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3 Tips to Overcome Procrastination

3 Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is an insidious habit that can undermine your goals, erode your self-confidence and self-respect. But procrastination can be overcome, especially if you take it a bit at a time. Here are 3 tips on how to confront this habit and break through so procrastination no longer holds you back.

Transcript:

Everyone procrastinates from time to time, right? You have a distasteful task or chore you don’t want to do or don’t know exactly how to tackle, so you put it off. Now, if you just postpone taking action for a short time, and then you take care of the task, you don’t have a problem.

But if procrastination has developed into a habit, it can severely impact your life. This habit can undermine any goal you might have, and wear away your self-confidence and self-respect.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment strategist, and I’d like to share 3 tips on how to confront procrastination and overcome it.

Go through your mail immediately. Don’t let it pile up. This sounds silly and simplistic, but by starting small, with mail, it will build up your discipline to handle bigger tasks.

I used to have a pile of mail on my table that I hadn’t made decisions on. Finally, after I’d whittled down the pile, I trained myself to decide what to do with each piece of mail as it came in. I decided to either file the piece, handle it, or throw it away.

When you practice this and it has become natural, move on to larger issues, such as balancing your checkbook.

There’s an app for that. Of course, there are apps to help you deal with procrastination. Some help you take action on your to do lists, or block distractions, help you stay focused while you’re working, make you aware of your excuses, or whatever you need. Do an internet search and start exploring to find an app that will work for you.

Find an accountability partner. Yes, you could use an app, but there’s nothing like a real live person to keep you committed to a course of action. This could be a friend, coworker or colleague who you tell what you plan to accomplish and by when. You check in with this person regularly, bringing them up to date on your progress.

I belong to a mastermind group. When I tell them my intention, and our next meeting is approaching, I make sure I’ve accomplished something.

If you’re having trouble with procrastination, there are many ways to begin to break this pervasive habit. You don’t have to do it all at once. Start with one small action, keep it up until you get comfortable with that action, and then add another tactic. This way, you’ll chip away at the habit until it no longer holds you back.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. You can break the habit of procrastination. Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article, Read the accompanying article, 4 Ways to Overcome Procrastination.

Take Charge of Your Life by Living with Intention

Take Charge of Your Life by Living with Intention

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Plane flying

Most people live on autopilot. They routinely think and behave in the same way day after day. If a situation comes up, they unconsciously act as they’ve done in the past. They go through their lives without taking the time to consider what they’re doing. And because they simply react to circumstances, the overall condition of their life rarely changes.

When you react, you’re reinforcing Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” For your life to improve, you have to change your thoughts and beliefs first. Even if you try to change your situation, it will return to what you’ve experienced in the past unless you shift your attitude.

How to Stay in a Self-Sabotaging Rut

For instance, Sara was a graphic artist. In a proposal early in her career, her estimate to complete a project that was too long for the client, so they went elsewhere. Because of her inexperience, she didn’t realize that their requirement was entirely unreasonable. But from that time on, she was afraid that if she didn’t offer to do the work in a ridiculously short amount of time, she’d lose the job and have very little business.

So she gave completion estimates that she’d barely be able to meet, even if they were her only client. Since she regularly missed her deadlines, she got a reputation of being late with her work. Of course, she lost business because of this, yet she never changed her protocol. Her fear of losing work became a self-fulfilling prophecy. She continued to react to a previous situation, never changed her policy and continued to lose business.

By reacting, you behave the same way you have in the past, which keeps you right where you are, just like what happened to Sara. And you’re acting out of the same mindset, generally one of fear, anger, or sadness. This negative space isn’t a good place to act or make decisions from. As one of my mentor’s said, “Fear isn’t a guidance system.” It won’t bring you the results you want.

How to Change Your Results

Only by intentionally choosing your thoughts and actions will you be able to change your results. It’s not an easy path, but it’s more rewarding and will create better outcomes. To do so, you have to stay aware of what’s transpiring, and not give into impulse.

