Monday, October 20, 2008

Your Self Improvement Guide to Success

By Gen Wright

Everybody wants to be successful in school, love or career. However, to achieve success, you need to work hard, have a positive outlook in life, and you must be willing to take risks. If you already have these traits but still do not have an idea where to start, here is a self-improvement guide to assist you to achieve success.

Identify the importance of success. You should have a clear definition on what success means for you. Set realistic goals that have quantifiable standards. It is better to concentrate on targets that can be achieved realistically, which can give you the feeling of satisfaction and confidence.

Observing successful people can have a great effect on how you look at life. Successful people can give you motivation, allowing you to work harder and follow the path they took. Spend time with these people, be an assistant and ask advice. You can learn so much by observing, studying and doing things that successful people do.

Do not be afraid to take risks. Get out of the box and learn new things. You cannot be successful if you do not aim high and act high. Do not wait for opportunities to knock on your door. Step out and look for them. In any aspect in life, successful people gamble. They make big decision and big investments. Risks are part of our lives and you have to face them. However, make sure to study the odds clearly and if you think that the consequences are good for you, go for it. Be daring.

Giving up should never be an option. Be persistent and do not stop just because you made a mistake or you failed. Failure will always be a part of success. Every successful person has experienced failure one way or the other. One thing that separates them to everybody else is their persistence to work harder and explore for better solutions. Think of answers to your questions. To achieve success, one must be willing to search for solutions even how difficult it may seem. Try every possible way by being creative.

You must believe in yourself at all times. Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. Develop those strengths and work on your weaknesses. You should know what things you are capable of accomplishing so that you can set realistic goals. Always have a positive attitude in life. If you believe that you can do anything and you can do better, you can be motivated to work on it and be successful.

Change is the only constant thing in life. Learn to accept changes as part of your success. If you think that the life you have now is not what you want, make a change. Change your attitude, your priorities and your plans. If you want to be successful in life, you must have the spirit to face every change you may encounter.

If you want to succeed, work hard on it. Never expect good things to come your way if you are not doing anything good. Success comes with uphill struggle, determination and sacrifice. You may need to add more time at work, more things to do, more problems to solve. This self-improvement guide is just one way to help you focus on your goal for success and the decision to act on it is in your hands.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Get More Done with a Great To-Do List

By Mike McCoy

Every business owner — every person, really — can benefit from using to-do lists, but most people don't know the right way to use a task list so that they can really get the most out of their day.

Most people just write down everything they can think of that they need to do in a particular day, as well as things they'd maybe like to do or things they think they should do but don't really want to. There's no effort to prioritize and thus you don't know where to start, what to focus on and what to ignore.

The result? A big mess of stress and an unproductive day.

The key to a to-do list that really works is taking a good, hard look at everything on your list and deciding if it really needs to be done that day and if you're really the person to do it.

When evaluating your to-do list, think about your goals for your business and what you want to accomplish this week, this month and this year as well as this day. If you've got a to-do list filled with things that don't bring you closer to your vision, see what you can to do put off (even permanently if possible) some of those tasks.

Think also about what things you can delegate to an assistant (in person or virtual) or pay someone else to do. Many cities and towns have errand services that can pick up your dry cleaning or do your shopping for you at a much lower price than your hourly rate.

While you're at it, remove any "shoulds" from your list. You know the shoulds — the things you feel like you really ought to do but you just don't have any enthusiasm (or time) for them. If you've overcommitted to something or someone you don't want to be committed to, be honest and up front. Remember, "I'm too busy" is a fine reason not to do something you don't want to do!

Finally, rank those tasks that are left in order of importance. What absolutely, positively has to be done today? Give those an "A" rank. "B" tasks are things it would be great to do today, such as the small beginning steps of projects that will need to be done later in the week. "C" tasks are low-priority; there's no deadline attached so you don't need to worry about them today unless you have time.

This whole process should take just a few minutes and will give you a much better idea of how you really need to spend your time today.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

20 Key Time Management Tips

By Sharon Alexander

Learning how to manage your time isn't always easy. This is because many times, people get caught up in devising time management methods and then have little time left to complete the actual tasks.

There are simple steps you can take that allow you to focus the majority of your time completing tasks at hand. Once you start repeating these steps, they will become part of your daily routine and you will never have to think about them again.

Time management is more than re-arranging your time, it's a way to manage your day in order to reduce stress, meet necessary deadlines and become more successful in your job.

Below, you will find 20 tips that can help you manage your time during the day and allow you to have more free time in your life:

- Create a list of daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks so you can determine the best ways to complete them

- Prioritize tasks so the most important ones are completed first

- Group similar tasks together in order to get them done faster

- Use technology such as email, voice mail, electronic calendars, etc. to save time

- Arrange meetings a few days in advance so everyone is aware of them

- Set weekly and monthly goals that are realistic

- Delegate responsibilities if possible

- Plan ahead as much as possible

- Try to make important decisions as soon as possible

- Determine which tasks take up the most time and try to find ways to increase productivity in those areas by delegating, rethinking your goals or finding time saving ways to complete the task in less time

- Form time management habits such as checking your email as soon as you arrive to work each morning or finishing paperwork in the afternoon

- Organize your office so everything you need is within reach or accounted for. Order supplies before you run out so you don't have to track them down later on

- When waiting for a client, get some work done such as reviewing documents, updating your calendar or planning another meeting

- Designate specific times during the day for returning or making phone calls

- Keep your desk and the rest of your office clutter free by putting all files, books and other paperwork away before you leave each day. Rinse out coffee mugs or throw away uneaten food items as well

- Don't over schedule your day as this may cause conflict. Be as flexible as possible when it comes to last-minute meetings

- Don't put large projects off until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to complete them

- Ask for help when you need it

- Try not to procrastinate

- Update all phone numbers, email and other contacts using a spread sheet program when you receive any change notifications.

These are basic tips that anyone can learn to use when trying to manage their time wisely. Keep in mind that some days will just be busier than others, so just try to do your best each day.

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