Do you have trouble completing tasks? Are your time management skills lacking?
If you answered ‘yes’ to either question, you are probably falling short in one of three areas involving time management. Your problem may be stemming from one or more of the following:
- No good reason “Why” you are doing what you’re doing. What’s your purpose?
- You are overwhelmed with the size of your task or perhaps the sheer volume of it is daunting to you.
- You have no idea of ‘where to begin’ or what to do next.
I know; I’ve been here too. This is what I have found useful to jump start me out of ‘stuck.’ It’s very brief and simple, but it works.
First, write down on a piece of paper’‘WHAT” your primary number one current goal is. This will force you to bring clarity to your subject. Perhaps you have many goals and too many projects. That inevitably translates to none getting done so now is the time for focus.
Number two: write down on the same piece of paper exactly ‘WHY’ you want to take action on this goal or project. What’s the payoff for you? Now is the time for clarity so you can bring a laser focus on your activity. Typically, some projects will have their challenges or you may simply not feel up to the task at times. Your ‘why’ gets you emotionally invested in your goal and keeps you going when you are feeling weak. Now position this paper on the wall or mirror, somewhere prominent where it is never completely out of sight. In this way, this serves as a visible reminder and intuitively, you now understand where and why this task/goal fits into the bigger picture of your life.
Final Step: Write down the NEXT THREE ACTIONS you must take to finish your project or reach your goal. Write down only three. We want to keep things simple and doable. Your situation may have twenty or more required actions, but that can overwhelm and stop you right there. By just taking and completing ‘baby steps’ you achieve many more rungs of accomplishment, which in itself, spurs you onward. (The Japanese learned this step from Dr. Edwards Deming and called it “Kaizen.”) Post these steps in a very prominent place such as the corner of your monitor and when you finish them, replace them with the next three.
Now for a couple of details. Don’t let distractions detour you. Say ‘no’ to the phone, TV, radio, or walk-in interruptions. And if you must wait for someone else to do something, move immediately on to the next action. The important thing is that you keep moving toward your goal.
By using this 3-Step Process, you have kept things clear and simple, doable, and focused. We all can get bogged down from time to time, but when you are clear on what you want, know why you’re taking action, and then apply relentless action, you can become unstoppable!
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