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How To Get More Work Done In A Day
By Zig Ziglar
How do you achieve employment security in a world where there is no employment security? I start with a question: Do you consider yourself to be honest and at least reasonably intelligent? Okay. As an honest, intelligent person, do you, as a general rule, get about twice as much work done on the day before you go on vacation as you normally get done?
Now I am going to ask you a long question, so stay with me all the way through. If we can figure out why and learn how and repeat it every day without working any longer or any harder, does it make sense that we will be more valuable to ourselves, our company, our family and our community? The answer is "Yes."
I want to make it crystal clear that I am communicating with you about you-I'm not referring to anybody else, but to you about you. You have undoubtedly already confessed that you are honest and intelligent.
Now on the night before the day before vacation, do you get your laptop or a sheet of paper out and plan, "Now tomorrow I've got to do this and this...." We've coined a very clever name for that--we call that goal setting. So, you set your goals. Then you get them organized in the order of their importance.
Let me encourage you to make one slight change there. Get the disagreeable and difficult things out of the way first. Free your mind so you can concentrate on what else you have got to do. You get it organized. You accept responsibility. You make the commitments. You know that some people are about as committed as a Kamikaze pilot on his thirty-ninth mission-they just aren't serious about it.
Now commitment is important whether it is to get your education, make
one more call, keep the marriage together or whatever. Commitment is
important because when you hit the wall-not IF, but WHEN you
hit the wall--if you have made a commitment your first thought is,
"How do I solve the problem?" If you haven't made the
commitment your first thought is, "How do I get out of this
deal?" And we find literally what we are looking for.
Have you ever participated in organized team sports? Did you ever go home one night and say to your parents something like, "Mom, Dad, you won't believe the game plan the coach has worked out. Man alive, it is incredible. We're going to kill those suckers tomorrow. You can count on it." You were optimistic simply because you had a plan of action, and likewise you are optimistic that tomorrow you are going to be able to get all of the things done that need to be done before you can go on that vacation.
Now some of us are born optimistic, and some are born pessimistic. For your information, the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary does not have the word pessimist in it. It has the word optimist. Now I am a natural born optimist. I really am. I would take my last two dollars and buy a money belt with it. That's the way I'm put together. But the good news is if you are a natural born pessimist, you definitely, emphatically, positively can change. You are a pessimist by choice because you are what you are and where you are because of what's gone into your mind. You can change what you are; you can change where you are, by changing what goes into your mind.
Anyway, on the day before you go on vacation you not only get to work on time, you are a little early and you immediately get started. You don't stand around and say, "Well, I wonder what I ought to do now." You can't wait to get after it. You want to do the right thing so you get started in a big hurry. You are enthusiastic about it. You are highly motivated. You decisively move from one task to another.
Now I am going to camp on this one for just a moment. Have you noticed
that as a general rule people who have nothing to do want to do it with
you? It's true, isn't it? Now, on this day before vacation, when you
finish one task you move with purpose to another one. And people just
will not block you for that two-minute gossip session or four-minute or
five-minute or six-minute chat.
Focus on the issue at hand. Discipline yourself to stay with it until you finish. Sybil Stanton gave me the best definition of discipline I have ever read in her book, The Twenty Five Hour Woman. "Discipline isn't on your back needling you with imperatives. It is at your side encouraging you with incentives."
Treat every day like it's the day before vacation and you will get
more work done!
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