When we hear the word productive, images of a mile-long to-do list and working around the clock often come to mind.

But despite these common associations, busyness doesn’t always equal productivity. The most productive people don’t make an effort to fill their days with as many tasks as possible; instead, they know which things to say yes to, and which ones to turn down. Productive people are organized, efficient, and masters at prioritizing.

The good news is that productivity isn’t an elusive innate quality that you either have or you don’t. It’s an acquired skill – something that can be honed and improved.

If you’re passionate about personal productivity, here’s a look at seven personality traits that productive women have in common – things that you can develop and work towards implementing in your own life.

1. They’re Passionate About What They Do

Productive people are passionate about what they do. This passion fuels them, and drives their productivity. If your heart isn’t 100 percent in what you’re doing, then you won’t have the motivation that you need to succeed, and your productivity will take a serious hit as well. Being passionate about what you do will lead to productivity. And it’s the overarching motivation behind what you do that will help you to stay the course – even on days when you’re stressed, tired, overwhelmed, or frustrated.

2. They’re Extremely Organized

Highly productive people are extremely organized. They’re able to fit a lot into their days because they take the time to schedule their days out – and work towards keeping themselves organized as well. Because of this, they also know exactly where to look for the information or items that they need, without having to hunt. They have systems in place that help to keep them organized.

3. They’re Experts at Prioritizing

Productive people aren’t just busy – they are extremely judicious about which tasks they spend their time on. This means knowing when to say yes to things, and when to say no. They’re also good at delegating, and know when to step back. Productive women understand the importance of protecting their time – allowing them to focus their time and energy where it matters most.

4. They’re Able to See the Big Picture

Being a big-picture thinker is a key trait that productive people have in common. Productive women don’t have time to sweat the small stuff, and they don’t get distracted easily. They have a strong focus on the big picture and persevere while others would get off track. Seeing the big picture helps them to stay motivated and see beyond any roadblocks that arise.

5. They’re Curious

A love of learning is a key trait among productive people. They are curious and driven to seek out answers. Their curiosity drives them and keeps them pushing forward onto bigger and better ideas. According to one study, curiosity increases the neurotransmitter dopamine – which aids with focus, productivity, and motivation.

6. They Know When to Take Responsibility

Productive people know the importance of taking responsibility for their own lives. This doesn’t mean accepting blame when it’s not your fault. It does, however, mean understanding the importance of owning your ideas, and taking responsibility for the actions and decisions that you make. Productive people won’t be knocked down by mistakes. Instead they use their failures to seek answers and drive them forward.

7. They Have Razor-Sharp Focus

Finally, staying on task, keeping the big picture in mind, and constantly being productive requires laser-like focus. Productive people have the ability to focus on their goals, and pursue them relentlessly.

Being productive doesn’t come naturally to everyone – but fortunately it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. If you’re looking to improve your personal productivity, keep in mind the above tips and remember: it starts with having the right motivation and drive – then taking the time to map out your day – all while being organized, and carefully guarding your time.

Do you take personal productivity seriously? What traits help you to be more productive?

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