Increased Success in 5 Stages

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BALANCE FIRST

Blog Content:

  • Quote: ― Author Unknown

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The best way to succeed in this world is to act on the advice you give to others.

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Successful people schedule these 5 activities into all of their days

Looking at the way successful people schedule their days can help you alter your own schedule so that you can maximize your success every day of the year. With the help of studies conducted on high-achievers, we have pointed out five activities that successful people schedule into their daily routines so that you can catch a glimpse and learn a few things from people who have already seen success.

 

1) “The Morning Ritual.”

When you get your morning ritual down, you can start your day out with the same strong foundation every time you open your eyes. “Laura Vanderkam studied the schedules of high achievers,” and she discovered a few things that you may find useful. “They rise early. Almost all have a morning ritual.” The reason you want to wake up early is so that you can get your mind on the right track before any outside influences can push in and change your course of action for the day. “Before demands are made on you. Before your goals for the day have competition.” Getting your goals in line and your day in control helps you truly take charge of your day in the fashion that you want.

2) “Important Work First Thing – With No Distractions.”

Your work that is the most pressing deserves the best of your attention. “Research shows that 2.5 to 4 hours after waking is when your brain is sharpest.” This means that when you get into the office, your first few hours are pivotal to your success for the day. They are the hours when your mind has the potential to be the clearest, the most focused. “Studies show that alertness and memory, the ability to think clearly and to learn, can vary between 15 and 30 percent over the course of a day. Most of us are sharpest some two-and-a-half to four hours after waking.” Rather than scheduling all of your meetings for the morning so you can get them out of the way, schedule your time to do your work in the mornings and hold your meetings for later. Allow the problems of the day to sit on hold while you use clarity and a fresh mind to tackle the work that requires the most thinking first thing in the morning.

3) “Regroup When You Slow Down.”

The next thing that all successful people schedule into their day is time to regroup when their mind needs to take a break. Rather than attempting to push through the energy drop, they take a moment to reset their mind. “What you need next is a mini-version of your morning ritual. Review your goals and the progress you’ve made this morning.” The reason you want to stop and look back on the work you’ve done is two-fold. On one hand, you want to be able to look and see the progress you have made so you can re-evaluate what you need to do with the rest of your day. “Harvard research shows nothing is more motivating than progress.” Allow yourself some time to check out your progress for that boost of energy, and then re-apply yourself to your goals for the rest of your workday.

 

4) “Meetings, Calls and People Stuff in The Afternoon.”

If your energy in the morning is going to be spent on your own work, your energy in the afternoon can be spent on other activities that involve conversations with other people. “When energy is high, that’s when you want to focus on creative, challenging work. When energy is low, do busy work.” Therefore, you have the ability to do the busy work when your mind is less sharp. In fact, “Research shows the afternoon really is the best time for meetings – specifically, 3pm.” So stop scheduling your meetings for first thing in the morning and allow the afternoon to take up the space for that. In fact, “When tasks are dull and you’re feeling distractible, friends can make you more productive.” So the meetings you are in can actually be helpful in the afternoons, yet could be distracting in the mornings.

 

5) “A Relaxing Evening.”

“Though successful people do work long hours, the greats almost all take the evening off to recharge.” You want to work hard, and you will likely work a lot, if you want to be successful. However, just like any type of energy – you need to refuel in order to meet your maximum level of productivity the next day. “According to the American Psychological Association, the most effective stress-relief strategies are exercising or playing sports, praying or attending a religious service, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends or family, getting a massage, going outside for a walk, meditating or doing yoga, and spending time with a creative hobby.” Allow yourself the evening to engage in these stress-reducing activities so that you can lower your stress levels and recharge your batteries before they’re needed to work at maximum productivity levels the next day.

