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1 Ten Keys to High Productivity by Mary Jo Wehniainen One of the best ways to increase your earning power, enjoy your life, and have a greater sense of selfesteem, self-respect and pride is to manage your time wisely. Here are ten simple practices that when implemented should make an immediate and dramatic change in your level of personal productivity. 1. Make a decision. Everything begins with a decision. It’s either a decision to begin doing something new … or a decision to stop doing something old. We all have habits we’ve wanted to change for a long time. We’re bored because we haven’t decided to begin something exciting. We’re poor because we haven’t decided to become rich. We’re out-of-shape because we haven’t decided to begin a smart exercise routine. Have you ever made a clear decision to go from being inefficient to highly productive? If not, this is the perfect time! 2. Develop clear goals and objectives. You should be able to state at any time exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Your goals and objectives should also be written out clearly and in great detail. Make sure to include a proposed date of completion. Until they are written down in this form, they are nothing more than a wish. But once you’ve taken the time to write them out, as well as a plan for their accomplishment, magic begins to happen. The only thing left for you to do is to make sure you’re taking action that is moving you closer to your goals on a daily basis … and you’ll be amazed at how quickly things can materialize for you. The key is being "crystal clear" on what you want to accomplish. 3. Plan every day in advance the night before. If you plan your day the night before, as you sleep your subconscious will go to work on your behalf preparing you in advance to accomplish your goals the next day. This way when your feet hit the floor in the morning, you won’t waste any time thinking about what you need to do. All of your energy will be focused on and devoted to the important tasks at hand, without giving it a second thought. This also gives you a great sense of being in control. 4. Always think on paper. Before you begin any project, particularly while it’s still in the planning stages, work on paper. It sharpens your thinking, stimulates creativity, and saves time as you plan out the steps. Don’t risk forgetting an idea or miss taking advantage of your own creative resources that come from this simple practice. You’ll be amazed at the clarity you can develop as you get use to working out all of your thoughts on paper. 5. Constantly ask yourself: "What’s the most valuable use of my time right now?" You should know clearly at any moment the most important items you need to be working on. Once you become clear on your highest-value tasks, you should then work to become more efficient at those. This combination, making sure you focus on your high-income producing tasks … and working to become more proficient at executing them, can cause you to double or triple your productivity. You’ll also inevitably increase your earning potential! 6. Work during your high-energy peaks. Some people are brighter and more alert in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some late at night. Identify when you’re at your best, and schedule your most important tasks during this time, particularly those which require high levels of creativity. 7. Handle things once. 2 List all of the items that must be accomplished during your day. Pick one at a time, in order of priority, and see it through to completion. Resist the urge to do a little and put it down. Each time you complete a project, no matter how small, you’ll have a great sense of accomplishment. Do the same with every piece of paper or correspondence that crosses your desk. Look at it, evaluate it and make a decision what to do the first time you handle it. My motto is, "Do it, delegate it, or dump it". 8. Work in a clean and organized workspace. Before you begin any project, get everything out of your way except the items you’ll be using. When your desk is entirely clear with the exception of the items you need for your project, you’ll be able to focus much better on the task at hand without any distraction. Make sure the rest of your work area is organized as well. A tremendous amount of time is wasted each day when you have to search for items you need. (Being organized helps you feel more in control of your entire life in general!) 9. Develop a sense of urgency. One of the traits most commonly found in highly successful people is a sense of urgency. They value their time, and do things quickly. Having a sense of urgency and getting things done fast will cause you to move up through the ranks faster than others around you. Whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, this is a habit that is well worth adopting. 10. Maintain balance in your life The reason you’re working is to earn the money you need to enjoy your life. You want to be healthy, fit, peaceful, prosperous, and have lots of time for the people and things most important to you. Many times people become so preoccupied with their work that they lose sight of why they’re working in the first place. Don’t let this happen to you! Schedule at least one day a week when you don’t work at all. Make sure you include time each day for your own personal health and well being, whether it’s exercising, reading, or some other hobby that you enjoy. Plan time to be with the people who are most important to you on a regular basis. The keys to balance are simple. Your happiness, your homelife, your health, and your peace of mind should be your priorities. I hope you find these ten points helpful … and I’m excited to hear what happens for you when you begin to put them into practice. I know from personal experience that the pay-off is tremendous! Ten Keys to High Productivity. All Rights Reserved © Copyright 2001 Mary Jo Wehniainen is an internationally recognized professional business coach, sales trainer, motivational speaker, and mother of five small children. She works with business owners, executives and entrepreneurs to reach and surpass their goals while maintaining a balanced, full and rewarding life. Visit http://www.VirtualSuccessCoach.com and be sure to sign up for her free weekly newsletter.
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