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4 Common Time Management Truths That Could Jeopardize Your Productivity

4 Common Time Management Truths That Could Jeopardize Your Productivity

Sometime ago I wrote about 5 common time management truths that could potentially lower your productivity levels if you misunderstood them.

The idea behind that post was to make people realize that sometimes it is good to question even the common productivity wisdom that is being taught over and over again. Rather than blindly believing in it, we should all use our own judgment to decide if the piece of advice is applicable to our life or not.

I came up with 4 additional (and very common) time management tips that you should also take a critical look at.

1. Proceed one step at a time

A very common piece of advice when reaching your goals is to proceed one step at a time.

The idea behind this advice is that this way you are not overwhelming yourself by trying to do too much at once. Also, you are less likely to kill your motivation when you proceed this way.

Although this is sound advice, I don’t always like this approach: sometimes it just takes too much time to reach your destination this way.

For example, when I turned myself from a late riser into an early riser, it didn’t take me weeks or months to make the change – I did it immediately.

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One day I just decided: “from tomorrow morning, I start waking up at 5 AM” and that’s what I did. The approach of gradually waking up earlier until I’d reach my goal was just too slow for me.

This happened in 2007 and I’m still an early riser, so a quick change is definitely possible.

2. Procrastination is all evil

There is so much written about procrastination and why it’s not for you. I mostly agree with this advice – but not always. Instead, you should use procrastination to your advantage.

For example, I admit that I tend to procrastinate mostly on low-value tasks that are not important to my goals in any way.

This way I have more time to focus on those important tasks instead. So if it means that I’m postponing the cleaning of my home for couple of days, I can live with that.

You could also channel your procrastination to some other activities, which in turn may help you gain momentum.

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    For example, you might have an important task that you are supposed to do. For some reason you don’t want to do it right away, so you tackle some of the smaller tasks off your list first.

    This way you keep the wheels rolling and you may be eager to start working on the more important tasks on your list later on.

    Finally, you could channel your procrastination to do something useful.

    Once again, if you don’t like working on your main task, you could pick up a book (business, personal development …) and start reading and learning.

    Even if you are not directly working on your main task, you learn new ways to improve the other parts of your life.

    Although I’m not advising anyone to procrastinate on purpose, I’m just saying that procrastination has its role in making us more productive!

    3. Don’t check email first thing in the morning

    I can’t remember how many times I have heard that you shouldn’t check your email first thing in the morning.

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    While this advice is useful, there is also an exception to this rule.

    Sometime ago I was on a vacation for two weeks and then I got back to work. I started working on some tasks – without checking my email first.

    Later, I opened my email client and I found a message from my project manager saying that I shouldn’t be working on those same tasks that I had just completed.

    I was a bit annoyed by this situation, but I could only blame myself. I didn’t check my email first thing in the morning when I came to work. Instead, I started working right away before catching up with the latest project status.

    In most of the cases, you shouldn’t check your e-mail first thing in the morning. However, in some other scenarios you have to do this in order to keep yourself up-to-date.

    4. Do not use willpower when forming new habits

    Very often people are advised that they shouldn’t use willpower when creating new habits. Instead, one should have inspiring and motivating goals that makes the willpower part needless.

    Unfortunately, you still need to use a bit of willpower when you form new habits.

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    Let’s take a person who is trying to quit eating sweets in order to lose weight. Even that person is inspired to take her life in a healthier direction; there are still times when her motivation is going to be tested.

    Maybe there is someone eating sweets next to this person or maybe something happens in her life which makes the person to look for relief (for e.g. eating chocolate).

    In those cases motivation, compelling goals, or pictures of six-pack abs on your refrigerator door are not enough. You need plain, raw willpower in order to say “no” to those temptations.

    This may sound hard, but you need to fight against your old habits — especially in the beginning of your change. After you start, things get smoother and you don’t find eating sweets that compelling anymore.

    Forming new habits and relying solely on willpower is not going to work. However, using your willpower in small doses has its place in the process.

    It’s important to think…and not take common lessons for granted

    Time management advice is valuable, but occasionally you have to take a critical look at how you are performing and rework your strategies until they suit your own needs.

    Photo credits: Red Clock and Old Clock and Hourglass via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Timo Kiander

    Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

    What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It) Do You Do This Common Mistake When You Start Working on Your Tasks? 9 Valuable Lessons Learned After Writing My First Book How to Create a To-Do List that Makes You Smile Agreeing on Deadlines With Yourself Just Doesn’t Work: Here’s What Does

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    Last Updated on June 25, 2019

    100 Motivational Quotes That Will Guide You To Massive Success

    100 Motivational Quotes That Will Guide You To Massive Success

    Below are the 100 most motivational quotes ever. Read them and get motivated for success, and share this post to help your friends get success too!

