26 September, 2011

Monday's Mission: Goals and Priorities

I don't know how many (or few) of you are still with me. We've looked at time logs and scheduling over the last two weeks and now we're down to the nitty-gritty; goals and priorities... or, why we're even looking at any of this in the first place! (I know it's easy to lose sight of a goal. I remember when I was in labor with my daughter, I looked up at the ceiling and there, on the light fixture, was a small sign, that read: "THINK BABY!" "Oh, yeah... now I remember why I'm here. For a moment the pain got in the way!") If you're still with me , reach around and give yourself a pat on the back; you deserve it, you rose above and conquered the pain (or whatever your distraction is)! I left you last week with ditching your television and your laptop if they were your time "robbers". The only people excited about continuing would be those who were addicted to All My Children, since it aired it's last episode on Friday; you have nothing but time to devote to something new! In all seriousness, your time wasters have been exposed and, hopefully, by limiting them and excluding (or at least moderating time spent) them from your schedule you have a fresh outlook on productivity. I have no idea what your stated objective was for beginning this journey, only you know that. You've kept time logs for a week and you've given scheduling a try; so, where do we go from here? Let's stop right here and see where you are and where you want to go... I'll throw an example out there, one of my own: the goal this month is to finish a wallhanging for my granddaughter's room, it is to be a birthday gift presented to her next Sunday. I have, probably, somewhere between six and eight hours of work left to complete the project; and I have one week to accomplish that. So, I know I need to spend a little more than an hour a day to reach my goal, can I work that in to my schedule? Yes, I can. Is it a priority? Absolutely, it is! I will make this happen, even if that means getting up and hour and a half earlier each day! If this were a Christmas gift; or even a birthday gift for, say, November it could slide a bit; I could devote smaller segments of time over a greater span. But, since this has become a TOP priority, I will schedule even a little extra time for this one. If the time isn't all used, and I have realized the goal, I will pour this time somewhere else... into another day or another task and move on to what's next on the list. I do set a monthly goal, by this time in the month it's clear if I am going to reach it or not, because of that I do figure in a few "mop up" days during the last week of every month, that way I don't become discouraged by falling short; the days are there if I need to use them. The time itself is finite, but the goals and the priorities change, they're fluid. What do you have to accomplish this week? How can you best utilize your objective to reach your goal? Don't be discouraged if you don't get everything done that you had hoped to... begin small and celebrate the little victories, they will spur you on to the next big thing! This entire way of thinking/planning/living is a habit to be cultivated; it takes time to nurture your plan and keep the time wasters away at the same time, (think of it as waging war~ guarding your precious time and fighting off the time-robbers, basic good vs. evil), as you get better at it, it will seem easier to manage. Next week we'll look at multi-tasking and tips for effective time saving! Until then... plug in bits and pieces of time, where you can, those that will help you recognize your priorities and reach your goals; and remember:

Life is Good!

"Don’t underestimate the power of small incremental changes. Dream big and constantly pull yourself in the right direction by checking off to-do after to-do…one small task a day can rapidly eat away at something that looks and feels unreachable."


quiltkeemosabe said...

I know I"m still here---not perfectly focused or scheduled, but stumbling along, trying to absorb what you're giving us and taking baby step after baby step. And even in my stumbling and bumbling, accomplishing a little more than I used to. Thanks!

Becky G said...

The daily sheet you presented last earlier has worked quite well for me... Funny how format makes so much difference for one who thinks visually & relationally. Thanks for that.

As to this week's topic... Surly, surely, I knew this? But this morning the penny dropped.... Lots 'o goals... Lots, but feeling a bit behind the curve, my priorities probably fall into the "putting out fires" category. So this week, I am going to list out my goals, evaluate the time they will take, cull them & establish just a couple priorities. Thanks for facilitating this process! B