If Sara had been more aware of her actions and their consequences, she would have chosen more realistic time estimates for projects. It would have been scary at first. She would have had to face down her fears. But she would have gotten more confident as customers approved her proposals and were happy with the end product being delivered on time.

When you live with intention, it means that you’re choosing to respond to situations rather than react to them. You’re being more deliberate and aware with your thoughts and actions. When a situation arises, you’re proactive, thinking your words and actions through. This puts you in the captain’s seat of your life.

How to Become Mindful

The first step is to become mindful of what thoughts you focus on, because they develop into your beliefs. Your beliefs shape how you feel and how you act. For instance, depending on whether you feel comfortable with accepting a compliment or not, you’ll either be delighted or deflect it.

Your second step is to become aware of how you habitually react to specific situations. Does it get you the results you want? If you feel defensive and attack whenever anyone questions you on your work, does this help your career to progress? Or would being open to constructive suggestions help more? Assess whether your reactions are helpful or sabotaging you.

The third step is to consciously choose and implement your new response. When a coworker asks you to lunch, instead of isolating yourself at your desk, go with them. This step gets tougher when crises come up and you don’t take the moment or two to remember your intention. But with practice, this will become easier.

Living with Intention

This is living with intention. You’re being responsive, aware of your choices and purposely choosing your actions. Jack Kornfield, author and Buddhism teacher, said, “Intention leads to behaviors which lead to habits, which lead to personality development which leads to destiny.”

Be deliberate about your thoughts, words, and deeds. You’ll get better results. Instead of riding helplessly in a rudderless boat, at the whim of the wind and water, take the helm. By living with intention, you take control of your destiny.

Affirmation:

I become aware of how I react to situations, and assess whether it’s helpful or hindering me. It’s safe for me to make a different decision than I normally would. I have the knowledge and the resources to deal with the challenges of my life in a new and better way. By choosing to live with intention, I take control of my life.

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Is Your Attention on Your Intention?

Is Your Attention on Your Intention?

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Where are you putting your attention? Is it on your intention, vision or what you want to create in your life? There’s an expression, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Whatever you’re focusing on will be the direction your energy will go, whether it’s towards your dream or away from it. This is true whether you want to start a new habit of meditating every day, write more, or follow up on leads for your business. Is your attention on what you want or do you get sidetracked?

To achieve your goal, you need to have a plan and benchmarks to follow. But you may get distracted or scattered as you try to act on them. It’s inevitable that crises will happen and unexpected tasks get shoved into your schedule. This only becomes a problem if these issues become chronic. Your subconscious may have been trained to keep you off track by creating problems. The solution is to refocus on what’s really important first and deal with the unexpected later in the day.

Establish Your Priorities

A plan is necessary and you have to work your plan to achieve success. Establishing your priorities is an integral part of fulfilling your intention. You have to make your next step or goal your primary mission each day. If you don’t, you’ll allow life’s diversions to pull you off course. It all depends on where you put your focus. Because wherever you put your attention makes that task or situation your priority.

For instance, let’s say you want to finish a project. But when the phone rings, you answer it, interrupting your work. By answering, you’ve allowed your phone to take precedence over your task. And you give your subconscious the message that the call is more important than your project. That means your subconscious will create more interruptions because it follows your lead.

On a personal level, you may want to lose weight. But you’re tempted by indulging in a bowl of ice cream. If you decide to eat the ice cream, your attention has shifted from weight loss to treating yourself. You’ve made pampering yourself your priority and have undermined your intention of losing weight. Do this more than a couple of times in a short time frame and you’ll create a habit that will destroy your original goal.

Your Intentions Are Important

In a professional capacity, many people will set their interests aside to help a coworker work on a report. The coworker is capable of doing it by themself, but they want help. Instead of taking the responsibility of handling it, the coworker finds someone to assist or support them.

