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Monday, May 11, 2009

Increasing Personal Productivity

My new goal is increased personal productivity. Almost immediately, this morning, I observed myself sliding off track with what I was planning for my day. However, it was a Monday morning, and there were messages to be dealt with from over the weekend..... Note to self: Monday mornings must include message response time and phone call time.

Now I am back on track.

Gregory A. Dale Ph.D. (Professor of Sport Psychology and Sport Ethics at Duke University and Director of Mental Training and Co-Director of the Leadership Program for Duke Athletics), on dealing with distractions, says: “Even when you can't prevent them from happening, you can learn to respond to them. Athletes of all ages and abilities are constantly being forced to cope with all kinds of distractions. Unless they learn to deal with them, they are going to experience a frustrating drop-off in performance.”

In my capacity as writer and self-employed businessperson, I am an athlete, of sorts. I run a race every day – all day. I can't afford a frustrating drop-off in performance. I face the fact of distractions – internal and external – just as athletes face. Now, how can I deal with them successfully?

Chris Yeh, writer and Harvard Business School MBA, writes that you can run from, hide from or fight distractions, and he provides practical advice on how to do that. His final sum-up is this: “The key to making this strategy work is iron willpower. You have to take a stand and stick with it, no matter how reasonable the arguments against your stand may sound.”

So that is what it comes down to – self-discipline, which is, of course, how successful people succeed. Tomorrow: the concept of self-discipline.

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