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Is 2012 your year to make a personal effectiveness breakthrough? If you feel like you are trudging along in heavy boots, it might be time to reassess how you manage your time. It can be difficult to leave old behavior patterns behind, but there are some easy tips that might be helpful to het you started. In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, Dorie Clark outlines 5 habits to change in 2012 to get on a more efficient career development path and manage your time more wisely.

1. Stop “Responding Like a Trained Monkey”

Most likely, you don’t need to keep checking your email every five minutes. Many experts advise only checking in every hour and a half or so to keep an efficient workflow and allow yourself to complete tasks without excess distraction. Make technology work for you rather than becoming an unnecessary distraction with too much multi-tasking.

2. Stop “Mindless Traditions”

Ask yourself whether your actions are getting your desired career development results. If not, it may be time to reevaluate how you spend your time. You might actually increase your personal effectiveness by deviating from the way things have always been done.

3. Stop “Reading Annoying Things”

Make 2012 the year to pare down and keep it simple. Use your time wisely by only reading those things which inspire you, interest you, and keep you learning and thinking in new ways. It is also a good idea to read things periodically that challenge your assumptions, in order to keep growing and learning new things. Chances are, you are reading much more than this. Keep your priorities around, and save yourself time and money by eliminating the rest.

4. Stop “Work That’s Not Worth It”

Dorie Clark would advise that you don’t automatically say yes to every career development opportunity that comes your way. Being choosy is often more effective than trying to take on too much and spread yourself too thin. Consider your career development priorities, and make your decisions accordingly.

5. Stop “Making Things More Complicated Than They Should Be”

Before getting mired down in complicated plans, ask yourself whether there is a more simple answer to this question or a more simple solution to this problem. If you pause to think logically before jumping into a work-intensive project, you may save yourself a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in the long run.

Increase Your Personal Effectiveness

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