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By Stefan Swanepoel

RISMEDIA, Oct. 18, 2007-Productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and good organization are all key elements in achieving success. Productivity is a buzzword by which many a company decision is made; be it downsizing, promotion or expansion. Isn’t it usually the busiest person that has the track record for accomplishing the important work in the shortest time?

Improving personal productivity begins by identifying personal productivity tendencies such as: personal time-management behaviors, procrastination patterns, the tendency of others to cut into your valuable time and the need for assertiveness and constructive confrontation. Eliminating or changing non-productive behaviors can usually bring a calming effect, improved concentration and increased financial production.

This 5 Point Plan, which is taken from The Success Series ( will show you some key action steps.

1. Target Tasks: Determine the list of tasks on hand. Prioritize them based on importance, overall long-term value to the goals and short-term value propositions. Distinguish between the urgent and the non-important. Carefully evaluate the impact of each project and how other people are impacted or restricted by its completion or the timing thereof. Then select the order before dissecting each project into its basic components. Follow up by creating a to-do list for every day, every week and every project.

2. Conquer Procrastination: Identify the tasks that you are putting off and deal with them immediately. Analyze and overcome personal tendencies that lead to procrastination. Identify personal habits that impede effective time management. Analyze interruptions to reduce the tendency of others to misuse your time. Increased productivity allows you to do things that you were never able to do before.

3. Understand your Engine: Know yourself, your skills, your weaknesses and the speed with which you are able to complete projects. It might help to record your daily activities to get a sense of how you use your time. Put to use your personal creativity and originality through clarity of mind and imagination. This will increase your personal efficiency, working speed, enjoyment and work quality.

4. Maintain Motivation: Everything is life appears more complex and unattainable when you feel down and discouraged. So fix your mind immediately – you’re alive, that’s all that counts. You’re in control of your thoughts. Remember. winners don’t give up. Success is a marathon, not a sprint.

5. Build your Team: No-one has neither all the skills nor all the time to effectively, everyday do everything that needs to be done. Once you understand the power of your engine, determine how you can put it to best use. It’s your skills, talents and the ability to delegate tasks and projects to be better handled by others that directly affects your productivity. Maximizing multiple team members is one of the best solutions for improving overall and individual productivity.

It has been said that no opportunity is ever lost … someone else just seizes the ones you missed. Economist and Author Dr. Peter Drucker warns us by saying, “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” So remember you won’t reach your dreams by just dreaming. To catch your dreams, you need to put on your running shoes, switch on the engine and move forward.

This article is part of “The Success Series” by Stefan Swanepoel. He is author of 13 books and reports and can be reached at