Most of us are time poor. The fundamental difference that I see between people who are successful and those who are not, is that successful people decide on a plan and then execute it ruthlessly.

Managing our time well will become a critical skill we develop if we follow 3 simple steps every day. This discipline needs to be an ongoing process (a ritual) we follow no matter what to keep us focused on our priorities throughout the day.

3-steps-to-success Here are the 3 steps that you can take to ensure you have a productive and successful day.

STEP 1: Take 5 Minutes to Set a Plan for the Day. Before you even turn on your computer, sit down with a blank piece of paper and decide what will make this day highly successful. What can you realistically accomplish that will further your goals and allow you to leave at the end of the day feeling like you’ve been productive and successful? Write those things down and focus on the top 3 most important tasks you MUST complete.

Now, most importantly, take your calendar and schedule those things into time slots, placing the hardest and most important items you need to complete at the beginning of the day before you even start checking your email (which will inevitably become a major distraction that will de-focus you!). If your list of 3 does not fit into your calendar, reprioritize your list to the most important 2 activities.

Remember, there is tremendous power in deciding when and where you are going to do something and sticking ruthlessly to that plan.

STEP 2: Check and Refocus Every Hour. Set your watch, phone, or computer to ring every hour. When it rings, take a deep breath, look at your list and ask yourself if you spent your last hour productively on the 3 tasks you identified as being critical to complete. Then look at your calendar and deliberately recommit to how you are going to use the next hour. Manage your day hour by hour – don’t let the hours manage you.

STEP 3: Take 5 Minutes to Review Your Day. Shut off your computer and review your day before you finish work or leave the office. What worked? Where did you focus? Where did you get distracted? What did you learn that will help you be more productive tomorrow?
Decide what you need to do differently and make sure you employ what you learnt today to help you be more focused, productive and successful tomorrow!

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