Goal Setting & Productivity

Everyone has dreams and goals. Achieving personal and professional goals, however, requires planning and action. Learning how to manage time and set realistic goals will increase your chance of success in every area of your life. Following the advice in this post will help increase your productivity and help you achieve your dreams.

Chunk, Block, Tackle: 

When creating a “to do” list, you should keep chunk, block, and tackle in mind. The first part of this strategy should be familiar. You need to break up a large task into smaller ones.

·         Chunk: Break projects into tasks that are 15 minutes or fewer.

·         Block: Block out time to complete each chunk.

·         Tackle: Tackle each specific task individually rather than looking at the entire project.

Implementing chunk, block, tackle, will motivate you to complete the project because you will feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete each chunk. When creating your to do list, include the project chunks that you have created rather than listing the project as a whole. You should also include the time estimate for each task.

 

Remove Distractions:

  • Office clutter: Clean up your space at the end of each day, both at home and in the office. This will help to keep you focused, and you will not be tempted to clean during a project.
  • Email notification: Establish specific times to check email. Automatic notifications are distracting and cut into the time you spend on each project.
  • Telephone calls: Do not take all calls. Choose a time to return calls and texts.
  • Environment: Remove distractions such as books, magazines, etc., from your workstation.

Four P’s of Goal Setting

 

You need goals to get things done. However, not every goal is effective. The way that you word your goals will determine whether or not you reach them. When establishing goals, it is important to remember the Four P’s of goal setting. They need to be positive, personal, possible, and prioritized.

 

They Need to Be Positive:

When you are creating goals, remember to make sure that they are positive. This means that you focus on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. For example, you would write, “I will achieve a promotion.” rather than “I will no longer work at this horrible job.” Staying focused on the positive will help improve your outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your chances for success. Reaching your goals will automatically help you avoid your present circumstances. When creating positive goals, remember to be as specific as possible.

 

They Need to Be Personal:

When creating goals, they need to reflect your dreams and desires. Goals that are not personal are ineffective. Your goals should be about you and only you. For example, “My boss will appreciate me.” is an ineffective goal because it is not about you. It is possible to be a wonderful employee and still be unappreciated. A better goal would be, “I will find a supervisory position where I am appreciated for my talent.” If your goals are not personal, you will never achieve them. Making goals personal places the burden of responsibility on you, but it also means that other people do not determine when you reach your goals.

 

They Need to Be Possible:

When creating goals, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you be honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. For example, it is not possible for someone to become a famous singer without any talent whatsoever. You need to assess your talents and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for you to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for you to achieve, success will be within reach.

 

They Need to Be Prioritized

Brainstorming goals can become overwhelming. You will probably have more goals than you can handle. This is the time to prioritize your goals. Begin by numerically ranking your goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important to you. Choose these goals based on your passions, and make sure that they cover all areas of your life: professional, health, personal growth, finances, etc. All of your time and energy should be spent working towards these goals.

You should place your other goals on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. In fact, you should avoid the other goals at all cost. You risk becoming side tracked with less important goals if you continue to entertain them. You will need to reprioritize your goals periodically. For example, you can reprioritize after you achieve one of your top five goals.

 

Wise Time Management

 

Time management is the key to getting things done. It is easy to become sidetracked by unimportant tasks that do not help you reach your goals without the proper time management. By following the following strategies, you will be able to navigate your time wisely. They will help you achieve your goals while decreasing your stress level and making your life easier.

Urgent/Important Matrix

In order to manage time, you need to determine the difference between urgent and important tasks. Urgent tasks are tasks that need to be done quickly, and important tasks are related to specific goals. Most tasks will be a combination of the two, such as urgent/important or urgent/unimportant. You need to place priority on important tasks, completing tasks that are both urgent and important first.

The 80/20 Rule

Many successful individuals recommend following the 80/20 Rule. The 80/20 rule states that only 20 percent of our actions are responsible for 80 percent of our successes. This means that it is necessary to discover the 20 percent of our actions that are the most effective. Focus on these actions once you discover them and make them your priorities.

Utilize a Calendar

Calendars are essential to effective time management. Calendars are familiar tools, but they are not always used effectively. When using a calendar to manage time, it is important that you only use one. Given the different calendar options, it is easy to try to integrate different calendars, but you risk scheduling mistakes. You can choose from physical calendars, mid tech options like day-timer, and high tech apps for your phone. Find the calendar that works for you and stick with it.

Calendar Rules:

  • Keep the calendar with you: Leaving the calendar behind means that you may forget to list something on it.
  • Only list appointments and day events: Appointments require specific times. Events include birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Avoid notes: Do not clutter your calendar. Have a separate section for notes.
  • Include phone numbers: While you should avoid clutter, phone numbers and addresses may be useful.

Create a Ritual:

Rituals can help improve time management. Rituals are repetitive actions, which do not need to be scheduled. For example, you do not think about brushing and flossing before bed or making coffee with breakfast. By creating rituals that are connected with goals, you will not have to schedule certain tasks. For example, if you get up at the same time every morning and exercise for 30 minutes, you will create a ritual. This ritual will become a habit over time.

You will not create a ritual overnight. For the first few months, you will have to be disciplined in your efforts. It takes time to create a habit. How long it takes a habit to form will vary according to each individual. There is no magic number. You will have to continue your quest until your ritual is complete.

 

Smart Goals

 

If you cannot achieve your goals, there is a chance that you are not creating the correct goals. Whenever you create goals, you will find that following the rules for SMART goals will be easier to achieve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you combine the elements of SMART goals, you have a greater chance of success.

 

Specific:

 

Goals need to be specific. You will not be able to reach you goals if they are broad and general because planning will be too difficult. For example, “Improve my life” is too broad. You cannot work towards this general goal. Specific goals explain what is necessary to complete a goal and guides you as you try to reach the goal. Specific goals may also identify location, requirements, and the reasoning behind the goal.Specific

Example:

  • General goal: Make more money.
  • Specific goal: Earn a promotion with a pay increase.

 

Measurable:

 

Goals need to be measurable in order to be effective. A measurable goal specifies the when a goal is accomplished by answering, “how much?” or “how many?” It provides measurable results. Without measurable goals, it is difficult to realize when the goal has been reached.

 

Example:

  • General goal: Work on a book.
  • Measureable goal: Write 10 pages a day of a book.

 

Attainable:

Goals must always be attainable. It is important that you create goals that are challenging, but they still need to be within reach. When goals are unattainable, you will give up on them without even trying. The measure of a goal should always be attainable.

 

  • Unattainable goal: Earn $1 million in the next three months.
  • Attainable goal: Earn a $2 an hour raise with my next review.

 

Realistic:

 

It is important that you set realistic goals. Realistic goals are directly related to your abilities. For example, a goal to reprogram the computer is not realistic if you do not have the education or experience to accomplish the task. Additionally, you need to make sure that you have access to the tools necessary to meet your goals. If a goal seems unrealistic, break it down into smaller chunks to know for certain.

 

Example:

  • Unrealistic Goal: Run a marathon. (without training)
  • Realistic Goal: Complete a marathon after training for a year.

Timely:

 

Always create goals that have specific time frames. General goals do not establish any time frames, which means that you may continue to pursue goals that you should relinquish. Timely goals encourage you to move forward in order to meet the deadline you have established. Once a time frame has been reached, you should take the time to reevaluate the goal.

 

Example:

  • General goal: Complete a computer training course.
  • Timely goal: Complete a computer training course within the next month.