Your ability to develop good work habits helps determine how much you earn, how effective you are, how much you are respected in your organization and how much real satisfaction you get out of your job.

Unfortunately, most people are poor workers. They are disorganized, unfocused and easily distracted. They work at about 50 percent of capacity. The foundations of good work habits, however, are simple. They can be summarized in two words: focus and concentration.

  1. Focus on the most important goal. Focus requires clarity concerning the desired results and the relative priority of each step required to achieve those results. When you think of focus, imagine a photographer adjusting his lens to keep his subject sharply in the center of the picture. To become a truly hardworking individual, you must continually adjust your lens to be sure that what you are working on is the most important thing you could be doing at any given moment. Successful people understand that the worst waste of time is doing something very well that need not be done at all.
  2. Concentrate your energies. Concentration requires the ability to stay with a task until it is 100 percent complete. Successful people understand that they must work in a straight line without diversion or distraction to get from where they are to where they want to go. If you want to accomplish your goals, you must ensure that everything you do is taking you toward them and develop the good habits that will get you there. Disciplining yourself to concentrate on a job until it is finished gives you a feeling of confidence, competence and mastery. It helps you exercise self-control, so you learn to be in charge of your own destiny.
  3. Complete your tasks. Among the habits that lead to a successful career is the habit of task completion. Being able to complete your tasks and finish what you start is an essential part of good character. You cannot imagine a fully mature, functioning person who is unable to finish what he or she begins. The development of this habit is the crucial to long-term success.

You can accelerate the process of becoming a highly productive person by regularly visualizing yourself as focused and channeled toward high achievement. See yourself as one of the most highly efficient, hard-working, successful people you know. Feed your subconscious mind with this picture until it is accepted as a command. Remember, the person you ‘‘see’’ is the person you will ‘‘be.’’

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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling Psychology of Achievement. For more information, go to www.briantracy.com.