1. If you are overly excited or angry try giving yourself time to cool off before making any decisions.

2. Before you start anything, determine your goal. If you don't know where you are going, how will you get there?

3. To avoid impulsive purchases at the grocery store, plan your meals out before you make up your shopping list. This will also save time because you will know exactly what you need to buy.

4. Instead of an impulsive "yes" to every request people make of you, learn to say no nicely but firmly. If you can't muster up the wherewithal to say no at the time of the request, say "Let me think about that and get back to you." Wait a day and then give your answer. This will give you the time you need to figure out if you can realistically commit to the request or not.

5. For the impulsive shopper. Try writing down the following questions and carry them with you. Pull these out and read them whenever you are see something you want to buy: a) Do I really need this? b) Will I use it within the next month? c) How many more of these do I already have at home? d) Will the high that I feel from purchasing this item last? e) Can I really afford this?

6. Before starting a new project do your thinking on paper. You will make quicker and better decisions if you write down the pros and cons of a line of action. This doesn't take time, it saves time.

7. Try turning your answering machine on 15 minutes before you need to leave the house to avoid answering the phone at the last minute, making yourself late to work or appointment.

8. If you are an impulsive spender, try taking a limited amount of money with you when you go out. If you see something you want to purchase, by the time you go back home for more money you are likely to realize that you do not want the item after all.

(c) Mary Jane Johnson, 2005