Lasting Results

We’ve all had the experience of spending a day or a weekend “getting organized”, feeling really great about it, and then before we knew it, things were back to the way they were before. What happened? Why didn’t the good results last?

How can we end 2005 seeing the Lasting Results we want in our lives? How can we really be more organized—and most importantly—more productive with greater peace of mind?

Some simple adjustments can make a big difference.

First, we need to “Get Real.” Our results are dependent on our actions. Choose one thing that is really nagging at you. Ask yourself: What am I willing I do to get rid of that “nagger” and make a real improvement in my life?

appointments with yourself to work on critical tasks. Treat them as importantly as an appointment with someone else.

Have Focus time regularly (no email, no interruptions during your prime energy/work time) to concentrate on most important projects, etc.) Spend 20% of your time (that’s only 96 minutes of an 8-hour day) doing what brings 80% of your most important results. Usually the hardest part is just starting. Even if you’re not “ready,” nudge yourself to keep that appointment with yourself. It’ll get easier with time.

Allow 20-30% more time than you think a project will take. Build in some slack to reduce stress, allow for inevitable interruptions or problems, and boost your quality of work and life.

Have only your current project on your desk.

Put things away throughout the day, and/or allow a few minutes at the end of each day.

Process Inbox papers daily or weekly; don’t let stuff “live” there.

Do a Weekly Review (Friday morning?) to check project status, goals, priorities, tie up loose ends, plan for the next week, and be mentally free for the weekend!

Continually assess how you use your time, what serves your highest priorities. Make adjustments. Give yourself the time and quiet you need.

Know that progress (Lasting Results) comes little-by-little. Don’t beat up on yourself if you don’t do things perfectly the first time, or the first month, or however long it takes to form a new habit. Be patient with yourself, keep at it, you’ll get there and be free to do what you do best!™

Quality of Life

Timers can be so freeing! It sounds like the opposite would be true, but when you know your “automated reminder” will remember for you, you can relax and do whatever you need or want to do. You can concentrate, be free to live in the moment and have peace of mind, knowing you will be on time for your next appointment or project.

Use the reminder tone in your computer program, or PDA, or a kitchen timer. You can get Alarm Clock software free from Go to the Software button, then scroll down the left column to Alarm Clock. No ads, or anything—just a reliable, unobtrusive little helper.

Timers are also great for getting us to do things we keep putting off. If we know we can just spend 15 or 30 minutes on that dreaded task, we’re more likely to do it. We may continue if we’re “on a roll,” or we can stop and feel good about having kept our commitment and made progress. Schedule another session the next day or week until the project is finished.

Let timers take the burden off your mind so you are Free to do what you do best

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”
~ General Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army General


nancyNancy Hagan, Effective Executive LLC, works with business leaders who want to be more effective and productive, and focus on their highest priorities. Please contact Nancy at or (513) 899-9949. For information about workshops and other services, visit