

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Duhigg tells Motto that he was driven to find out what sets highly productive people apart when he kept meeting people who seemed to have more time than he did - "more time to get things done, more time to spend with their kids and more time to relax."

He says he started to wonder what they were doing differently - so he began studying highly productive people and teams, like the writers of Disney's "Frozen," the crew at "Saturday Night Live," and employees at Google. His goal was to figure out which factors make some people more productive than others, Gerry explains, and he wrote about his findings in his book, "Smarter Faster Better."


In the Motto article, Duhigg shares three strategies from his book for becoming instantly more productive. His tips? Ask yourself why you're doing something; think big picture; and take control of one aspect of the situation - no matter how small.

Read the full Motto article here.

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