Have you ever looked at people who seem to have everything under control and wondered how they do it? Not only do they glide through their day but they also seem to manage their home life without an ounce of stress.
The main reason for this is that there are individuals who are extremely good at setting out their goals and sticking to them. This list is going to help anyone who struggles to complete the endless things we have to do when working for a busy company.
#1. Get organised the day before
It’s probably the last thing you want to do in the evening but if you can write down what needs to be done the following day, it’ll help. I tend to divide my list into two: things for home and things for work. Your list can include anything from things to take out of the freezer to emails to reply to. The most stressful time of many people’s day is trying to get out of the door on time in the mornings and it is difficult to try and remember all that you need to achieve. Having things down on paper before you go to bed will also allow you to relax better, even get a more fulfilling night’s sleep.
#2. Determine how to achieve your goals
Quite often, people will write a list of their goals and find themselves puzzled when things aren’t being crossed off. Each goal will need direction, a sub-plan so that you know how to complete it. Setting up a plan for how to achieve your goals is not wasting time: it’s ensuring that you don’t waste time when you are trying to achieve them.
#3. Get down to planning your goals
Each day will have a different set of goals. These goals may vary in the time they occupy, the difficulty, and the level of importance. To begin, look at your goals that have a deadline. Then organise them by difficulty. It’s a good idea to make sure that you have a balance of easy and difficult tasks throughout the day. If you start the day with all of the difficult, lengthy goals, you will not see as much progress and this can be disheartening. Once you have completed a difficult task, go for a couple quick and easy tasks so you can see that you are moving things along.
#4. Set a theme for the day
Having a theme keeps your mind focused on a certain area and it’s easier to move onto the next goal as it is related. My favourite theme is ‘the niggly jobs’, those that you have been meaning to do but never get round to doing them. Dedicating one day, or even half a day, to this theme is like a mental spring clean! The great thing about themes is that you can combine home and work themes; for example, Monday will be my ‘contact people day’, I will have 5 business contacts I need to speak to, and I will talk to the electrician about coming to fix the problem with the lights.
#5. Time management
At the end of the day, you have to take control of your time management. It is easy to blame others but you need to eliminate excuses. They won’t help you prioritise your goals and get things done.
What is crucial here is that you are realistic about the time each goal will take to complete. We have all made this mistake; for example, we assume that a meeting will take one hour but in reality it’s going to take an hour and a half. Not being realistic about the time a goal takes has a knock-on effect and will only make it more difficult to achieve the next goal.
At the same time, you should also allow for some flexibility. Something could arise any time that throws a spanner into the works of your perfectly-planned day. This is why it is even more crucial to prioritise goals that are the most important.
#6. Don’t multi-task
No! There are no ‘ifs and buts’ here. Multi-tasking spreads your intelligence and focus over various goals. You may feel like you are getting more done at once but it is more likely that it will take longer to achieve your goals and they won’t be done to the same standard as when you focus on one task.
#7. Set yourself some time for no work
It may sound like this goes against every inch of your being. There is so much to do, the last thing you should be planning is free time. However, if you don’t set time aside for you and your family, you will not find enjoyment in life, and more importantly, you’ll begin to lose interest in your work. Free time should be dedicated to your family and hobbies. Doing so will make you feel like a better person and you will increase your energy levels. Sometimes the best ideas come to us when we least expect them or when we are not trying so hard for them to come.
In closing, you are the best person to determine which of your goals are priorities. Once you have narrowed this down, you’ll find that the tips we have provided will help you achieve your goals in an orderly way, without feeling like you are spreading yourself out too thin. Be strict, be determined, and don’t forget to prioritise some of your personal goals too.
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