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Are you on track to achieve your goals for this year? If not, here's ten practical tips to help you take your productivity up a level:

  1. Avoid the 'too much planning -not enough doing' trap. Be honest with yourself – if the planning is being turned into a procrastination tool, stop planning, start doing.
  2. Apply 'next action' technique. What is it you want to do? What is the very next action that has to be done. Break it right down, sometimes the next actions are tiny – but every big goal is made up of many small actions. Whats your next one?
  3. Schedule regular blocks of time for your action steps and respect these appointments with yourself. You respect time commitments you make with others, so why treat appointments with yourself any differently?
  4. Remember that perfection is not the same as excellence and that done is often better than perfect
  5. Acknowledge that by taking the first action you've already climbed the steepest part of the mountain. The second step you take will be easier, the third even more so and it will all be downhill from there.
  6. Be accountable. Tell someone you're going to do it. Ask them to follow up with you.
  7. Build in a reward by associating the action step with something you like doing. For example, if the action is making follow-up phone calls and you love being at the coffee shop, make the calls there while you sip on that well-deserved latté.
  8. Eat that frog. Brian Tracy is definitely onto something here. Getting your two biggest tasks out of the way first thing in the morning will set you up for a very productive (and organised) day. And by the way, unless its your core work, checking email should not be one of those tasks!

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