    1. All our dream can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

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      2. Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. – Zig Ziglar

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        3. The Man Who Has Confidence In Himself Gains The Confidence Of Others. – Hasidic Proverb

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          4. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.– Napoleon Hill

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            5. For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

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              6. What you seek is seeking you. – Rumi

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                7. It is never too late to be what you might have been. —George Eliot

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                  8. Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once. —Drew Houston

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                    9. The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. – Bruce Lee

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                      10. I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. – Thomas Jefferson

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                        11. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

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                          12.The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand

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                            13. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

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                              14. The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it. –  Jordan Belfort

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                                15. When you can’t change the direction of the wind, just adjust your sails. – H. Jackson Brown Jr

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                                  16. Security Is Mostly A Superstition. Life Is Either A Daring Adventure Or Nothing. – Helen Keller

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                                    17. Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions. – Tony Robbins

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                                      18. We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret. – Earl Nightingale

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                                        19. Double down on whats working. Cut the rest. – Tai Lopez

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                                          20. The best revenge is massive success. – Frank Sinatra

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                                            21. Tough times never last, but tough people do. – Dr. Robert Schuller

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                                              22. Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion. Tony Hsieh

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                                                23. I’ve been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have. – Russell Simmons

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                                                  24. The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes. – Benjamin Disraeli

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                                                    25. Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. – Napoleon Hill

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                                                      26. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. – Jim Rohn

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                                                        27. People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do. – Rob Siltanen

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                                                          28. Poor people have big TVs. Rich people have a big library. – Jim Rohn

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                                                            29. A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. – John D. Rockefeller

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                                                              30. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney

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                                                                31. The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. – Mark Zuckerburg

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                                                                  32. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do that the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

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                                                                    33. Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”– Jack Canfield

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                                                                      34. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. – Malcolm X

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                                                                        35. Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy. or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. – Larry Winget

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                                                                          36. Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning. – Robert Kiyosaki

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                                                                            37. If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. – Tony Robbins

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                                                                              38. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. – John F. Kennedy

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                                                                                39. Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body. – Brian Tracy

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                                                                                  40. The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning; to create a product or service to make the world a better place. – Guy Kawasaki

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                                                                                    41.You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them. —Michael Jordan

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                                                                                      42. Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. – John D. Rockefeller

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                                                                                        43. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success. – Dale Carnegie

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                                                                                          44. The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself. – Mark Caine

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                                                                                            45. Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. —Warren Buffett

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                                                                                              46. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. – Ayr Rand

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                                                                                                47. If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do. – Anonymous

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                                                                                                  48. Make each day your masterpiece.  – John Wooden

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                                                                                                    49. You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs

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                                                                                                      50. Knowing Is Not Enough; We Must Apply. Wishing Is Not Enough; We Must Do. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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                                                                                                        51. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. – Jack Welch

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                                                                                                          52. People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. – Tony Robbins

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                                                                                                            53. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky

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                                                                                                              54. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher

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                                                                                                                55. If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you! – T. Harv Eker

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                                                                                                                  56. Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment. – Stephen Covey

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                                                                                                                    57. Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. – Pablo Picasso

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                                                                                                                      58 – Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. – Oprah Winfrey

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                                                                                                                        59. I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine. – Neil Armstrong

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                                                                                                                          60. A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Napoleon Hill

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                                                                                                                            61.You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. – John C. Maxwell

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                                                                                                                              62. The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. – Oprah Winfrey

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                                                                                                                                63. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain

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                                                                                                                                  64. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else. – Les Brown

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                                                                                                                                    65. Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. – Stephen King

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                                                                                                                                      66. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success. – Joyce Brothers

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                                                                                                                                        67. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

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                                                                                                                                          68. If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve. – Jeff Bezos

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                                                                                                                                            69. Imagine Your Life Is Perfect In Every Respect; What Would It Look Like? – Brian Tracy

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                                                                                                                                              70. First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. –  Mahatma Gandhi

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                                                                                                                                                71. Do one thing every day that scares you. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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                                                                                                                                                  72. Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential. – John Maxwell

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                                                                                                                                                    73. It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop. – Confucius

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                                                                                                                                                      74. If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs. – Dhirubhai Ambani

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                                                                                                                                                        75. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. – David Brinkley

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                                                                                                                                                          76. Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness. – Ayr Rand

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                                                                                                                                                            77. When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. – Alexander Graham Bell

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                                                                                                                                                              78. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. – Albert Einstein

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                                                                                                                                                                79. The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors. – Napoleon Hill

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                                                                                                                                                                  80. Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt

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                                                                                                                                                                    81. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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                                                                                                                                                                      82. If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn

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                                                                                                                                                                        83. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

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                                                                                                                                                                          84. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau

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                                                                                                                                                                            85. Take one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success that is the way great spiritual giants are produced. – Swami Vivekananda

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                                                                                                                                                                              86. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford

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                                                                                                                                                                                87. It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela

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                                                                                                                                                                                  88. Be so good they can’t ignore you. – Steve Martin

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                                                                                                                                                                                    89. If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. – Martin Luther King Jr.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      90. In the end, we only regret the chance we didn’t take – Lewis Carroll

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                                                                                                                                                                                        91. Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world… if you do so, you are insulting yourself – Bill Gates

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                                                                                                                                                                                          92. Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long term results – Unknown

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                                                                                                                                                                                            93. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

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                                                                                                                                                                                              94. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going – Jim Rohn

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                                                                                                                                                                                                95. The best way to predict the future is to create it – Peter Drucker

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  96. It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. – Vince Lombardi

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    97. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      98. Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. – Will Rogers

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        99.You learn more from failure than from success. Don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character. – Unknown

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          100. Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other. – Brian Tracy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          lastone!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You made it to the end! Are you feeling motivated? Awesome, now share this post with your friends to help them achieve success too.

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