Today is the best day of your life. What we do today will determine our tomorrows. How many times have we heard that and yet reaching our goals is often out of reach. I am in a soul searching and changing mode in my life. I have reached a time in which, the old ways are not working and I must make decisions that will change my focus and define what is most important. I am leaving a job and planning to become the entrepreneur that I longed for. There are many misteps, however, it is now or wait until the perfect timing. I am sharing with you some ideas from Mary Joyce, Resource Queen.
- Know what your goals are.
You can’t choose your biggest payoff tasks if you don’t know what your goals are. Thoughtful planning is critical so you know what you’re trying
accomplish and how to rank your items accordingly.
2. Write it all down.
Write every task down, from the largest to the seemingly least important. If
you’re finding yourself getting sidetracked during the day, it may be because
you’ve failed to write critical activities on your list. Before you can rank your
items, you need a complete view of your work world.
With your goals in mind, ask yourself, “What are the top three activities I can
complete today that will move me closer to those goals?” Put an asterisk next
to those tasks, and start the day there. If you complete any of the other items,
it’ll be a bonus.
4. Track your success.
At the end of the week, review your daily lists. Have you made significant
progress towards your goals? Which tasks turned out to be the most
important? Which did you think were important but proved to be less critical?
5. Keep refining.
Use your weekly reviews to inform your decisions going forward. If you notice
that you often rank your social media efforts as critical, but they don’t seem to
be impacting your progress towards your goals, resist putting those as starred
items on your daily list. Conversely, if you notice a pattern in your highest
impact activities, keep those high on your list.
Not all to-do items are created equal. If you consistently evaluate your activities according to your most important goals, you’ll soon know which tasks to keep high on the To-Do list – and which can be eliminated completely.
Research shows that people who write down their goals are
about twice as likely to achieve them as those who do not. And if you count those who write down their goals but don’t quite meet them, they still get a lot closer than they would have if they hadn’t written them down in the first place. Therefore, you can see the strong case for committing to your goals in writing.
This research is true in long-term goals like building your dream house or traveling the world – but what does all of this have to do with daily To-Do lists? Well, what is a To-Do list but a list of goals for the day?
Here are some tips to help you create doable, effective To-Do lists:
1. Make it reasonable.
We’re all too familiar with the endless To-Do list, the one with dozens of items, more than you could accomplish in a week, let alone a day. While writing every single thing you have to do down on a list may make you feel like you’re getting your life under control, it’s actually counterproductive. Not only will critical tasks get lost in the muddle, you can become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things you have to accomplish.
2. Make it specific.
One of the biggest problems with To-Do lists is that people write down projects versus tasks. Anything that goes on your list should be something you can actually accomplish, such as “Call Joe about product release plans,” instead of “Finalize product release.” If you write down projects instead of tasks, you can’t ever cross them off – they just sit on your list and migrate from one day to the next which is very frustrating. On the other hand, basic Psychology teaches that rewards make us want to do an activity more – so every time we check off an item on our list, it motivates us to do more. You can only do that if the items are small enough to check off. However…
3. Make it important.
So before something makes it onto your list, ask yourself if it’s critical to the completion of your goals. If not, don’t even write it down. (Trust me, you will remember to “eat lunch” even if you don’t have it on your daily list!)
I might add another tool in goal setting is meditation and prayer. One must find time to release all the doubts and worry thoughts to get clarity. Twenty minutes a day on rising and before going to bed are ways to find the clarity.
Wishing you health, happiness and wealth
Chari Farmer Ogogo