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How Can I Get More Done?

It just seems like there aren't enough hours in the day, and I find myself putting off the most important things I need to do.

It sounds like you need to learn to manage your time better. If procrastination is what keeps you from reaching your goals, then planning and scheduling your time could help speed you toward them. It takes time to plan, but it saves time and work in the long run. You'll also have a lot more peace of mind knowing that the priorities are being taken care of. The following tips have been tried and proven.

Efficiency: To be most efficient, select the most important task on your list and do it first. Making the right choices about how you'll use your time is more important than efficiently doing whatever job happens to be around.

Self-discipline: Working wisely requires an investment of thought, self-discipline, and change. You must be willing to carefully examine your attitudes and work habits, and to change whatever thinking and behavior is holding you back.

Management by objectives: This means thinking in terms of specific goals rather than in terms of procedures and regulations. Ask questions. "Exactly what are we trying to accomplish?" "Why should we be doing this?" "Is there a better way?" To achieve success, few things are more important than learning how to set goals and formulate plans to reach those goals. Writing down your goals--long-range, mid-range and short-range--requires you to be specific. That's the first step.

Be realistic: Keep your goals practical and attainable. And remember, while some goals may be realistic when you set them, life and circumstances change. You haven't "failed" if you shift a goal or change a plan when necessary.

The Big Five: One way to help yourself determine your priorities and stick to them is to list your top five goals and outline the necessary steps to achieve them. Tape this list to your mirror or put it in your work area, where you will be sure to see it every day. Keep a second copy in your pocket or purse.

Ask the Lord! The real secret of success, of course, is to pray each step of the way. If you will ask God to show you what to work on next and how to go about it, He will. He will also give you the wisdom and strength you need to get the job done, if you ask Him.

Keep trying! Don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen all at once. Old habits die hard, but every day is a new chance to do better than the day before!

Start today! What are you waiting for?