Let’s face it. We’re all ready to put 2020 behind us. While some prospered in the midst of the chaos, many businesses suffered, many closed, and others just barely survived. I would venture to say that many of us are setting new goals for 2021, and are ready to move on to new and exciting things.
Most entrepreneurs know that goals need to be specific, measurable, and time bound. But those three things simply are not enough. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set goals, only to find they were not met. Over the years though I’ve started to realize a few things…
You must plan, you must master distraction, and have efficient systems to help you accomplish the goals.
Goals must have a plan
Let me ask you a question. If you were planning a summer vacation, how would you got about executing the vacation?
Would you simply mark a week on the calendar, and then hope for the best once the week arrived? NO. You would meticulously plan the trip. Every detail. The route you would drive, the places you would stay, the amount of money you would spend, and the attractions you would visit. In some cases you might even plan a detailed itinerary for each day.
Often times entrepreneurs don’t treat their goals like a destination. They don’t create a detailed plan to get there. This is why making time for strategic planning is so important. What gets planned gets done. And if you don’t make a plan and work your plan, you will never reach your destination.
It can be tempting to see “planning” as the busy work, when in fact our day to day tasks like responding to email, talking to customers, and executing on ideas are meaningless if there is no plan behind it. It’s like waiting for your vacation week and hopping in the car not knowing where you are going.
If planning overwhelms you. Try planning to plan! Set aside time in your calendar to plan. I personally try to schedule about an hour a week, so I can time block the upcoming week to ensure I get the most important objectives done that drive me towards meeting my goal. After all, any time we intentionally schedule is not wasted time.
With social networks, email, and news sites vying for our attention to appease advertisers we have to turn off the pings and dings that constantly distract us. Just think about it for a moment. Let’s say you just sat down to work on a blog post or client proposal, you are 20 minutes into a productive flow state and then – DING. Your phone goes off letting you know somebody responded to your post on Facebook.
Those few minutes you take to check Facebook could easily turn into 30 minutes. And even if it doesn’t it has interrupted your flow state. We need to “hack back” our phones and computers so that they are the useful tools they should be, not a device designed to distract and bring you off course.
And remember this. Distraction is the opposite of traction. Every time we get distracted, be it a pointless project, or checking Facebook. It pulls us away from gaining traction on our goals.
With that said, it’s important to note that social networks, email pings, and news feeds are not the only distractions. Often times it can be projects that seem fun, or have a cool factor, but at the end of the day have no bearing in driving us towards our goals. Which brings me back to strategic planning. If we don’t know what drives us towards our goals, we don’t know what is a distraction.
Being disorganized is one of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs feel overwhelm and lack clarity on what to do next.
Adopting efficient systems to keep track of our to-do list and projects is imperative.
We can be more productive when we know exactly WHAT to work on.
Efficient systems are a combination of tech tools and the know how to use them. I personally use Trello and LeanKit: both are KanBan style systems of task management, also known as visual task management. They are a proven system to manage tasks and projects through each stage of their lifecycle, so you aren’t always having to guess what’s next.
Having efficient systems for processing mail and paperwork are also crucial to avoid overwhelm and wasting time.
I’m going to be teaching all about these efficient systems in my upcoming course, The WISE Method.
If you are interested in how to get more done in less time, escape overwhelm and gain clarity, then this course is for you. It’s all about managing time, and being efficient at everything you do.
To get notified about the course launch, simply sign up for my email list below. I also send out the occasional email with productivity and business tips to help you manage your time better, be more productive and achieve amazing work-life balance.