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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
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Knock Out Your To-Do List!
Tips for creating the habits that will help you become more productive, less stressed and knock out your to-do list—so you can focus on your want-to-do list.

Always be prepared for “bonus time”

Bring small chunks of work with you wherever you go. Then, while waiting for a meeting to start or for a delayed flight to depart you’ll be able to reply to an email or make a phone call. In other instances, you might have enough time to review materials for another meeting or project you are working on.

Change how you manage email

The moment you click on your inbox, your focus goes and your stress grows, as you proceed to delete, respond, forward, and file the messages you find there. You see names and subject lines and suddenly your mind starts racing; all you can think of are the latest projects, the “loudest” issues, and the high-priority work that shows up. If you’re not careful, all you’ll do all day is manage your email.

Rather than simply flag emails that require action, use the subject lines to catalog and organize them. For example, you might put “Follow-up Call” in the subject line of an e-mail about a meeting you just had with a client. Also, don’t look at your email unless you have a block of time to devote to prioritizing them and responding to them.

Identify the verbs that need attention

Here’s a hint: Smaller is better. Organize your to-do list by verbs in order to manage your productivity in terms of action, delegation and progress. Actions such as call, draft, review and invite are things that you can do, generally in one sitting that have the potential to move the project forward one step at a time.

We all want to enjoy what we do every day. We want to get better and better, both on the job and off, and yet, many people are overwhelmed to make the key changes that will help them do so. With just a few key changes, you can work in a way that feels really good—and spend your after-work life doing things that feel even better.

By Jason Womack, workplace performance expert, executive coach, and author of "Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More "