Last month I talked about how I went away to San Remo in Victoria, where I spent some time doing some goal setting for 2021.
But setting goals doesn’t guarantee goal completion. To achieve my goals, I need to have a system that supports me to accomplish them. In this blog, I will share my systems and tools with you that help me focus and achieve my goals.
Step 1: I Break My Goals into Sub-tasks
Setting a goal can be overwhelming. And for many people, the first question that comes to mind is, where do I start? The first place I like to start is by breaking my goal into sub-tasks.
I have a goal to complete a National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) course by early February. My first step is to review what modules and assessments (the sub-tasks) I need to do to complete the course (the goal). To complete the course, I need to complete three modules and three assessments before applying for my certificate. Breaking down my goal into sub-task gives me a clear picture of what needs to be done to achieve my goal.
To help me capture my goals and sub-tasks, I use ASANA.
What is ASANA?
ASANA is an online project management tool designed for managing teamwork, projects and tasks. Its focus is to manage task across teams; however, it can also manage individual projects. ASANA allows me to document my goals and sub-tasks effectively. Below is an example of how I use ASANA to break down a goal.
So any actions that relate to the goal are inputted into a central location in ASANA. The benefit of this is I don’t have to rely on memory as everything I need to action to complete a goal is captured in ASANA. There is no risk of things being forgotten. ASANA helps me to stay focused as it tells me what task I need to do next to achieve my goal. The other benefit of breaking down my goals is it allows me to see how much will be involved in completing them, thereby enabling me to set myself clear expectations on how long something will take.
There are many other tools and systems out there that can help to capture and manage goals and tasks, and ASANA is just one of them. If you’re not comfortable with digital technology, a pen and paper system can also work. The key is to find methods that work for you. Breaking down my goals into sub-tasks is excellent as it tells me what I need to do to achieve them.
But that’s just part of the story.
Not only do I need a system to tell me what to do, but I also need a process that will tell me when I’m going to do it.
Step 2: I Schedule in Time to Work on My Goals & Sub-tasks
Once I have broken down my goals into sub-tasks, I then need to determine when I’m going to work on them. That’s where scheduling comes into play. Scheduling involves allocating time to complete tasks, attend appointments, and work on goals. For example, with my goal to complete a NAPO course by early February. I know that I need to complete three modules; thereby, I need to make time during the week to work on them. I may allocate 2 hours on Monday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am to work on the modules. And I will continue to do this each week until I have completed the course. Essentially I’m making an appointment with myself to work on my goals. I use an electronic calendar to help me schedule my time as outlined below.
Most electronic calendars will allow you to schedule in time similar manner. Again, if you are not comfortable with digital tools, a pen and paper system can also work. How much time I allocate to working on my goals each week depends on what other business and personal commitments I have, but I always aim to schedule in time each week to work on my goals. What goals I choose to work on will depend on priorities, deadlines and other commitments.
I also need to be realistic about how much I can achieve in a day (this can be a challenge). The key is not to overwhelm myself with working on too many goals at once. I like to work only on two to three goals at a given time as this provides me with variety but doesn’t overwhelm me. Any other goals that I want to work on are captured in ASANA; however, they won’t be worked on until I have completed my current goals. Once I have decided on what I’m working on, then I block out time in my calendar (scheduling) to work on them.
There are many other systems and tools out there to help you achieve your goals – this is my system. It’s not a perfect system, and I have tweaked it over the years, and it will continue to evolve. However, the most important thing is it’s a system that doesn’t allow my goals to sit idle on a piece of paper; instead, it enables me to achieve them and do the things I value. The critical thing for you is to find a system that allows you to work on your goals and live your values.
Let me know what you think of my system? What systems do you have in place to help you achieve your goals?
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