Often in many of my one-on-one sessions I get asked: How to set daily or weekly or monthly or yearly achievable goals? or How can I be more productive? Even though people are doing their best often so many times it feels, we aren’t doing enough. When in reality we just got the right amount of things done. I have been a victim of trying to put too many eggs in my basket and not being able to focus on anyone of them. Being productive is a big challenge for most people. In today’s busy world, when things are due for yesterday, we really have to be cautious about where and how we’re spending our time. This is the key to getting things done and being our most productive selves.
I’ve brought about many changes in life by doing simple things that can change the way I look at my time, treat my work and make my schedules. I’ve listed some of them, that might really help you.I’m sharing the tried and tested strategies that are sure to help you. So, here they are for you to give it a go:
- Stop doing lists: There is plenty of research that speaks about why lists don’t work and they are mostly all true. Unless you’re going and buying groceries (sometimes, not even for that), lists don’t work. Simply because for any kind of goal, you need something less open ended than “to-do” list. The items in a list are often quite temporary and become obsolete soon. We might thing that it helps to tick of things and tasks we have to get done but there is no decorum in list making. Another reason why lists don’t work is that one can easily lose motivation and control of one’s end goal. Often lists can be frustrating since they aren’t time bound and thus, doesn’t allow us to measure the completion time. Often the list controls you, rather than you controlling the list. Which brings me to S.M.A.R.T. goals.
- Yes, SMART goals do work: I talk about smart, measurable, actionable, reliable and timely goals, mostly all the time. When you have goals that are SMART, whether yearly, monthly, weekly or even daily basis, you know what you need to do, when, where and why.
- Use simple things that you love: There is no need to over-complicate life with technology that just exhausts us. I’ve used plenty of tools in life that didn’t help me a bit rather only made my life a hot mess. I’ve shifted to simple and basic technologies that make my life much easier. Google is definitely my go-to resource and Google Calendar is my best friend to schedule things and ensure I get things done.
- You need a long-term solution, not short term result: When you set SMART goals instead of just making lists or only putting things in your head regarding what you need to achieve and in what duration. Goals setting is definitely important and it is only means to an end. It is crucial to remember that your goal may not keep motivated over the long-term. It is more like a “to and fro” movement of the clock dong. And the last one is the most important.
- Commit to a process and not the end goal: You need to have a systems approach to setting yourself up for success. Setting a goal is great however, it puts a lot pressure for completion. Systems-based thinking is never about hitting the quantity of tasks and ticking things off the list, rather than focusing on the process instead of the it’s about sticking to the process and not missing the main point. When I talk about the systems approach to your goal, I want you to really be clear about what you want to achieve and most important HOW will you achieve it. For instance if your goal for today is to workout for 1 hour then schedule your time: warm up 10 minutes, 20 minutes boxing/running, two circuits of freestyle training of 15 minutes each. I haven’t mentioned what kind of freestyle training you’d do and how many reps but ensure you mention it. I always do that on my device or on a sheet of paper. This way I am always on track.
The thing in effectively achieving goals is really simple: when you focus on the process rather than the end goal itself. It makes you not only enjoy the work but also aid your performance for the best.
Now, you tell me: Which strategy helped you the most? Or if you follow something exciting and different, share that. I look forward to see you in the comments below.
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