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A good quick read with actionable tips to help stay productive.

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My Highlights

The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status, and happiness in life.

...your ability to select your most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task and to get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop.

An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but who gets very little done.

The first rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.

The second rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn't pay to sit and look at it for very long.

Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.

Practice is the key to mastering any skill. Fortunately, your mind is like a muscle. It grows stronger and more capable with use. With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you consider either desirable or necessary.

The Three Ds of New Habit Formation

You need three key qualities to develop the habits of focus and concentration, which are all learnable. They are decision, discipline, and determination.

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it. NAPOLEAN HILL

A major reason for procrastination and lack of motivation is vagueness, confusion, and fuzzy-mindedness about what you are trying to do and in what order and for what reason.

Step One: Decide exactly what you want. Either decide for yourself or sit down with your boss and discuss your goals and objectives until you are crystal clear about what is expected of you and in what order of priority. It is amazing how many people are working away, day after day, on low-value tasks because they have not had this critical discussion with their managers. One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.

Step two: Write it down. Think on paper. When you write down a goal, you crystallize it and give it tangible form. You create something that you can touch and see. On the other hand, a goal or objective that is not in writing is merely a wish or a fantasy. It has no energy behind it. Unwritten goals lead to confusion, vagueness, misdirection, and numerous mistakes.

Step three: Set a deadline on your goal; set subdeadlines if necessary. A goal or decision without a deadline has nor urgency. It has no real beginning or end. Without a definite deadline accompanied by the assignment or acceptance of specific responsibilities for completion, you will naturally procrastinate and get very little done.

Step four: Make a list of everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve you goal.

Step five: Organize the list into a plan. Organize your list by priority and sequence. List all tasks in the order they need to be done. Take a few minutes to decide what you need to to do first and what you can do later. Decide what has to be done before something else and what needs to be done afterward.

Step six: Take action on your plan immediately. Do something. Do anything. An average plan vigorously executed is far better than a brilliant plan on which nothing is done. For you to achieve any kind of success, execution is everything.

Step seven: Resolve to do something every single day that move you toward you major goal.

Resist the temptation to clear up small things first.

Long-term thinking improves short-term decision making.

Future intent influences and often determines present actions.

The Law of Forced Efficiency says, "There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing."

There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do.

Three Questions for Maximum Productivity

"What are my highest value activities?"

"What can I  and only I do, that if done well, will make a real difference?"

"What is the most valuable use of my time right now?"

You can get your time and your life under control only to the degree to which you discontinue lower value activities.

When every physical and mental resource is focused, one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously. NORMAN VINCENT PEALE

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. THEODORE ROOSEVELT


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