Top 10 Tips On How To Stay On The Straight And Narrow


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Do you ever wonder where the hours have gone? I sometimes do. There are times when I find it all too easy to be, as the song says, “busy doing nothing”. Well, not exactly nothing, but not exactly the activities that are the most important; the ones that would serve me and my business most at that point in time.

One of the strengths of an entrepreneur is the ability to be self-motivated, to get out there and make things happen. On the flip side… our enthusiasm for all things interesting and new, can mean that we risk going off at a tangent and spending time on things that are not really key at that point in time… the next thing we know two hours have disappeared from out day. Is it just me, or does this sound familiar to you sometimes?

So, here are some tips to help you stay on the straight and narrow and maximize the time you spend at work.

1. Plan your day around high pay-off activities

What is the most important thing for me to do today? How am I going to make money from this activity? These are two great questions to ask yourself. However, when deciding what’s most important to do today, don’t forget to include any personal things that are important to you e. g. helping your child with homework, buying a birthday card for a friend, exercising… things that will make you feel good about yourself.

2. Stay focused

Allowing yourself to be distracted prevents you from experiencing that great feeling of accomplishment… you know… the one you have when you have completed a task without getting distracted. The easiest way to stay on track is by keeping the end result in clearly mind.

3. Set specific deadlines

Have you ever noticed how things that don’t have to be done usually aren’t? If an action doesn’t merit a deadline then it might not merit a place on your to-do list at all?

4. Divide projects up

A huge project can seem too daunting to achieve, but it isn’t. Break your large projects into bite size chunks, or steps, and list each step in the order it needs to be done. Nothing will seem overwhelming ever again if you do this.

5. Use your “peak time”

Some of us are at our best in the morning, some of us in the afternoon; I even know someone who comes ‘alive’ at midnight! Whatever time of day you usually feel at your brightest and most creative… that’s the time to attack your top priorities.

6. Get help

You can do it all alone BUT it will take you longer and be much, much harder. We all need some help at times. Someone to bounce ideas off, someone to do the tasks that you hate to do; someone to do the things that need to be done, but not necessarily by you. That way you get to focus your time on what it is you do best!

7. Reward yourself

We are always ready to praise others for a job well done, but usually forget to give ourselves a pat on the back. So from now on, give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve achieved something positive and come up with some great ways to reward yourself from time to time… go on… treat yourself… it’s great for your self-motivation.

8. Feed your mind, body and spirit

Eat healthy foods, take some regular exercise, read some good books or listen to uplifting tapes, and don’t forget to take some time out for YOU. You’ll feel all the better and be all the more productive for it.

9. Don’t neglect important relationships

The relationships you have with your colleagues, friends and family are an important part of you life. The quality of these relationships is directly related to your success.

10. Be realistic

Being realistic means being aware of your limitations and your abilities. I’m all for thinking big and being bold, but allow yourself a cushion, don’t set yourself up to lose.

Copyright Anne Duncan 2006

LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE AS CONTENT FOR YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can as long as you include my Copyright and the following: By Anne Duncan, The Reluctant Salesperson's Coach. For more marketing article, quick, easy tips and great resources on marketing a professional service visit Anne's web site at


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