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Most time-management books coach readers to set priorities and make lists. Jeffrey J. Mayer digs a bit deeper and offers more substantive advice on organizing your workday—and your attitude.

In his book Success Is a Journey (McGraw-Hill, 1999), Mayer links organizational skills with peak performance. He shows that by finding ways to maximize each hour, you can gain more control and produce consistently superior results.

While Mayer tends to lapse into cliches about how failing creates opportunity and how winners make their own luck, the book’s real value lies in his time-management tips. He offers some fresh pointers on how to prune away waste and get more done:

Start on a roll. Mayer suggests that you train yourself to arise an hour earlier every morning and use that time to address your No. 1 priority. During this peaceful, uninterrupted time, it’s easier to focus and rally yourself to tackle tough problems. It’s also a great way to build momentum for the day ahead.

Recite your goals. Identifying your objectives and writing them down helps. Also begin and end each day by reading them out loud, Mayer adds. He recommends that you tape a list of your key goals to your bathroom mirror. This allows you to read from your list in a confident tone without being overheard.

Set self-imposed deadlines. For Mayer, there are two kinds of deadlines: internal and external. While a project may need to be finished by Friday to go to the printer (an external due date), you should establish your own drop-dead completion date of, say, Wednesday, to ensure you don’t procrastinate. Treat your internal deadline seriously and discipline yourself to meet it.

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