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 Jeff

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Integrity Defined in 8 Great Quotes

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 Blog Content:

  • Quote: ― Zig Ziglar
  • Article: Have you noticed that if you break integrity down it could look like “in grit”? Just what does integrity mean? A path in integrity is often not an easy path. So much can be avoided if we choose another way. We may even get grit on us. But the high road is the safest and best way.  Here are eight quotes selected from Success.com’s web sit that helped to focus me as definitions of integrety. (http://www.success.com/article/what-does-integrity-mean-anyway)

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It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one.

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Article

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
—Warren Buffett
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson“Integrity has no need of rules.”
—Albert Camus“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”
—Samuel Johnson“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity.”
—Tom Peters

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”
—Albert Einstein

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.”
—Abraham Lincoln

“I believe in integrity. Dogs have it. Humans are sometimes lacking it.”
—Cesar Millan

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 Jeff

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Goal Setting Hacks When the Motivation Weakens

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Blog Content:

  • Quote: ― Author Unknown
  • Article: Some personal thoughts on keeping goals alive.

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When the world says, “Give up, Hope whispers, Try it one more time!”

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Article

(Personal Thoughts)

Goal Setting Hacks

I love dawns!

When the sun first appears bringing a golden glow for a brief moment to the world. The sun brings each day a new beginning open to opportunity and success. The truest fact is that any constraints we have are imbedded in fear and all it brings with it. I read today a great thought to begin a year on. We begin a new book with 365 blank pages. Write a great book.

Today is for many the first workday of the year. The elation and promise of the New Year is quickly dropping as we face the same conditions as we faced a few days ago before the holiday break. I thought it might be a good time to share some guidance I have been given over the years on goals.

We set goals each year. Almost as soon as they are made, they are broken. We may make another attempt to reach the goal, but more often than not we just move on a little less for the failure. I believe the problem is less with the goal than with the process. Here are a few of my thoughts on the better ideas to remember when we approach goals.

  1. Before anything take a while to review the things you have to be grateful for and write them down.
  2. Never forget that the reason you want this change is because it is something that you both know you need to do and something that will be hard. Don’t fear that which is hard.
  3. When you take the next step DON’T set goals, establish plan to develop habits that will take you to where want to go.
  4. Write everything in the first person present. Rather than writing “I will,” write “I am.” Make it personal and something you can visualize.
  5. If the objective is going to take a long time to reach then set short term milestones that you can measure and feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.
  6. Be specific and visualize it with clarity and clear focus. Use this visualization as inspiration as well as a way to keep you on track.
  7. Always phrase with positive words not negative words. The negative will not inspire, it is the positive will inspire.
  8. Be aware of the following – a) Ridged vs. Fluid, keep it flexible; b) Sense of Accomplishment vs. Sense of Failure, remember focus on direction that can change avoiding failure; c) Scope of the Change, again flexibility is critical while keeping the end in mind; d) Keep you future I mind; e) Think in terms of broad changes rather than specific behaviors (encourage the ability to experiment); f) Think in terms of what you’d like to ADD to your life, rather than what you’d like to take away.
  9. Finally, remember when we don’t keep a habit we know that it can be changed. Persist and then you can prevail.

Wishing you a success filled year — the one you planned and executed for an expected return!

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Steps to Becoming Hyper-Efficient

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Blog Content:

  • Quote: By: Tim Fargo
  • Article: From Entrepreneur ( http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230782) giving solid advice. Love short clearly worded steps. Easier for me to remember. I know I need to remember to “reward myself” and take a moment to consider the success and not jump into the next item of my agenda without pausing to appreciate and recognize in gratitude what has been accomplished.

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“Progress and motion are not synonymous.”

The characteristic of great innovators and great companies is they see a space that others do not. They don’t just listen to what people tell them; they actually invent something new, something that you didn’t know you needed, but the moment you see it, you say, ‘I must have it.’
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/ericschmid557869.html#GoL9Lqb3hqeSVgJD.99

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By: Gwen Moran

Prepare. Grenny says the key to being effective when you have pockets of time is to be well-prepared. Know what needs to be done and the task’s priority, and be sure you have the resources at hand to complete the task. Using mobile devices and cloud-based apps allows you to access the data, applications and documents you need, wherever you are.

