1 Think about a solution to a problem rather than complaining about it. Try to spend just 20% of your time devoted to a problem on dwelling and complaining about it and use 80% of the time to finding a solution. Many people do the complete opposite.
2 Focus on the future, don´t dwell on mistakes of the past. Yeah, there where mistakes and you might have regrets. But it´s over now and neither you or this is your past. This is now. Allow yourself to keep your eyes on the opportunities of today and of tomorrow.
3 Read one hour a day - If can´t find a free hour of time, then find small patches of time. I like to listen to audio books on personal development while riding the bus and doing the dishes. These small patches of time will quickly add up and increase your knowledge. Gaining knowledge through audio books will probably become even easier as the audio book is really making a breakthrough. At least here in Sweden as it´s been named the Christmas-gift of the Year for 2006.
4 Communicate clearly - Avoid miscommunication. Be clear on what tasks your boss wants you to do, and in what order. If you´re the boss, communicate clearly what you want to have done. It might be useful to have the people in your team repeat back what´s been said. That way everyone is sure that they have the same interpretation of what is to be done before you get started. Then, while working, get continual feedback so you can readjust your plans if necessary and nip potential problems in the bud.
5 Keep at it until it´s done - When you really get into a task you will be more efficient and most likely do a better job. If you jump around between a lot of half-finished tasks you will lose time every time you start working at it again. It takes a number of minutes to get into what you were doing, what information and tools you need for the job and so on. Keeping at it until a task is completed will also boost your sense of self-esteem and, over time, strengthen your self-discipline.
6 Don´t beat yourself up - It´s normal to feel bad sometimes. And it´s useful to take with you lessons learned from your mistakes so you don´t keep repeating them over and over. But if you keep beating yourself up after those initial bad feelings it serves no-one. You will keep feeling like crap for no good reason and the people around you will also be affected in a negative way.
Then, why do we do it? Well, perhaps it´s just an old habit that we keep on doing to strengthen our sense of self. Maybe it´s a way to feel important and to get the care and attention of others. But in the end we are just wasting our time and our life with it.
7 Create small rewards for yourself - Some examples: promise to yourself an ice-cream after you have made 20 phone calls. Or, after reading three chapters for the next history-exam, taking a refreshing walk in the park. This might seem a bit too simple to work, but creating a small motivation for yourself can be surprisingly effective. And it will make you better at completing one task at a time and decrease the urge to constantly switch between a whole bunch of them.
8 Take a break - You won´t be effective if you don´t take a relaxing break once in while. If you keep on pushing and pushing through the work you´ll eventually lose your focus, start to under perform, make mistakes and feel stressed out all the time. Just taking a break and then returning can make the work feel a whole lot easier than it did just 10 minutes ago.
About the Author: Check out Henrik Edberg´s blog called Personal Development with The Positivity Blog ( http://www.positivityblog.com). It covers topics such as social skills, productivity, wealth, health and how you can live a happier and more positive life. Photo: orcmid (license)