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Have you ever caught yourself doing something that doesn’t really work, but then you still do it over and over again? I know I have. In our personal and business lives we sometimes find ourselves stuck with ineffective habits—even when we know better. Other times we just do things because we have always done them that way and we don’t think about whether what we do works or not.

Recently my daughter and I watched the TV show Supernanny and I was amazed how quickly the nanny honed in on the kids bad, ineffective habits. With compassion and a few fun charts even the most misbehaved kids turned the corner. So it can’t be that hard if a kid can do it!

Take a moment and look at what you do every day. Bad habits suck away your time and do not generate new leads, clients or money. For example, how do you organize your time? Do you let distractions interfere with the work you need to get done? Succeeding is about having a razor sharp focus and accomplishing everything you set out to do in a day. That’s a good habit. Leaving the office at 3 pm to pick up your kids is not a bad habit, and neither is working out or taking care of a parent. You should not feel bad or guilty for taking care of your family first. But then, just like the single father played by Will Smith in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness,” you have to figure out how to do in six hours what others do in nine! You might find this WSJ article about the pursuit of happiness interesting. http://goo.gl/qLHKj

Ask yourself these good habit questions: Do you put money and cash generating habits first? Do you write down at the beginning or end of each day what you want to accomplish? Do you set realistic goals? Can you ignore distractions such as Facebook and Twitter updates when you are in the middle of something? Are you making your business calls?

Try These Tips:
–Start your day by making a list of what you want to accomplish.
–My rule of thumb is that I want to get five things done in a day, and no more than three
errands.
–Allocate a real-time slot for your to-accomplish items – and put them in your calendar!
–When I’m writing I will not get up until I have finished. Make it your habit not to get coffee or a snack until you’re done with your assigned, scheduled task.
–Put a kitchen timer on your desk. Allocate one hour to making calls, then get up for five minutes and get your coffee.
–Continue with this time allotment for research, accounting or whatever else there is.

Now you are in front of your time instead of running after it. But remember, your primary rule of thumb is that what generates income gets done first!

Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate created The Women’s Code. In February 2012, to reach women everywhere, Beate launched The Women’s Code Online course. http://www.thewomenscode.com/the-womens-code

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