Consider the opportunity cost of saying “yes.” Before he accepts any commitment, Grenny takes a moment to think about what he’ll be giving up in doing so. If he accepts a speaking engagement, he may miss out on some important planning time for his business. Is it worth it?

“You must make sure that you’re spending your time on the things that are truly most important and not get caught up in saying ‘yes’ every time you’re asked to do something,” he says.

Make lists. Grenny is a list-maker. He thinks of it as a form of goal-setting. Even when he has just an hour, he takes a moment to make a list of the things he wants to accomplish during that time. This helps him prioritize tasks and also adds a sense of urgency so he doesn’t get bogged down in doing just one thing.

Reward yourself. One of the reasons people lose their enthusiasm for being efficient and productive is that it can feel like a relentless grind – there’s always more to do, he says. So, it’s important to reward yourself for sticking with it. On a recent trip, Grenny gave himself eight tasks to complete during two windows of time. Once he completed four, he rewarded himself with a trip across the street to find a gift for his wife and enjoy a walk. That kind of pick-me-up can keep you going, even when you don’t feel like being efficient.

Delegate. It’s tough to do and entrepreneurs often think it’s easier to do everything themselves, but Grenny emphasizes the importance of training your employees to handle more and more responsibility. You simply can’t do it all yourself, he says.

“If you’re not delegating everything you can that is not the best and highest use of your time, you’re actually costing your company money,” he says. “That goes for you and for your employees.”

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The CEO of Go Daddy Shares His 16 Rules For Success In Business & In Life

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Blog Content:

  • Quote: By: Thomas A. Edison

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense, squandering an irreplaceable opportunity. But when you use the moment properly, filling it with purpose and productivity, it lives on forever.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/menachemme358726.html#vgQMdQMqucwgSM5D.99
The characteristic of great innovators and great companies is they see a space that others do not. They don’t just listen to what people tell them; they actually invent something new, something that you didn’t know you needed, but the moment you see it, you say, ‘I must have it.’
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/ericschmid557869.html#GoL9Lqb3hqeSVgJD.99

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Article

Bob Parsons 16 Rules Of Success In Life & In Business

1.

 Get and stay out of your comfort zone.

I believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our comfort zone. I hear people say, “But I’m concerned about security.” My response to that is simple: “Security is for cadavers.”

2.

 Never give up.

Almost nothing works the first time it’s attempted. Just because what you’re doing does not seem to be working, doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just means that it might not work the way you’re doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn’t have an opportunity.

3.

 When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think.

There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.”

4.

 With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be.

Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of “undefined consequences.” My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, “Well, Robert, if it doesn’t work, they can’t eat you.”

5.

 Focus on what you want to have happen.

Remember that old saying, “As you think, so shall you be.”

6.

 Take things a day at a time.

No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don’t look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

7.

 Always be moving forward.

Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.

8.

 Be quick to decide.

Remember what General George S. Patton said: “A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

9.

 Measure everything of significance.

I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10.

 Anything that is not managed will deteriorate.

If you want to uncover problems you don’t know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven’t examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.

11.

 Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing.

When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.

12.

 Never let anybody push you around.

In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you’re doing as anyone else, provided that what you’re doing is legal.

13.

 Never expect life to be fair.

Life isn’t fair. You make your own breaks. You’ll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).

14.

 Solve your own problems.

You’ll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you’ll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: “You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others.” There’s also an old saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: “A wise man keeps his own counsel.”

15.

 Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16.

 There’s always a reason to smile.

Find it. After all, you’re really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: “We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”

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minion call to actionThanks and please follow the blog via email, comment, like, tweet, re-post and pin. My Facebook pages  include Jeff Halloran, WYROC and Linking Charities)

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Jeff

Advance always, retreat never!

