How can you get twice as much work done in a day—without working any longer or harder?
1. Get organized.
Start preparing for your day the night before by writing down the things you have to get done tomorrow. There is a very clever name for this: goal-setting. So set your goals, then get them organized by order of importance. Get the difficult and disagreeable things out of the way first. Free your mind so you can concentrate on the rest of the list.
Now you’re organized. You’re accepting responsibility. You’re making commitments.
2. Show commitment.
Commitment is important. When you hit the wall—not if, when you hit the wall—if you’ve made the commitment, your first thought will be, How do I solve the problem? If you haven’t made the commitment, your first thought will be, How do I get out of this deal? Making a commitment shows that you really care about the other people there. It shows that you are dependable, and so your integrity comes through.
3. Build integrity.
When integrity is part of your life and part of you as a person, you do the right thing. When you do the right thing, you have nothing to feel guilty about. With integrity, you have nothing to fear because you have nothing to hide. With the weight of guilt and fear removed from your back, doesn’t it just make sense for you to be able to function more efficiently, now that you’re freer to do the right thing?
Emerson said, “If you would lift me up, you’ve got to be on higher ground.” Truer words were never spoken.
4. Stay positive.
Some of us are born optimistic and some are not. The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary does not have the word pessimist in it. It only has the word optimist. The good news is if you are a natural-born pessimist, you definitely, emphatically, positively can change.
To be a pessimist is a choice, because you are what you are and where you are because of what’s gone into your mind. As such, to become an optimist, you must change what is going into your mind.
So, armed with this plan, you’ll not only get to work on time, you’ll arrive a little early and immediately get started. You won’t stand around and say, “Well, I wonder what I should do now.” You can’t wait to get after it. You want to do the right thing, so you’ll get started in a hurry. Armed with enthusiasm and motivation, you’ll decisively move from one task to another.
5. Cut the chitchat.
Have you noticed that people who have nothing to do want to do it with you?
Today, when you finish one task, move with purpose to another one, and people will not block you for that five-minute gossip session. I am absolutely convinced that the listener has more to do with the gossiping than the speaker, because if you don’t listen, they’re not going to talk to you. When you move with purpose, people will step aside and let you go.
I will absolutely guarantee that you will save a minimum of an hour a day in two-, three- and five-minute increments. An hour a day is five hours per week, which is 250 hours per year—six weeks of your life. Will you use it or waste it?
What could you do with six extra weeks every year?
This article was published in March 2016 and has been updated. Photo by