Small steps can lead to big success

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Much like with exercising, becoming more productive (and therefore more successful) is possible by taking smaller steps. The key is to ingrain those steps in your brain so they become habit.

These steps include:

Taking steps - up stairs1. Cut out wasted time. I’m sure you can find 10 unproductive minutes during your day. Spend less time checking email, surfing the ‘net, or chatting on personal calls. You’d be amazed at how much of your day is wasted. Want to find out? Request your free time analysis sheet.

2. Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phones or send them to voice mail. Turn off the TV set. If the scenery outside is eye-catching, close the blinds. (Open the blinds after completing your project. That’s your reward.) Ask coworkers or kids to be quiet. Adjust the temperature in your room so it’s comfortable. You get the picture.

3. Concentrate on one idea at a time. Multitasking creates chaos in your brain, and nothing gets done on time. Focus on just one project so you can make meaningful gains. Use an agenda to bring discipline into your schedule. 

4. Clear the clutter from your desk. All those notes and other paperwork are subconsciously screaming for your attention. A clean desk allows you to focus on the task at hand.

5. Get out of the home office. Different surroundings can help you stay focused. I usually work from a library in the afternoon. Just have to get away from those familiar four walls. Many people hang out at coffee shops. Regardless of the location you choose, be mindful of others as you make phone calls. And, please, spend a few dollars if you’re going to work from a restaurant or coffee shop. The proprieter has bills and salaries to pay.

6. Do it now. Procrastination is a killer. Of course you don’t want to make a mistake. But if you wait until you have assimilated all possible information, you’ll never get anything done. Plus, part of your growth hinges on making mistakes. That’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Learning is a life-long journey. Don’t intentionally make mistakes, but don’t hold back on decision making out of fear. Odds are the decision you make will be a good one.

For related reading, see “Time management is all about guarding your time”.

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Tom Fuszard, content writer, blog writing, pr writing, web copy

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Small steps can lead to big success

  1. Tom Fuszard Post author

    Welcome, William. Yes, it all comes down to discipline. I think pride plays a factor, too. We men, especially, feel we are natually so talented that we can always do many tasks at once. It’s just not so.

    Just like the old adage, haste makes waste, so does multitasking make waste of your projects. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Tom Fuszard Post author

    Thanks, Ryan. Hey, I know from experience. There have been times when I’ve tried to make a phone call, check the cell phone for messages, and compose an email. (Had only a couple minutes.) I know it sounds like walking and chewing gum, but I had trouble concentrating on all three operations.

    So I stop and do one task at a time. Funny how everything then seems so easy.

  3. William

    First time here Tom. This is a good article. Those are difficult diciplines but once you step away from them and create habits like you said, it all becomes second nature. It’s important to keep yourself on track.

  4. Ryan Biddulph

    3 is the tip of tips Tom. Do 1 thing at a time to do the 1 thing well.

    You can only do 1 thing at a time anyway, as multi-tasking is a myth.

    The mind can only be occupied by 1 thought, feeling or act.

    You will note an instant increase in the quality of your work by focusing your mind on 1 task.

    Good stuff here, thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  5. Tom Fuszard Post author

    Thanks for the comment, Sherman. My blog columns often reflect my business practices. I decided to remind myself of some principles, and in the process offer them to the marketplace. Hope they can do some good.

  6. Tom Fuszard Post author

    Good for you, Adam. It takes discipline, but over time you will gain control of all the paperwork. One thing I forgot to mention was the ASD Principle: Act on it, Save it somewhere, or Delete it (throw it away). The idea comes from email, but it applies to postal mail as well.

  7. Tom Fuszard Post author

    Thanks, Eric. That idea was prompted by my own situation. I live on a moderately busy street. Even with the door closed, I can hear the traffic whizzing by. I usually work in the library in the afternoon. Different scenery and quiet!

  8. Tom Fuszard Post author

    Thanks, Sigrid. I, too, need constant reminders. It’s easy to become complacent.

  9. Tom Fuszard Post author

    The idea came primarily from experience, Nate. Trying to do too much at one time! Thanks for the comment.

  10. Adam Payne

    Good tips here Tom.

    I regularly clean the clutter from my desk and I like the one about not always checking your email.

    Thanks.

    Adam

  11. Sigrid McNab

    Tom, this is a super list of steps. I can see myself in all of them at one time or another. I will be referring back to this list often!

  12. Nate Leung

    I am a firm believer in accomplishing one task at a time. Multi-tasking does not get the job done. I agree with you on that. Great post Tom!

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