20 Sentences That Will Change Your Child’s Life

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Blog Content:

  • Quote: By: Salvador Dalí
  • Article: The big takeaway for me on this article was the realization that these sentences will not only have the power to change your child’s life — they will change yours. Thank you Chiara for your insights. The thing is that it is not perfection that makes the difference, it is the growth in the journey and not get discouraged when we fall short of perfection. Be grateful for the opportunity to grow, don’t let your self for the interactions with others discourage you from your potential.  Here is the link to the full article and a site with great content. http://www.oomphify.com/20-sentences-that-will-change-your-childs-life/

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Salvador Dalí “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense, squandering an irreplaceable opportunity. But when you use the moment properly, filling it with purpose and productivity, it lives on forever.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/menachemme358726.html#vgQMdQMqucwgSM5D.99
The characteristic of great innovators and great companies is they see a space that others do not. They don’t just listen to what people tell them; they actually invent something new, something that you didn’t know you needed, but the moment you see it, you say, ‘I must have it.’
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/ericschmid557869.html#GoL9Lqb3hqeSVgJD.99

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Article

20 Sentences That Will Change Your Child’s Life

Have you ever heard of the ten perfections?

The ten perfections are Buddhist teachings that delineate the characteristic traits of enlightened beings. It is said that they are universally important to conducting a happy and compassionate life. Even though this philosophy comes from the Buddhist religion, every single person on Earth should adopt it and strive to be better people by perfecting each of the following ten traits:

Generosity, morality, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolution, kindness, and equanimity.

Every parent wants their child to be enlightened beings who are generous, moral, free from desires, wise, persistent, patient, honest, proactive, kind, and at peace with themselves. What better way to instill those traits into our children than to teach them the ten perfections of Buddhism through pertinent life lessons?

With that in mind, I put together a list of 20 life lessons every child should learn before venturing out into the real world.

1. Generosity

The best gift you can give to someone is your time.

The true meaning of generosity is to give your time. It’s a selfless gift because your time is a portion of your life you’ll never get back. Instead of throwing money at a charity, take the time to volunteer. Instead of giving your grandmother a quick phone call to wish her a happy birthday, take the time to bake a cake and bring it to her house. Instead of dropping your kids off at a friend’s, take them to an arcade and play video games with them.

If you want to receive, give.

Many like to believe that humans are inherently selfish. As nice as it would be to receive everything in life without ever having to give anything back, it doesn’t work that way. Everyone needs to learn the art of reciprocation. Being a taker won’t get you anywhere, while being a giver will take you plenty of places.

2. Morality

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.

Your reputation is merely what other people think of you while your character is really who you are. Having a bad reputation means nothing as long as your character is genuinely good, because only it can define you. This also works the other way around: if you have a great reputation, but if your integrity disappears behind closed doors, you’re not really a good person after all.

Judging a person does not define who he is. It defines who you are.

We all know how wrong it is to judge others, but very few of us realize how much judging others actually reflects on our own personality. Always remember this whenever you feel tempted to point out someone else’s flaws.

Always surround yourself with good people.

People with big hearts and good souls are contagious. If you hang around good people, you’ll be more optimistic, driven, and compelled to be kind to others. Also, good people will love you for who you are and support you in the good and bad times.

3. Renunciation

The true key to happiness is to be grateful for what you already have.

If you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have, you’ll feel a greater sense of contentment. Those who are truly happy in life make the best of everything they have.

4. Wisdom

Will this problem matter a year from now?

Whenever you run into a problem, ask yourself if it will matter tomorrow, next week, or a year from now. It’s a way of reminding yourself how trivial the problem really is. It also shows you that it will always get better. It’s an especially good lesson to teach bullied kids because no matter how miserable and hurt they feel right now, they have a whole future ahead of them that holds beautiful and amazing things. It will get better.

Great minds discuss ideas.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Small minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.” Don’t waste your beautiful mind on gossip or events. Use it to conjure up great ideas!

5. Energy

Never give up.