Unfortunately, the person who has agreed to help ignores their own priorities to fulfill the other person’s goal. In helping, they’re acting on someone else’s agenda and not attending to their own. This occurs when you don’t let the phone go to voicemail, frequently check your email or don’t put a sign on your door saying, “Do Not Disturb,” when you need to complete a project. When you don’t focus on and stand up for your intention, then you allow another person’s goal to take precedence over yours.

Focus on Your Priorities

In general, women especially tend to put other people’s wants ahead of their well-being. Their focus is to try to make sure everyone else is happy and satisfied before they address their own intentions.  They forget that others are just as capable of fulfilling their own desires.

How often do you give an employee a task or train a coworker and say to yourself, “It would be easier and faster to do it myself?” When you fall into this trap of doing the work yourself, you’re telling them that you don’t believe they can do their job. You’re also instructing your subconscious to keep you overwhelmed. Again, you’re setting aside your priorities to handle someone else’s.

When you give your employee a task and allow them to complete it, you’re helping to build their confidence. Once trained, a coworker will be able to take some responsibility off your shoulders. This will give you more time to focus on your priorities.

How to Be Intentional

Every day, you have hundreds of decisions to make. Many of those have to do with your intention, vision or dream. To stay focused on it, you have to stay conscious and mindful, and not fall into the trap of just reacting to whatever shows up. Whenever you have something unexpected occur, ask yourself, “Is this someone else’s agenda?” and “Will this interfere with my intention?”

If the answer to these questions is, “Yes,” then you have to choose what’s more important, your intention or theirs. But remember, the only way you’ll be able to fulfill your dream is to keep your attention on your intention.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports me in all my endeavors.  I keep my intention in mind at all times. Whenever anything unexpected takes place, I stay conscious and mindful and make decisions that support my intention. I realize that everyone has the ability to take care of their own challenges. By attending to my agenda, I’m empowered and empower others to handle their own.

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How to Stick to Your Goals

How to Stick to Your Goals

Do you sometimes have trouble sticking to your plan, or get distracted from your goal? There’s a time-tested tactic that can increase your likelihood of success many times over. The technique makes it much easier to stay on course, whether you want to change a habit or stop procrastinating. Learn how to use this tactic to more effectively achieve your goals and vision.

Transcript:

Do you sometimes have trouble sticking to your plan for a goal? Do you fall off your diet or get distracted from your vision? If so, you’re not alone.

There’s a tactic that can increase your likelihood of success many times over. Researchers refer to this tactic as an “implementation intention.” Try saying that fast. In other words, you create an intention of what to do when a specific situation arises. More informally, they’re called, “If/Then” plans. That term is more understandable, isn’t it?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment strategist, and I’ve been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years. I’ve taught this tactic to my hypnotherapy and coaching clients, to help them stay on course to their goals and vision.

The way this kind of plan is used is you identify traps or pitfalls or issues that can sabotage your goals. And you know what those are, right? And then you proactively decide how you’re going to respond to the situation.

The plan goes like this:

If (or when) [a specific situation arises], then I will do or perform [a specific behaviour or response].

Got it? In other words “If ‘abc’ happens, then I will ‘xyz.'”

As in: “If someone asks me to volunteer my time, then I will tell them I have to think about it first.”

The sentence becomes a trigger for you. You know ahead of time what action to take, instead of being confused in the moment. When the situation comes up, the decision is already made as to what behavior you’ll do. It’s like you’re programming your response. Execution becomes automatic.

It works for new habits. For instance, if you’re on a diet, you might say, “If I eat cookies today, then I’ll forgive myself and get right back on my diet.” This keeps you from getting discouraged and giving up.

Lets’ say you have a coworker who always interrupts your work, your cue could be, “If Jody wants to talk when I’m busy, then I’ll tell her I can’t talk right now, and will call her when I’m done.”

Or you can set an intention for something you might otherwise procrastinate, such as, “When I get to my desk in the morning, then I will start making follow up phone calls.”

This tactic takes the guess work out of what you’ll do and motivates you to follow through on your goals. It works for whenever you experience setbacks, distractions or get tempted to take a detour from your goals and vision. Simply identify the pitfall and decide how to address it ahead of time.

