- Get in motion by eliminating the procrastinator’s best friend: “Messy Desk/Office Syndrome.” If that is something you’re plagued with, you’ll find slaying the beast a lot easier if you take what I call the “The 3 D System” approach to organization which directs that you look at what is on your desk or what is cluttering your office and either Dump it, Deal with it or Delegate it.
- Outsource everything that is not the best use of your time. Look at where you make your money, and if it’s not at bookkeeping, Web site maintenance, or writing marketing materials, for example, farm those tasks out to someone who can do them far more quickly and efficiently than you can.
- Take things from your “to-do” list and block off actual times for working on specific items. For example, 10-10:30 AM might be for returning phone calls; 1-2:00 PM for working on an article; 2-3:00 PM could be for updating your marketing plan or for researching business networking events. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get done when you assign specific times for doing things.
- Resist the temptation to answer the phone every time it rings as a new conversation will not only distract you from what you are doing, but it may lead you to abandon the task all together as you become drawn into resolving other matters. If you work alone, pretend you have a secretary and that you’ve told him or her to “hold all calls.” Then return the calls when you have both a clear mind and the time to tackle them.
- Take charge of your e-mails; don’t let them take charge of you. Resist temptation and commit to checking your in-box only twice a day: first thing in the morning and around 3:00 PM.
- Set specific, realistic goals with timelines and commit to taking at least two action steps every day.
- Avoid becoming overwhelmed by chunking every task down into manageable bite-sized pieces. Not only will you get more done, you will feel terrific as you realize how much you have accomplished.
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