This saying gets tossed around a lot, but it’s actually solid advice everyone should follow. Just because something didn’t go the way you wanted doesn’t mean you should give up at the drop of a hat. Be persistent; it will pay off in the end.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

The late Randy Pausch said it best in The Last Lecture, “Sometimes all you have to do is ask, and it can lead to all your dreams coming true.” If you want to succeed in life and business, you must learn the art of asking. It’s simpler than you think.

6. Patience

All great achievements require time.

Those who say patience is a virtue are right. No one succeeds overnight. If you work hard and keep your eye on the goal, you will see results after some time.

7. Truthfulness

Two things matter: honesty and respect.

The foundation of any relationship is honesty and respect. Always be honest, and treat your colleagues, family members, significant other, friends, and even strangers with respect. If you neglect to do either, your character will suffer, and you will be left with very little to stand for.

8. Resolution

If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.

If you want to achieve a goal, be proactive about it. There’s no use in sitting around dreaming about it. If you’re unhappy with your job, your living arrangements, your relationships, or where you are in life, do something about it. Get up and step forward.

It’s okay to make mistakes.

No one is perfect. You’re expected to make mistakes. What matters is how you react to those mistakes. Acknowledge your mistakes, fix them, learn from them, and move on. It’s the only way to improve.

9. Kindness

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

We’re only human, and we have our own struggles. Try to remember this before you cast the first stone.

Think before you speak.

We all regret something we’ve said in the past. Contrary to the popular belief that, like sticks and stones, words can indeed hurt. A lot. Words are more powerful than you think. Use them wisely.

10. Equanimity

Always take your vacation.

Don’t wait to live your life. Enjoy it now!

If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner.

When Lao Tzu uttered those famous words, he was spot on. Don’t spend your life worrying about what others think. Do what you please, and you’ll be free as a bird.

Happiness comes from within.

Never rely your happiness on external factors, may it be your material possessions, your financial status, your job, or other people, because you’ll never be truly happy. Once you recognize that happiness comes from within, you’ll find enlightenment.

Be true to yourself.

This may seem like such a cliché phrase, but it’s actually good advice. Being true to yourself means acting in accordance with who you are and what you believe in. Don’t let anyone control your fate. Being true to yourself is probably the best favor you can ever do for yourself.

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minion call to actionThanks and please follow the blog via email, comment, like, tweet, re-post and pin. My Facebook pages  include Jeff Halloran, WYROC and Linking Charities)

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Advance always, retreat never!

11 Expert Tips To Help You Be More Productive In 2014

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Blog Content:

  • Quote: By: Menachem Mendel Schneerson

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Quote

“When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense, squandering an irreplaceable opportunity. But when you use the moment properly, filling it with purpose and productivity, it lives on forever.”

When you waste a moment, you have killed it in a sense, squandering an irreplaceable opportunity. But when you use the moment properly, filling it with purpose and productivity, it lives on forever.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/menachemme358726.html#vgQMdQMqucwgSM5D.99
The characteristic of great innovators and great companies is they see a space that others do not. They don’t just listen to what people tell them; they actually invent something new, something that you didn’t know you needed, but the moment you see it, you say, ‘I must have it.’
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/ericschmid557869.html#GoL9Lqb3hqeSVgJD.99

________________________

Article

11 Expert Tips To Help You Be More Productive In 2014

Who doesn’t want to figure out how to get more done? Or get things done more efficiently? We asked some of the most productive people we know how you can tackle the New Year’s work.

Last year I used a kitchen timer to force myself to focus; I blocked the Internet and email so I couldn’t get distracted; I set an auto-response on my email; I wrote a lot of to-do lists. I even started getting up earlier.

As you can see, I’m kind of obsessed with productivity. Which makes this the perfect place to be because our experts and journalists are constantly coming up with new methods to hack the conventional ways of working.

