Personal productivity game plan: 7 vital steps to reaching your goals
Productivity boils down to the individual minutes and how you choose to spend them. If we know personal productivity is what stands in the way between us and our goals, why don’t we just do it? Productivity is a mental game and to win you absolutely must set yourself up for success ahead of time.
We’ll give you some tips to set a personal system to guarantee productivity and help you work towards your goals without even thinking about it.
1. Better goal setting: quantify your goals
A huge mistake we make in goal setting is not giving quantifiable measures. We’re lofty dreamers, but we’re also analytical. Numbers speak to us. You wouldn’t tell a board that your team’s plan is to “increase profits by a lot” — don’t tell yourself the same. Have specific numbers to base your strategy on. When you don’t establish quantifiable goals, you have no indication you’ve made any progress. Even worse, it’s easy to lie to yourself about what you’ve achieved.
You can’t change what you can’t measure.
Luckily, there’s a tool to help quantify just about anything.
Weight loss goals? FitDay provides a great daily body and mood tracker.
Savings goals? Try MoneyBox for a fun way to both track savings goals and invest.
2. Determine the steps to get there
In our minds, attaining goals are epic movie-like moments like crossing the finish line of a marathon. It’s clear when we’ve arrived and everything is changed. Attaining some goals may be distinct but others may be more gradual. Regardless, creating real progress is only the result of consistent daily action. You must break up long and short-term goals into small, attainable, and actionable steps.
3. Delegate the work to yourself and make it digital
Treat yourself like an employee. Manage yourself. Once you’ve created your actionable steps, delegate the work to yourself as tasks. Make them a priority like any task you would receive at work. Until you are able to turn goals in your mind to consistent physical actions, they can exist only in your mind.
Many of us have moved our work and personal lives online. Move your goals online for better productivity. For this, there are many digital tools to help organize your goal tasks. Scheduling them somewhere digital rather than written down and somewhere out of site will help integrate them.
Try Wunderlist for easy personal productivity on-the-go and at your desk.
4. No more to-do lists. Schedule productivity
Organize your goals in a calendar and schedule productivity. Don’t add to a to-do list. To-do lists don’t work. Lists work for groceries and that’s about it. To be productive you need to schedule in productivity. These tasks must be non-negotiable events you will to be present for each day and not things you’ll get around to “when you can”.
5. Get notifications only when it matters
The great thing about digitizing your goals is that you can keep yourself notified. You can log the tasks you need to complete to stay productive and on track in a personal task management app or calendar even as simple as Google Calendars. Have notifications set up to remind you at the ideal times to accomplish those tasks throughout the day.
For example, if you know you typically have time in the morning and during to finish part of an online language course, you can set reminders for those times. Re-reading a note on a to-do list all day will do you no good!
6. Make time to be unproductive
A huge part of real productivity and goal attainment is avoiding burnout. To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed and falling out of your productive schedule, literally schedule in time to be unproductive. Allow yourself scheduled breaks to do nothing. If you know there is a break ahead, you are must more likely to follow through with tasks beforehand.
7. Simplify and organize the environment around you
A big part of the reason we’ve become so unable to focus on long-term goals is the vast amount of data we are constantly exposed to every day. The average person spends almost two hours a day total browsing social media. The more hours a day you spend online, the more important it is to prioritize and simplify what you put in front of you. There are tools you can use to block social media sites for certain hours such as Cold Turkey.
You’d be surprised how detrimental the distraction of constant data is in your productivity. The more useless consumption you can cut from your routine, the more “found” hours you will have to put towards your tasks and goals.
Trying out just a few of these techniques can set you on your way to killing old habits that are getting in the way of better productivity and achieving short and long-term goals.
Productivity is all about harnessing the potential in the minutes you spend day by day!
-The Hibox Team