by Neil Fiore, PhD

1. Do the RIGHT WORK.

Decide what is your bottomline work — what is important, NOT merely urgent. Avoid the workaholic syndrome of continually putting out fires.

2. Distinguish EGO-ORIENTED WORK from RESULTS-ORIENTED WORK.

Ego-defensive work is usually unnecessary. Often 50% of some tasks can be eliminated by concentrating on what really has to be done to simply complete the task than on trying to avoid criticism or to prove that you deserve praise.

3. THINK SMALL.

Rather than overwhelming yourself with the expectation of doing 60 hours of work — or even 8 hours — to finish the job, focus on when you can find just 30 minutes to get started.

4. PREPROGRAM your brain with solutions. Each night and every Sunday evening spend a few minutes seeding your mind with the top priority task you’re start on tomorrow. When you are stuck, overwhelmed, or tired take 2 – 5 minutes to brainstorm how the job might be tackled, divided up, delegated, or reduced. Get in your mind the specific time when you will start.

5. Go from OVERWHELM TO OVERVIEW.

When you first approach a large task your mind will call for enough energy to try to finish it all at once. Use this agitated level of energy to overview the entire task and create a Reverse Calendar back from the future deadline to the starting point. Assign “start-lines” instead of deadlines to do-able segments of the task leading back to when you can start today.

6. DON’T PROCRASTINATE ON LIVING.

You cannot put your life on hold. It will backfire and reduce your efficiency and productivity. Remember to eat good, sleep good, exercise good, and make yourself leave the office for lunch, to walk, to take a break.

7. Keep the big picture in mind.

Insist on time for your life, your family, your church, your career, and your relationship with your Self. Avoid the temptation to get lost in trying to do more work. LIVE NOW, the life you’ve always wanted — a few minutes each day, a few hours each weekend — in order to keep from burning out, resenting your work, and losing motivation.

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