But trying to wade through so much coverage of how to do things more efficiently can get in the way of actually getting things done. So in the interest of saving you time, we’ve asked some of the most super-productive people with whom we work to share how they manage to accomplish so much:

Focus on one big task at a time

“It’s all too easy to get distracted by ‘work’ that takes up a lot of time and energy but isn’t ultimately changing your trajectory,” says David Rusenko, CEO of Weebly. “We see this all the time–entrepreneurs focus on the minutiae instead of just getting started, and getting something out there.”

Organize Your Day Into Time Blocks

Some people are early risers, some are night owls, while others hit their stride mid-day. Ekaterina Walter, CMO at Branderati, and author of Think Like Zuck, advises to figure out when during the day you are most productive then establish blocks of time get more focused work done. “You can even set a recurring email going out to people telling them not to expect an immediate reply to their emails during those times,” she says.

Do things you don’t want to do

“Remember this sentence, tape it to your monitor, tattoo it on your wrist: You don’t have to ‘feel like’ doing something in order to do it,” says Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.

“When I manage to remember that, I’m no longer sidetracked by trying to get into the right frame of mind for daunting projects. Don’t beat yourself up for procrastinatory feelings. Just feel them, and simultaneously direct your limbs to do the work.”

Don’t Get Paralyzed by Perfection

“A career contribution isn’t made in a single ideal moment,” says psychologist and author Art Markman. “It is a collection of good and great moments that add up over time.”

The best project is a completed project he says. “It’s easy to get paralyzed by perfection, but it’s better to get something out the door than to hold onto it for a long time hoping to remove every flaw.”

Stay in the Moment

If you feel overwhelmed (like pretty much everyone), it might not be because you have so much to do, but rather that you are trying to do too much at the same time, says Douglas Merrill founder of ZestFinance (formerly VP of Engineering at Google).

“If you’re talking to your daughter, talk to her; don’t think about email. You can’t do two things at once–it’s physically impossible for your brain to multi-task,” he says. “Even if you don’t lower your workload, doing one thing at a time will help you do better and, equally importantly, feel better.”

Put Your Brain on Autopilot for the Small Stuff

Some super productive people don’t waste their time on the small daily decisions that take up much of our brain space. Prerna Gupta, chief product officer of social music app Smule says she’s able to tackle big picture problems by eating the exact same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. She calls it “reducing decision fatigue.”

Write an old-fashioned to-do list

Sometimes the simplest methods are the best. “Every day, I write down the various tasks I want to accomplish and check them off as I go through them and complete them,” said Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School, and author of Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed and How We Can Stick to the Plan.

“Seeing the progress makes me feel good and, research says, more productive. It also helps me be a bit more realistic in understanding what I can accomplish every day, and which tasks are top priority,” she says.

Get an Accountability Partner

“The promises we make to ourselves are easy to break,” says Laura Vanderkam, frequent contributor and author What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. “It’s much harder to call a friend on Friday and inform her that ‘I failed.’” She set up weekly check-ins and which kept her motivated to complete the first draft of a novel in 2013.

Don’t Check Facebook

Drake Baer spent most of 2013 writing about productivity, and when he needed a break he says the thing that kept him going wasn’t checking social media or email. Instead, he says he goes for a walk, gets a snack to stave off hunger, or sneaks into a conference room for a brief bit of meditation.

Deal With It Only Once

Leo Widrich cofounder of social media sharing app Buffer, says Zen Habits’ author Leo Babauta taught him the following productivity tip that has transformed the way he works:

“Deal with something only once. Do it now. Then it’s off your mind, and you can fully focus on the next matter.”

He says the “deal with it only once” policy works for three of the most nagging aspects of everyone’s day: email, meetings, and requests for help. Answer all as soon as they come up and get them out of the way.

Escape Into Single-Tasking

Author and entrepreneur Faisal Hoque has mastered the art of doing one thing at a time. In fact he’s so good at “single-tasking,” that he can lose himself mundane task like vacuuming and help ground his focus for his work. “Being in the moment allows us to escape from adversity, conserve our inner energy, and be more consciously productive,” he says.

[Image: Flickr user Pasukaru76]

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