Getting Things Done Effectively And Efficiently

By | Blogpost, habits, management, stress, Time Management

Your office is busy.  Everything is urgent. Nothing can wait. Your team is standing there with a sort of desperate look because they are terrified that they will choose the wrong thing to focus on.

But there’s a way to maintain everyone’s sanity and actually get things done effectively.

“Maintenance is cheaper than repairs.” It applies to your car and can also apply to your business.

Having systems in place is absolutely vital for the smooth daily operations. And these systems will help tremendously when there’s a crisis.

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Too Busy in Your Business? Set Goals!

By | Blogpost, Goals, Time Management

It might sound counter-intuitive to spend time setting goals when you’re already buried neck-deep in your business. Who has time?? But the irony is, goals will simplify and clarify your business operations, maximise motivation, avoid wasting time, money and effort, and free you up to use your talents to their fullest.

 

Let’s focus here on your business goals of achieving a certain level of success (as defined by you). This includes your quality of life, finances, work/life balance, growth, continuing education and contribution.

How about taking just 10 minutes a day to work on goal setting? Steps 1-3 are essential – don’t skip them. In fact, don’t take one single step in building your business until you have completed them!

1. Decide exactly what you want. Don’t spend time wandering around in circles trying to move your business toward some nebulous, ever-changing goal. What do you want out of life? What do you want your business to do for your life? For the lives of others? WRITE IT ALL DOWN. I can’t stress this enough.

2. Prepare yourself. Do your research! Develop an understanding of what it takes to achieve what you want (talk to people who already have – most love to help!). This includes how long you can expect it to take; the resources needed; the time commitment needed; and the best business practices, including marketing. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Do your research before you start, and modify your approach as needed rather than having to backtrack to learn essential skills. Know what’s necessary to achieve your goal. It may be more than you think – or less. This may influence your commitment level to your goal.

3. Reality-check your commitment level. How badly do you want this? Some business owners go into it thinking, “I’m the boss, I’ll work my own hours and plenty of free time.” This usually brings about laughter from people who have been putting in long hours to make their business thrive. Yes, you are the boss, but how badly do you want to make it? You know there will be sacrifices necessary (usually time away from family, more money than you anticipated, etc.). And there will be struggles and frustrations. So don’t waste your time and energy on goals that don’t light up your eyes and make your heart sing!

Okay – all of this can be accomplished in very short chunks of time that you set aside each day for goal-setting. This lays the groundwork. Without these three elements, you can expect the road to success to be longer and rockier than if you had prepared yourself mentally, emotionally and physically.

Once you’re clear on all of the above, here’s how to make it all work:

4. Set intermediate goals. In business and in your personal life, there are always distractions, interruptions and URGENT EMERGENCIES. That’s why doable, achievable, realistic and manageable milestones or intermediate goals will give you flexibility and let you deal with life’s crises while at the same time marching you directly toward your bigger goals. Again, setting these intermediate goals can take just a few minutes of planning and preparation. But more importantly, the achievement of these milestones is manageable. These are the small steps that add up to massive results.

5. Prioritize and say NO. Finally, when you’re taking action on these goals, learn to say NO to “urgent” things that are not “important.” Don’t let the squeaky wheel get your grease if the squeaky wheel isn’t attached to the wagon that’s hauling you to success!

Inspired by Michelle Connoly’s blog post on www.smartgoalsguide.com

The 15-Minute Miracle

By | Blogpost, Goals, Time Management

If I were to counsel you to work on your goals for just 15 minutes a day, you’d probably have a good laugh. What can you accomplish in 15 minutes, after all – right?

But, let me assure you, any big goal can be achieved by working in consistent 15-minute chunks every day. No matter whether your goal is huge or small, personal or professional, dedicating a come-hell-or-high-water 15 minute segment to it every day will achieve miracles.

One of the most common complaints about goals is that there just isn’t enough time to work on it after all your responsibilities have been taken care of. You’re just too exhausted to even think about the goal. “I’d love to, but I just don’t have the time to devote to it right now.” In the back of your mind you’re hoping for that magical day when you will have time… but as we all know, that day never comes. Ever. The amount of stuff you have to do on a day to day basis might fluctuate somewhat, but realistically, unless you take a paid leave of absence from your responsibilities, your time is never going to free up to the point where you can devote serious time to your goal.

Here’s a no-compromises solution: devote 15 minutes a day to it. It doesn’t matter if all you do is compose an email… or order business cards… or make one phone call… or write 1/10 of a blog. It doesn’t matter how much you accomplish. What matters is THAT you accomplish. Something. Anything.