When you use this tactic, you’ll achieve your goals much more easily.

For ways to achieve your goals with greater confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. How can you use the If/Then tactic today? Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article, 4 Ways You Sabotage Yourself (and how to deal with them).

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Guided Meditation to Stay Motivated to Achieve a Goal

Guided Meditation to Stay Motivated to Achieve a Goal

Do you ever have trouble staying motivated to achieve a goal or vision? You may start taking steps, but get bored, discouraged or have a setback and your motivation evaporates. To get back on course, reconnecting with your inspiration is vital. This guided meditation will help keep you energized and inspired, and remind you of your reason and intention for your goal.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. Today, I want to share a short meditation to help keep you motivated to achieve a specific goal or vision. When you have a goal, even if you’re making progress on it, your enthusiasm to continue to take action can evaporate.

You can become bored, discouraged you’re not achieving it fast enough, or even frustrated when you have some setbacks. Sometimes, you can have trouble taking the first step towards it, or starting again after a pause. This meditation will help with all of those issues.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment strategist, and I’ve been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years. This meditation is similar to ones I’ve done with hypnotherapy and coaching clients to inspire them to stay on course to their goals.

If you’re so inclined, close your eyes. Take a deep breath to relax and get focused.

Now, think of a goal you want to accomplish. What is it you want to achieve? Imagine how different your life would be with it a reality in your life. What would you be doing, thinking, feeling and behaving that’s different from now? Place an image of these ideas in a picture frame. 

Now, uncover your reason for your goal. Why is it you want this change in your life? This has to be a reason that will continue to urge and energize you. Place this reason in the picture frame with the image of your goal. This reason could be a symbol, a feeling, a color, and outcome or something else that has meaning for you.

As you place the reason inside the frame, it creates a positive change in the picture of your goal. The picture and frame begins to glow a beautiful color. The reason itself causes the picture to be surrounded and filled with a powerful light. This light could be gold, silver, white, or whatever color excites and encourages you.

As the light glows brighter, the picture and frame get bigger and bigger, until they take up your entire perspective. The picture becomes a huge billboard, impressive and powerful. You feel excited to begin, and to continue, taking action towards your goal. You know you can accomplish your goal. The steps appear for you, and you overcome any setbacks.

Whenever you think about your goal, you imagine this billboard, the image of your accomplished goal and your reason for taking actions towards it. The image of the billboard is strong, powerful, motivating, encouraging, and inspiring you to take your next step. It fills you with anticipation.

Open your eyes.

This meditation gives your subconscious mind direction and energy for you start working towards your goal. If you find yourself needing a motivational boost, close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine the billboard. Imagine the goal, your reason, and the brilliance of the billboard. Doing this will remind your subconscious mind of your purpose and intention.

To achieve your goals with greater confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. I know that you can achieve any goal that you desire. Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article 5 Tips to Maintain Your Motivation

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Get Greater Satisfaction from Living Intentionally

Get Greater Satisfaction from Living Intentionally

Living intentionally brings better health, happiness, freedom and peace of mind. It’s not always easy to live intentionally, because you have to be pro-active or let other people or circumstances make the choice for you. Learn how making deliberate choices brings you better outcomes and the results you want.

Transcript:

Do you live intentionally? Living intentionally means that you deliberately choose a desired result and follow through to create it. It also means that you chose to live according to your values and beliefs. When you live intentionally, you’re healthier, happier, freer and more at peace. Who wouldn’t want that?

Living intentionally is not easy, because every day, your life is made up of a series of choices. You can either make a decision each time a choice arises or let that decision be made for you by other people or by circumstances. Many times, it’s easier to let other people or circumstances make the choice for you, but then you feel helpless and hopeless. And you probably won’t get the outcome you seek.

Whether or not you live intentionally is like being in a canoe in a swift running creek. Do you want to use the paddle to keep you on course or throw that paddle away and let the creek toss you about every which way? This would be the proverbial, “Up a creek without a paddle” scenario, right?

