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:
1. 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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