Business Success: Stay Motivated to Achieve Great ThingsBusiness success comes from knowing you’re headed in the right direction, and being prepared to seize opportunities for growth.

Success also depends on performance - doing your work with speed, efficiency, and the motivation to achieve great things.

So says Siimon Reynolds, author and coach, in this article in Forbes.

In his piece, Reynolds outlines four ways to stay motivated in your life and work.

Four Ways to Stay Motivated and Achieve Great Things

Commit to Personal Excellence

Most people have a commitment to get work done, but the desire to do so in an excellent manner is more elusive. Reynolds has found by simply deciding to do everything as well as you can (in the time you have) you end up with better results, as well as a dramatic boost to your self-respect, self-image and personal motivation.

“This commitment to excellence must be adhered to regardless of the mediocrity of the people around you,” he says. “You are choosing to be outstanding, no matter what.”

Remember Your Strong Points Every Day

As a veteran executive coach, Reynolds has found business leaders around the world “beat themselves up for their weak points” all the time. “I would say that many say at least five negative things to themselves for every one positive.” As a result, these otherwise ambitious individuals “feel defeated and not good enough.”

If you’re guilty of doing this too, he says, “this has to stop. Today.” Instead, spend two minutes every morning reminding yourself of why you’re so good (or soon to be so good) at what you do. Put down in writing why, as he puts it, “you’re so damn good.” The reasons you choose can relate to your training, experience or other positive personality attributes.

By focusing daily on your strong points, you will “forge a far more powerful sense of self, which will lead to dramatically higher motivation.”

Tell Yourself You Are Unstoppable

In his experience, Reynolds believes many business leaders work on envisioning themselves as successful, “but then find they fail often in the course of their daily work.” A conflicted self-image emerges, hampering their motivation.

Instead, by changing your view of yourself to “unstoppable,” you can hold onto a positive mind-set in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. “It may seem like a minor change, but try it for a month and you’ll see a huge lift in your motivation.

By the way, when Reynolds says view yourself as “unstoppable,” he means write the word on a Post-It note “and put it where you can see it every day.” This way, it stays in your conscious mind.

Congratulate Yourself Every Night

Ambitious people rarely acknowledge their own achievements, tending to focus instead “on the one or two things that haven’t been completed or weren’t done superbly.” This attitude eats away at one’s motivation and as a result, performance suffers.

You can counter this negative tendency by taking a couple of minutes every evening to remember “all the good stuff you got done.” When you get in the habit of listing your achievements (“however minor”), “your self-image will improve and your drive and motivation to do well the next day will be powerful.”

Motivation doesn’t just happen, Reynolds says. But he claims these four techniques have helped many business people become “super motivated” and he urges you to try them, too.

What’s your secret to stay motivated?

Tough Talk About Personal ProductivityTime for some tough talk about time management and personal productivity.

In a recent piece for Inc., management consultant Steve Tobak pulled no punches with his views on this important topic.

What used to really count for something—working, playing, thinking, feeling, etc.—“now takes a backseat to the instant gratification of distraction, addiction, self-importance, attention seeking, and minutiae.”

This could be why your personal productivity seems to have gone up in smoke.

Feeling distracted by social media? That happens, Tobak says, “because you crave a quick fix for attention.”

Lost in the jungle of your email inbox? The reason is “it makes you feel important.”

In short: “You waste ridiculous amounts of time doing things that don’t really matter because you choose to do them.”

OK, we get it.

So what’s the solution?

Here are Tobak’s blunt suggestions.

Avoid Online Activity During Work Hours

Social media in all its tweeting, blogging, posting, status updating manifestations “destroys your personal productivity.”

Unless it's a legitimate part of your job, do it away from the office and after work hours.

Respect Deadlines

If you say you have to finish a meeting by 11:00 a.m., stick to your commitment. “Deadlines force discipline. That’s why deadlines work.”

Get Your Priorities in Order

A long time ago, Tobak began classifying his to-do list according to priority. “A”= Time critical. “B”= Important. “C”= Everything else.

Start by working on your As. When those are completed, go to your Bs.

After awhile, he says, “you learn that you never get to the Cs. And you know what? It never matters.”

Say “No” Often, “Maybe” Never

It’s not easy saying “no” to people, but when you do, amazingly enough, life goes on.

Tobak offers a quick, helpful guide about what to say no to: “If it’s not a goal, a priority, important, or fun, say no.”

“Maybe” should never be part of your lexicon, he adds. Saying “maybe” to someone’s request is “just being controlling and self-important.”

Mute Your Devices

We’re only human. When we hear an email chime or some other alert from our phone or laptop, we stop whatever we’re doing to find out what’s going on. “Ignore that tug to respond right away to every request,” Tobak says.

(A more productive approach is simply setting aside a small chunk of your daily time to attend to email messages.)

“Also, never answer a call unless you’re expecting it or have time for it. Even if it’s your boss.”

Work from Home

Look at your schedule. Do you find your time mostly taken up by meetings? Maybe that’s why it seems you can never get anything done. Tobak does much of his work at home, “a lot of my strategizing and thinking, too.”

You make your own choices, and set your own priorities. If you turn away from all the distractions of daily life, it turns out “you have way more control than you realize.”

How do you cope with personal productivity drain?

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