If you are like most people today, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time to do it. As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities just keep rolling in, like the waves of an ocean. Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do. You will never be caught up. You will always be behind in some of your tasks and responsibilities and perhaps in many of them.

The need to be selective. Time management is essential to developing successful habits. Your ability to select your most important task at each moment, get started on that task and to get it done well and quickly will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop.

The average person who develops the habit of being action-oriented and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but accomplishes little.

Develop good habits of success and become action-oriented. Success in your life and work will be determined by the kinds of habits you develop over time. The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination, being action-oriented and getting on with your most important task is a mental and physical skill. As such, this habit is learnable through practice and repetition, over and over again, until it locks into your subconscious mind and becomes a permanent part of your behavior. Once it becomes habit, it becomes both automatic and easy to do.

The habit of starting and completing important tasks has an immediate and continuous payoff. Completing a task delivers a positive feeling. It makes you happy. It makes you feel like a winner. Whenever you complete a task, of any size or importance, you feel a surge of energy, enthusiasm and self-esteem. The more important the completed task, the happier, more confident and powerful you feel. Important-task completion triggers the release of endorphins in your brain. These endorphins give you a natural “high.” The endorphin rush that follows successful completion of any task makes you feel more positive, personable, creative and confident.

The 3 Ds of new habit formation. You need three key qualities to develop good habits of focus and concentration. They are all learnable. They are decision, discipline and determination.

First, make a decision to develop the habit of becoming action-oriented. Second, discipline yourself to practice the habits you wish to adopt until they become automatic. And third, back everything you do with determination until the habit is locked in and becomes a permanent part of your personality.

Visualize yourself as you want to be. There is a special way that you can accelerate your progress toward becoming the highly productive, effective, action-oriented, efficient person you want to be. It consists of your thinking continually about the rewards and benefits of being an action-oriented, fast-moving, focused person. See yourself as the kind of person who gets important jobs done well and quickly on a consistent basis.

You have a virtually unlimited ability to learn and develop new skills, habits and abilities. If you can train yourself, through repetition and practice, to overcome procrastination and get your most important tasks completed quickly, you will get on the fast track in your career and step on the accelerator.

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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.