If you don’t have a paddle, which is your decision making power, your canoe might run onto rocks and be overturned and you’d be in the water. Not a good result, right? Being intentional is like using your paddle to direct your canoe through the water safely.

When you’ve chosen a result you’re willing to work towards, or to live by your values, most of your choices become easier. You discard the possibilities that lead you away from your path, and choose the ones that support the direction you want to go. You’re more focused and fulfilled. You feel empowered, motivated and in control.

How can you become more intentional with your choices today?

For more tips and articles on mindset, motivation and empowerment, please visit my blog EmpoweringYourMind.com.

Have a wonderful and intentional day.

Read the accompanying article Why You Need a Vision and Plan.

Why You Need a Vision and Plan

Why You Need a Vision and Plan

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When you choose to grow a garden, do you start watering the plot without planning what you want to grow in it? Or do you decide what plants you want, and till and fertilize the soil to make it receptive for those kinds of plants? Don’t you clear the area of growth that doesn’t fit with your plan? And then you choose seeds or seedlings you want and place them in the soil. To care for your garden, you water, feed the plants, and weed out what doesn’t belong.

Your mind and life is like a garden. If you just jump into a garden, or life, without a vision or plan, you’re going to receive what plants and seeds are already in that plot. By not sowing any new seeds, you can only harvest what is already growing there. You won’t reap anything new. In this case, to misquote an investment disclaimer, “Past performance will indicate future results.”

The Downside to Going with the Flow

Many people just want to go with the flow, having no intention, vision or plan. They want to follow instinct or intuition, without any real idea of what they want. This kind of philosophy is fine if you want to float through life. But if you want to change a habit, or achieve something, you have to be more deliberate.

The problem with the idea of just flowing is that it means you’re acting on what’s already in your subconscious. There’s no new destination or goal. It’s like watering a garden without putting any thought into what you want. You’ll get what you get, not necessarily what you want. Your subconscious can only deliver on the ideas you’ve already sown into it. If you’re simply following your subconscious, you’ll wander in circles, never accomplishing anything new. And the weeds in the garden of your life may choke out most of the flowers.

The Role of Your Conscious and Subconscious

Your subconscious has a specific role to play in your life and it’s a powerful one. Your subconscious is your problem solver, and where your creativity and insights come from. But your subconscious can’t make decisions for you. Choices must come from your conscious mind to be fulfilled by your subconscious. Your subconscious uses all your knowledge and experience to help you achieve your intention. But your subconscious can’t seek any outside information to help. New information has to come to, and through, your conscious mind.

Your conscious mind chooses your destination, intentions, goals or vision.  Your subconscious provides you with the ideas, innovation and insights to realize them. When you have a vision and plan, you give your subconscious concrete information to work with. With a vision, your subconscious knows what to seek and scans your environment to help you. Your plan creates guiderails and makes it easier for your subconscious to locate and discover opportunities.

Tending Your Intention

In your garden or your life, not all the seeds you sow will germinate and not all of the plants will survive to maturity. The same is true of your vision and plan. You’ll need to discover what didn’t survive and why, and address that problem. It could be that you didn’t tend to your garden as much as it needed or that the soil wasn’t fertile enough. Maybe circumstances changed, and your vision and plan needs to be adjusted.

If you want better results in your life, you’ll tend to the garden of your intention. A garden takes constant attention to support its growth and fertility. Only after putting in the effort will you reap the rewards. Your life deserves the same care, love and consideration as a garden.

Affirmation:

As I choose my direction in life, it gives the Law of Attraction definite details of what to draw to me. The Universe is on my side, and wants the best for me. I’m Divinely Guided and Directed into the right path for my Highest Good. Everything I need is provided in the best way possible.

Watch the accompanying video, Get Greater Satisfaction from Living Intentionally.

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What Do You Stand For?

What Do You Stand For?

