Shawnee Love • January 3, 2019
As I woke up on January 1st, I was thinking about what I could do to make this year more productive than the last one. Being more productive was one of the themes resonating with me when I realized December was galloping by and I didn’t have the time or energy to do true goal setting before the end of the year. (“More productivity” isn’t a goal because it isn’t SMART [Check out Personal New Year’s Resolutions for a refresher on what SMART means]).
So as I was percolating on New Year’s Day regarding what kinds of goals would support my theme of productivity, I reflected on how I work and when I am most productive.
Without a doubt, I am most productive when I know what I have to accomplish by:
- Time (e.g., each day, week, etc.) and also
- Desired outcome (e.g., project, professional designation requirement, speaking engagement deadline, etc.)
If left to my own devices, I will do things. I will make progress. I will have something to show for my efforts. But if I know exactly what I have to do by when, I am more likely to accomplish that task and more.
For me, goal setting is more than determining what to accomplish. It is also about coming to terms with what I am willing to sacrifice to get there. For example, in a previous year, I set out with a health theme and one goal of sleeping at least 7 hours per night. In doing so, I also had to decide if success might also mean:
- Less gym or friend / family time,
- A reduced ability to read as many books each year, or
- Turning off social media after 8 pm.
Social media is on the chopping block again this year. I have set a goal of reducing my time on social media to a maximum of 7 hours per week (personally and professionally) to help enhance my abilities to be productive. Some of the other targets I have made to support my goal of making 2019 a more productive year include:
- Reducing the time I spend in my car for work by 30%,
- Listening to audiobooks or podcasts when I am in my vehicle (20 per year is my goal and I have a great audiobook app to help me do it), and
- Starting and ending each week with a short planning session which will involve updating my task/ project list so I know exactly what I have accomplished and what still needs to be done.
This is one example of how to get your own goal setting started for the year. If you have other methods, please share in the comments below.
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you have arrived?