The miracle in this is twofold:

1. You create a habit of consistent action. You train yourself to take action on your goal every day (at least 5 days a week). You discipline yourself to take action whether you feel like it or not. You won’t create magic every day, but you will keep the creative juices flowing and even if you have to go back and redo something later, so what? You’ve only spent 15 minutes on it before, and it’s a lesson in how not to do that thing. It’s all good. It’s all steps in the right direction.

2. You will rarely spend only 15 minutes. Yes, there will be days when even 15 minutes seems like an eternity because you’re overwhelmed with the rest of your to-do list. But you’ll be shocked at how quickly 15 minutes will turn into 30, or 60, once you’re happily immersed in what you’re doing.

Here’s how to implement the 15-minute miracle:

1. Be very clear on what you want to achieve.

2. If you have some idea of what steps you need to take to get there, break the steps down into their smallest components and take on as many of those components as will fit into a 15-minute time block. Prioritize the steps.

3. Write down a week’s worth of 15-minute action steps. This way, you can dive right in and make serious progress every time.

4. Try to be consistent about the time of day you work on your goal. This will help make it a habit. Suggestion – first thing in the morning works best, because your mind is fresher, you aren’t exhausted from work, and you can tell yourself, “just 15 minutes” and stick to it because you do have to motivate yourself to actually do something before you get going to work.

5. Track your progress to motivate yourself. Daily progress is very satisfying!

At the end of one year, you will have allocated at least 62-½ hours if you’re working on your goal 5 days a week and take a 2-week holiday; or, at least 87-½ hours if you work on it 7 days a week and take a 2-week holiday. That’s a lot of time when you consider that it is time spent on focused action, not la-di-da ruminating or busywork.

 

Inspired by Jeri Dansky’s  blog on http://unclutterer.com/

The Busy Person’s Goals-Achievement Tips

By | Blogpost, Time Management

 

We’re all busy. Life doesn’t necessarily lend itself to achieving your personal or business goals. If you learn these simple time management tricks, you will achieve anything you desire, much faster than you would if you waited around for “when I have time.”

These tips take a little prep time in the beginning but they’ll have a huge ROI in terms of making the most of your precious time, no matter how many balls you are juggling. They are the secret to goals-achievement when you’re super busy – the secret is not “finding time.”

1. Be clear on what you want. For example, if your goal is to “be fit” identify exactly what fitness means to you -enough to run a 5k, or enough to run an ultramarathon? If your goal is to “succeed in business” then what does that mean – what does success mean to you? To be rich – what’s the dollar figure?

2. Research what it takes to achieve the goal. Again, whether it’s a personal or business goal, talk to people who have achieved what you want and pick their brains. Most people love to help out like this – they’ll be flattered that they are seen as a success! Read books, browse the Internet, join trade organisations, research an industry, find out what sort of gear or resources you’ll need, etc. so that when it’s “go” time you’ll know what to expect. Then you can start working these tasks into your schedule. Begin with at the very least, 15 minutes every day, no matter what, and add to it as you can.

3. Be in love with your goal. If you’re not in love with it, you’re not going to commit to it. You’ll be more tempted to quit when things don’t go your way. If you’re interested in starting your own business, are you aware that you will have longer hours and less freedom than you do now as an employee? Are you aware that physical fitness goals will require additional time in a sport and possibly dietary changes? A huge component of being in love with the goal is being in love with the process. That makes success inevitable, even if you don’t reach your objective. This involves a choice to be excited about the adventure of this goal. The everyday work needs to be perceived as fun and fascinating – something that you really want to do, at the expense of TV and other time-suckers. Your mindset and self-talk have to be based on LOVING what you’re doing. NOT: “Uhg, I have to go run a 10k today and it’s raining” but “Yeah, it’s raining but that will make today’s 10k a lot more refreshing!” NOT: “I wish I could spend more time with my kids but these long hours are killing me!” but “I’m putting in long hours now but I’m also delegating some more tasks so I can be with the kids more.”

Now that the prep work is done…

4. Commit to 15 minutes a day on your goal, come hell or high water. If you establish this as a habit (after about a month or so of DAILY commitment) even on days when you insist you have no time or you’re too exhausted, you’ll start seeing results and you’ll get caught up in the momentum. Then you can start adding a few minutes here and there. And believe me, 15 minutes of focused effort goes a very long way. Very soon you’ll find yourself prioritising your time to make room for your goal.

 

Inspired by: http://smartgoalsguide.com/