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Sharon Housley -- Success often means choosing productivity over procrastination, and turning potential into practice.

All of us start the day with every intention of completing a variety of tasks, but unfortunately many of us become distracted as the day moves on. Or even worse, we are tasked with crisis management, and at the end of the day we find that we have made little progress in whittling down the day's planned tasks. As well intentioned as you may be, it seems to become a routine, and one that far too many of us fall into.

It is often difficult to shift from being reactive to being proactive. But there is hope, and you need not resign yourself to an ongoing cycle of diminished productivity. By taking a few easy steps, you may find that you are able to be much more productive than before. Try some of these suggestions to help get more done...

Control

Managing time is all about self-discipline. Focus on the things that you can control, and do not be overly-concerned with those you can not. Inevitably, there will be occasions when something unexpected occurs that will interrupt your plans and disrupt your scheduled routine. The idea is to keep the interruptions to a minimum, and become proactive rather than reactive.

Reduce distractions

Minimize the distractions in your workspace. Create a work environment where you can easily and quickly locate items that you need. Remove any clutter and distractions that might hamper your productivity.

Small projects

Break large projects into smaller, more manageable parts. When faced with a large task, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and not know where to start. By breaking larger jobs down into multiple smaller tasks, they become easier to complete, and you can define a starting point and an ending point. And by doing just one smaller part at a time, it will make tackling the whole project and moving through any issues much easier.

Keep it manageable

Keep your expectations realistic. Feeling good about what you have accomplished will often motivate you to work harder and do more. But if you create unrealistic goals to begin with, you are bound to be disappointed by your progress, and you will find yourself demotivated. Well managed expectations will increase your productivity.

Do not procrastinate

Do not put off tasks that are meant to be completed right away. Procrastination seems to be an unwanted yet instinctive trait in many people. People often put more energy into avoiding a task than the energy it would take to just complete the task itself.

Done is good enough

Believe it or not, being a perfectionist can significantly hamper productivity. Sometimes you need to take a step back and realize that there are times when perfection isn't necessary, and simply being "done" is good enough.

With a few minor changes in your routines, you may find ways to improve your daily schedule and increase your productivity.

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds, and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll, audio recording and editing software.

© 2011 Sharon Housley

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