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Is your goal to become a more productive person both inside and outside of the office?

If it is, follow along as three best-selling authors share important behavioral and medical research that will help you regain control of your calendar.

Learn To Deliver A ‘Positive No’

Smart business owners with full schedules know that they can’t say yes to everyone – all of the time. If they attempted to do so it would put their own goals and the things that matter most, at risk.

So how do they utilize the latest behavioral research to regain control of their calendar?

Spend two minutes with Sevenshift CEO, recognized author and McKinsey Advisor, Caroline Webb, as she discusses simple communication tips in this video interview that will help you deliver a ‘positive no’ to protect your schedule while remaining respectful.

Understand The Power Of Being Conscious

Daniel Amen, M.D., a four-time New York Times best-selling author and director of Amen Clinics, states the one thing you can do to be more successful and productive is to improve the quality of your decision making.

Why? They did a large study at Stanford University looking at over 1,548 participants who were 10

They did a large study at Stanford University looking at over 1,548 participants who were 10 year-olds since 1921 and researchers have followed them for the last 90 years looking at what were the things associated with success, health, and longevity.

And it wasn’t a lack of worry or being happy – it was consciousness.

It was if you said you were going to show up – show up. It was the sum of the quality of decisions they made throughout their life,” explains Daniel Amen.

So how do you improve the quality of your decisions?

Here are three actions Dr. Amen recommends:

1. Eat breakfast. Remember, having some protein at breakfast helps stabilize your blood sugar. Do not go long periods of time without eating.

2. Get sleep. Because getting enough sleep is the key to protecting your decision making.

3. Embrace “then what”. “I want you to plant these two words in your head – these are the two most important words when it comes to your health: ‘then what’.”

In his own words, “If I do this…then what will happen? If I say this…then what will happen? Does it fit the goals that I have for my life?”

Embrace Habits That Make Life Easier

Gretchen Rubin is one of the most influential writers on habits and happiness. In addition to three best-seller’s, her recent article, ‘Do You Hate to Rush?’

11 Tips for Getting Ready Faster in the Morning’, includes clever reminders to help each of us gather momentum.

The following list of tips spotlight five of Ms. Rubin‘s morning-related habits that can help keep even the busiest leaders on track:

1.  Put your alarm clock across the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

2. Select your outfit while you brush your teeth to go to bed the night before – so you don’t have to take the time for inner debate in the morning.

3. Always put your keys, wallet, sunglasses, and cell phone away in the same place, so you don’t have to spend any time hunting for an important possession.

4. The night before, gather everything you need for the next day–papers in your briefcase, exercise clothes in the gym bag, the book you’re returning to a friend at work.

5. Convince everyone in your household to follow these same tips.

Bringing it all together

Now that you have reviewed this research and sound tips, take action!

Next, have you recently discovered a productivity tip that works well?

If so, thank so much for adding a comment in the section below and joining the conversation.

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Kelly Isley is an international strategist, business leader, columnist, author, and pilot with more than 21 years of experience in the aerospace, finance, engineering, and healthcare industries. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and covers global workforce, workplace and leadership topics. If you have any suggestions for future articles please contact Kelly via email or twitter.