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Confident Woman with Values

People are attracted to you, personally and professionally, based on your behavior and what you stand for. In business, many times, this is called your brand. But in your personal life, people also decide whether you’re trustworthy, someone they want to spend time with or be around, based on this same standard. And all of this is grounded in your values, the beliefs that promote your actions and attitudes.

Positive and Negative Values

Some values are positive, such as integrity, determination, and compassion. But not all values are constructive. I’ve known people who were proud of personal values such as, manipulation, deception, and carrying a grudge. Negative values like these are based on fear and insecurity. They’re defensive and developed to react to external circumstances. Positive values are internally motivated and proactive. They allow you to be intentional and choose your actions deliberately.

You can reframe a negative value to be more beneficial. For instance, a negative value, like being crafty or cunning, often means you’re scheming or dishonest. This value was probably created to deal with situations where you were concerned someone would take advantage of you. However, reframing that value to one of being clever or innovative allows you to approach situations from a stronger and more resourceful position.

Why Knowing Your Values Is Important

When you know what your values are, you’re able to make decisions based on them that support those principles. Living according to your values increases your self-esteem, self-respect, and sense of authenticity. Your image and perception of yourself will improve, as will your self-confidence. You’ll be known by what you stand for, and people who appreciate what you value will be attracted to you. What values are most important to you? Those are the ones that show the world who you are.

Affirmation:

My values are important to me and I choose to live by my values. They are beliefs and ideas that put me in alignment with my deepest self and the Universe. I feel at peace with myself when I stand by them, even when it’s inconvenient. I support and empower myself when I act on them, and the Universe approves of me, as well.

Watch the accompanying video, Act on Your Values to Improve Your Well Being.

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3 Steps to Being More Focused and Effective

3 Steps to Being More Focused and Effective

It’s all too easy to get distracted or not pay attention to what you’re doing. When you do, you make mistakes and miss details that you need. Learning how to be more focused is important if you want to achieve your goals. Learn 3 simple steps to being more mindful that will improve your productivity and your life.

Transcript:

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision strategist coach for small business and entrepreneurs, and would like to share a tip on how you can become more focused, mindful and get more out of your life.

Last week, I was cooking a chicken dish that had an accompanying sauce. I minced some garlic for the chicken, and then another couple of large cloves for the sauce. I got distracted while I was cooking, and accidentally threw the garlic for the sauce in with the chicken, in addition to what was already there. Wow, was that a lot of garlic! It was almost overpowering. I thought I’d ruined the dish.

Have you ever been thinking of something else, and then made a mistake, like I did? Or been distracted when you’re talking with a friend or colleague and miss something important they said? This comes from your attention being diverted elsewhere and not being aware of what’s going on in the present.

In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to pay attention to what’s going on in the moment. But being able to focus on what you’re doing, or listening fully,  will mean that you are more efficient, more effective and will have better relationships, both personally and professionally.

There’s a simple way to bring your attention to the present, and stay mindful about what’s going on.

Your mindset tip has 3 steps to it:

  1. Become aware of what you’re doing, such as having a conversation or preparing a meal.
  2. Take a long, slow deep breath to slow your mind down and get focused on your priority.
  3. Decide what your intention is, and then act. It may be taking an action, or it may be listening fully.

This shifts your energy from being scattered and distracted to being focused and intentional. If I’d just followed my own advice last week, I wouldn’t have had a meal that I came close to ruining. As you practice these steps, notice how much more you accomplish and how much better you feel.

To achieve your goals with confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com.

Thank you for watching. Remember, become aware, breathe, and then act. Take care.

Read the accompanying article, How to Take Back Control When Stress Overwhelms You.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Why You Never Seem to Have Enough Time

Feeling pressed for time is more due to our own psychology of what we value and mindsets about time. When you can reframe your attitudes, you can lessen the pressure you put on yourself. Here are three scientific insights that can help create an inner shift that then eases your time crunch.

Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else

To be successful, Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs realized that they needed to focus on what was important. And that one mindset was vital for them to accomplish what they wanted. Learn what that lesson is, as well as 7 ways to put it to use in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart