Habits of Productive & Successful Tradies

There are different types of workers in all industries. There are those who work fast and those that work slow. Some are ambitious and others are more content. You have the fastidious and then the lazy. You have those who are optimistic and energetic and those who are neither.

When it comes to success, the type of worker you are matters. It determines the type of success you’re capable of enjoying.  

There are many ingredients that make up a successful worker or a successful business, but for the purpose of this article we’re looking at tradie-specific habits that play a part.

Before we get into the list though, let’s clarify something.

Sure, getting more done means more business which means more money. Yes, you can make more by ‘doing more’, but is it worth it if you’re racking up 80+ hours a week to get there?

That’s why you see the word ‘productive’ in the title. It’s about finding success and getting a lot done in a shorter amount of time. For most people, the best form of success is when they’re making good coin AND have an awesome life outside of work. 

So, without further ado, here are ten habits of productive and successful tradies.


1) Start the day with a nutritious brekky and a BIG coffee.

Your body is your #1 tool, so give it the right fuel to get the most out of it. A decent caffeine hit will get you up and about pretty quick too, setting you up for the next habit.


2) Get in early to setup and plan out your day.

Many ‘successful’ people are up before the rest of the world to take advantage of quiet, uninterrupted thinking and planning time. It feels like you’re getting a head start on everyone else and gives you a strong sense of control.

When it comes to planning, it can be really helpful to create to-do lists down to the smallest tasks. It prevents you feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and it’s damn satisfying ticking things off a list. You should also set goals that you measure throughout the days or weeks. But remember, while goals give you focus, they’re pointless if you don’t measure them.


3) Use quality tools and materials.

There are several things that determine the quality of your work / results, but your tools and materials are right up there. And not only do they ensure a higher quality output for your clients, but they also save you a tonne of time along the way, meaning greater productivity.


4) Maintain a tidy and practical storage system that is easy to transport.

Given the link between productivity and success, every single way you can save time counts. An organised storage system for your workshop, trailer, van or ute is essential. Keeping your entire setup organised means you don’t waste time trying to find what you need, and it’s easy to transport so you’re not making unnecessary trips back and forth. It also, again, helps you feel in control, which is so valuable for your productivity.


5) Make less mess and clean as you go.

This one also relates to saving time. Have equipment or processes in place that minimise mess created as you work. For example, working with dust extraction cleans as you go and spares you valuable time tidying up at the end of the job. Guaranteed it’ll knock your clients’ socks off too!


6) Ensure there’s always a good playlist pumping.

It sounds simple but music is scientifically proven to boost your mood. Listening to your favourite genres or artists can energise you, and that’s energy you can channel into your work for greater and more efficient results.


7) Don’t rush. An extra minute now could save an hour later.

Being productive doesn’t mean working so fast that you compromise quality, accuracy or care. You’ve heard the old adage, ‘Measure twice, cut once?’ Rushing causes mistakes, and mistakes mean extra work or worse, down time and a loss of money. Of course, good planning and quality tools will help you here too. 


8) Minimise interruptions.

Meetings, phone calls and unplanned visits will always happen. However, if you plan properly and are able to say ‘no’ to low priority requests, you’ll find you can free up a bunch of time. Interruptions are bad for productivity because there’s a greater cost to chopping and changing what you’re doing. For example, you might choose to take a call where you end up chatting for 10 mins, but when you go to resume your earlier task, you’ll find it’ll take extra time to get back into gear. All up you might ‘lose’ 20 mins of productive work. 


9) Encourage your team / apprentices and keep it positive to ensure productive motivation.

You get the best results when you and your team want to get the best results. When this desire is born from positivity instead negativity, it will be more rewarding for all involved and much more sustainable long-term (ie greater worker retention).


10) Work to the highest standard you can and hold yourself accountable.

Many elements of success come from pursuing the highest standards; things like client satisfaction, reputation among your peers, repeat business, and a sense of pride in what you achieve. But choosing to seek the highest standard and delivering it time and time again can only be done by one person… you.


That’s it! Hopefully you can take something from this list that helps you become as successful as you aspire to become. Here at Festool we take great pride in supporting thousands of customers with high performance systems that genuinely help them find increasing success.

‘Til next time