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By Craig Lock


Ask yourself:

1. Does what I am doing add value to my life (and times of pure fun and relaxation are essential too)?

2. What will happen if I don't do it?

3. Can I delegate it?

4. Can I spend less time on it?


1. Telephone Interruptions

2. Drop-in Visitors

3. Meetings

4. Crisis Management

5. Lack of Objectives, Priorities a Daily plan

6. Cluttered Desk, Personal Disorganisation.

7. Ineffective Delegation

8. Attempting too Much at Once

9. Lack of Clear Communication

10. Inadequate, Inaccurate Delayed Information

11. Indecision and Procrastination

12. Confused Responsibility and Authority.

13. Inability to Say "No".

14. Leaving Tasks Unfinished

15. Lack of Self-Discipline


1. Planning (lack of).

2. Priorities (lack of)

3. Telephone interruptions

4. Disorganisation/cluttered desk

5. Procrastination

6. Visitors

7. Lack of Self Discipline

8. Ineffective delegation

9. Attempting too much

10. Inability to say 'No'

The 80/20 Principle:

20% of activity gives 80% of results and 80% of activity gives 20% of results (known as the Pareto Principle).

* Focus on the important few activities, not the trivial many.

* Don't procrastinate

* The key is self discipline.

* "First we make habits, then habits make us."


Get the news only once a day - in only one form - read the paper or watch television or listen to the radio, but vary the form so you don't get the news through one bias. Don't worry about or spend time on things irrelevant to you, eg.. reading every bit of the newspaper.

Unless it is crucial for your business, the news is not only depressing (don't worry about it, unless you can do something about it), but it gives a distorted picture of life.

If you can't sleep, don't waste time lying in bed. Get up and do something.

Use an answer phone.

Walk out of a poor movie or show. You've already wasted the money - so don't waste the time as well.

Plan your leisure. Don't expect your free time to fall into place by itself. Plan your weekends as carefully as you plan your weeks...and it's OK to do nothing.

Don't read a book, just because it has been given to you - if it doesn't interest you, give it to someone who would be interested.

Stop going to social events you would rather avoid - life's too short. On the other hand, don't miss a social event you would enjoy just because you feel tired.

If you enjoy something it revitalises you. But remember - there is usually work tomorrow!

"Never hurry - and don't worry - and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers."
- Walter Hagen, American Golfer

"What I do with this day is important, because I have exchanged a day of my life for it."

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop."
- Ovid

I like the words of the Simon and Garfunkel song:

"Slow down, don't you go so fast" from 'Feeling Groovy'. Not that I feel that way here in "Sleepy Hollow" in the beautiful country that is Godzone!

So just take and plan your time carefully.
Always remember,

"Yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note, today is ready cash - use it well."


Craig Lock


About the Author:
Craig Lock has written extensively in the field of self help. This extract is from his first published book HANDBOOK TO SURVIVE - a collection of writings on various subjects to help every man or woman survive in a rapidly changing, uncertain world. HANDBOOK can be purchased at:

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