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Tip 200: How'd You Do?

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200.

How'd You Do?

Nine weeks and 199 tips ago, we started by asking you to set some goals. We asked you to reflect on what you wanted in your work and your life. We then challenged you to target areas where, by increasing your productivity, you could make the most of both the time you work and the time you play.

And then we delivered six experts--in time management, leadership, technology and mobile tech, money, work space and work/life balance--to give you 200 concrete pieces of advice to help you be more productive. Now it's time to revisit your goals and see how you fared.

As we said when we introduced this series, "200 Ways to Be More Productive in Life, and in Business," it's critical that you chase the right rainbow--one that will make you happy, fulfilled and energized. It's easy to fall into the trap of either chasing the wrong one--one set by your family or your peers, or one you just happened see--or not giving yourself credit for the successful steps you take along the way. That's why your goals should be specific and measurable, and the process should be ongoing.

So how'd you do? Go back to the goals you set on day one, Tip No. 1: Know Who You Are and Know What You Want. Did you accomplish all that you set out to do?

If you did, give yourself a great big pat on the back, keep up the good work and, by all means, be an inspiration to others by sharing what you've learned with other entrepreneurs via Twitter or on our Facebook page.

But if you haven't quite made it yet...well, you're probably not alone. Dr. David Javitch, our leadership expert, offers these ideas to help you get back on track:

1. Rethink your goals. Do an objective assessment of what you intended to accomplish. Ask yourself these questions: Was I shooting too high with my aspirations? Am I capable of meeting those goals? What went wrong? Do I need more resources--people, time, money and/or equipment?

2. What will my revised goals look like? What can I do differently to ensure that this time I will make it?

3. Ask someone you trust to give you some insight into what went wrong.

4. Set interim goals to check your progress on your new or revised ambitions. That way, you can redirect your approach before the deadline arrives.
Finally, never stop looking for inspiration. During the course of our productivity program, we heard great comments from so many of you, including @NikaStewart ("Remember that good enough is good enough and just get something out. Fight perfectionism and get so much more done!") and @Wabisabibklyn ("Set a timer and alternate 40 minutes on different tasks: computer, noncomputer. Good for work--and blood flow!").

We're all human, and it will always be easier to do nothing than to do something--to cling to the familiar rather than try something new. But if you want to lead a happier, healthier and more productive life, you need to be on a constant quest for ways to work smarter, not harder.

By the way, our tips aren't going to disappear. Feel free to read and reread them. Follow other productivity gurus, too. You can't go wrong with Lifehacker.com and Makeuseof.com. What are your favorite productivity sites? Sharing is good.

In the meantime, we hope to see you poolside, or at the gym, or on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine if your goal is to achieve that level of success.
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