by Colleen Kettenhofen
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving.
They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
One key to greater business success and personal success is the ability to effectively manage your time, overcome procrastination, and double your productivity. Here are six simple strategies that will guarantee your success if you practice them on a daily basis.
- Get rid of clutter. Too much “stuff” in your office and inside your home clutters your mind, creates confusion and exacerbates stress. Start by cleaning only one rea at a time. What items do you have that either need to be donated, sold, or put back where they belong? As you’re cleaning and putting things away, say to yourself, “Everything has a place.” This is a phrase I often heard by my dad while we were cleaning up and it still rings in my ears every time I clean! What clothes do you have that you haven’t worn in a year? Where by some miracle you’re hoping to fit into them again? Donate these items to a local charity. What piles of paperwork are lying around that need to be filed? Studies show that 85% of everything that gets filed away never gets looked at again. If this is the case, consider starting an archives file. You’ll feel more energized, less stressed and more self-confident when you eliminate clutter.
- What’s going on outside you is a result of what’s going on inside you. What self-limiting beliefs do you have about your skills, aptitudes and abilities? Be honest with yourself and write them down. You don’t have to share them with anybody. The average person has 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. When we talk to ourselves about ourselves, much of that self-talk is negative. As the saying goes, “How many times in a day do we ‘should’ all over ourselves with everything that we should be doing?” So get rid of the “shoulds.” Become more aware of your thoughts.
- Enroll in a sunrise semester. Spend 30 to 60 minutes a day first thing in the morning reading motivational, inspirational or other pertinent information related to your chosen field. Your subconscious mind is most amenable to suggestion first hour upon arising, and that last hour before bedtime. As John Wooden once said, “If I am through learning I am through.” Stay current and constantly upgrade your skills. Learn more to earn more. Invest at least 3% of your income in personal and professional books, CD’s, e-books and teleseminars. If you’re pressed for time listen to CD’s in your car on your way to work, picking up the kids, or driving to and from the supermarket. Attend seminars and conferences no matter what the distance. It is worth the investment in keeping you self-motivated.
- Become more self-disciplined. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people make themselves do things unsuccessful people don’t want to do. It’s that simple. Once you start an important task, discipline yourself to keep going. Focus on it single-mindedly until it’s complete. Be more aware of your every day habits and what distracts you. Make a list of the activities you engage in that are a waste of time. Resolve to eliminate them altogether or delegate them to someone else. Start by determining which activities only you can do. These are the ones you must do. Outsource everything else. The ability to determine where you should spend the majority of your time and then complete those tasks can have more impact on achieving your goals than anything else.
- Work faster. Compete with yourself. Make it a game. Resolve to work more effectively and efficiently throughout your work day. Try arriving to work earlier and leaving a little later. Many business people in my speaking engagements tell me they get so much work accomplished when they arrive to work at the crack of dawn. No one else is in the office and there aren’t distractions. Try this at lunch as well. Everyone leaves from noon to one in the afternoon. Cut back on frivolous time wasters such as talking with co-workers around the water cooler and other idle chit chat. This will free up your time for the things you really enjoy, like spending time with your friends, family and loved ones.
- Review your values and priorities and make sure your goals are consistent with what’s important to you. Otherwise, no matter how much you think you want something, you won’t work hard to achieve it if it’s not in line with your core values. Write down each individual goal you think you want. Is it consistent with giving you greater peace of mind and happiness? For example, values that are important to me in terms of work are helping others, freedom, creativity and flexible hours. A corporate job where I’d sit in an office all day would make me unhappy no matter how much it paid. So start by clarifying your values
Success means many things to different people. In powering up your performance for greater success, first determine what you really want…and why. For example, do you really want a new car out of necessity, or is it to compete with the neighbors next door? No matter how much effort you put into achieving your goals, if they don’t fit in with what’s really important to you, you’ll find ways to procrastinate or sabotage. It’s easier to be self-disciplined when you’re passionate about something and it fits in with your core values.
“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying
to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.”
Malcolm S. Forbes
May 4, 2005
You are free to reprint or repost this article for use in your newsletters, association publications, or intranet provided Colleen Kettenhofen’s contact information (name, website, and email) is included with the article. Colleen Kettenhofen is a Phoenix, Arizona motivational speaker, trainer, & co-author of “The Masters of Success ,” featured on NBC’s Today Show, along with Ken Blanchard and Jack Canfield. For free articles, video clips, and e-newsletter, visit http://www.ColleenSpeaks.com. Colleen’s area of expertise are leadership, managing people, life balance, difficult people, presentation skills. Colleen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions and seminars.
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