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Planning Ahead For Productivity, Part 1

Don't-leave-it-till-the-last-minute tips that'll get you in gear.

If you tend to procrastinate or find yourself overwhelmed by your workload, there are steps you can take to get the situation under control. Shale Paul, a personal effectiveness coach in Tallahassee, Florida, offers these tips for taking action:

  • Take time to get organized. A cluttered workspace can be tremendously distracting. "Get rid of everything that is extraneous in your workplace or office, and have an assigned place for everything else," says Paul. "It takes time to get organized, but it pays off in less time wasted."
  • Begin the night before. Don't wait 'til Monday morning to plan your day or week. Paul recommends setting aside time on Sunday, when you're relaxed, to decide what you want to accomplish during the week and to plan your schedule for the next day. Then each evening, plan the following day so you start each morning knowing what you're going to do.
  • Prioritize your plans. Not all tasks are of equal importance, effort or duration, so keep your priorities in mind as you schedule your time.

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