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 byyour workload, there are steps you can take to get the situationunder control. Shale Paul, a personal effectiveness coach inTallahassee, Florida, offers these tips for taking action:

  • Take time to get organized. A cluttered workspace can betremendously distracting. "Get rid of everything that isextraneous in your workplace or office, and have an assigned placefor everything else," says Paul. "It takes time to getorganized, but it pays off in less time wasted."
  • Begin the night before. Don't wait 'til Monday morningto plan your day or week. Paul recommends setting aside time onSunday, when you're relaxed, to decide what you want toaccomplish during the week and to plan your schedule for the nextday. Then each evening, plan the following day so you start eachmorning 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 scheduleyour time.

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