Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Success, Time Management, ToDo Lists
Have you ever started working on a project and become quickly distracted? Or have you ever started working on a project and become energized to the point that you were able to get most of it done in a short amount of time? Have you felt at times that you could complete an entire project in one sitting? Are there certain times of the day that you have lots of energy while other times you feel drained?
All of these questions relate to optimal productivity times. These are times during the day when you are most productive, most creative and most energized. (You can also map your productivity times to highs and lows in your week.)
I’m an early bird. Read more
As I sat at home last night watching two of the top college basketball teams in the country vie for the national title, I couldn’t help but think about the journey these young men traveled to get to this game and what this tournament says about striving for your goals.
The college basketball season starts in November and runs through February – about 18 weeks. Each team can expect to play 40 regular season games – tournaments not included. Remove holidays, school closing, etc. and these college athletes can expect to play 3 games per week. Now add in practice.
There are 212 NCAA Division I Colleges. From this pool, 68 were chosen to participate in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Each team carries a roster of about 15 players. That means, on day one of the tournament, there are 1,020 student athletes confident they will make it to the championship game.
This year, one team with sixteen players rose victorious. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Live Your Dreams, Productivity, Project Management, Success, Time Management, ToDo Lists
“What gets focused on gets done!”
Here at PiVI we want to help you achieve your goals. When the New Year started we began providing tips and tools to support you in that effort (see Jan 14 Post). At this point you have your goals clearly defined and – as of about 30 days ago – you have an achievement in place plan too! (see Feb 11 Post) You’re off to a good start and it might seem too soon to do a formal progress review. But if you want to stay on track with your goals there are key times throughout the year that you have to know how you’re progressing. To keep on track for the rest of the year, every three months we are going to stop working on our goals and analyze where we are. Using a standard measure of “quarters” makes it simple; end of March, June, September and December.
Since this is the first review of the year the analysis will be light. So get out your printed goals and let’s get started! (If you have your goals in PiVI there’s a feature on the Goals page that will export them to Excel for you.)
Stage I: Review what’s in front of you.
- Are all of these goals still valid? Should any of them be removed from the list?
- At a high level, do they still seem achievable this year?
- At this point are any of them more than 50% achieved?
- Are there any goals that you have not started working on and why?
Stage II: Set a course direction
- Review your goals achievement schedule.
- Check your milestones. Are any coming up? Are you on track to meet them?
- Goals that are 50% or more complete. How can you adjust your plan to finish them off by June? July?
- Goals that you haven’t begun working on yet. How should you adjust your plan so that you achieve them on time?
- Do a month by month check. Are you still on target? Do you need to adjust your timeline?
Stage III: Re-Commit
- Remind yourself of the reasons why you undertook these goals this year.
- Remind yourself of the benefits you’ll receive from every goal you achieve.
- Decide on how you will reward yourself once you achieve your goals.
That’s it! It shouldn’t take you long to go through Stages One through Three. Then use this information to drive your activity in the second quarter.
When I was employed by Fortune 500 companies performance reviews occurred from January to February, and promotion announcements were made in March. So if you’re up for a promotion and you haven’t heard yet, you have about a two week window to receive some good news. Now don’t celebrate too long, once you get promoted people will expect you to begin producing at a higher level right away. I remember getting promoted to Sr. Director of Technical Development. My manager and her boss met with me and gave me the good news together. I felt honored for their faith in me and expressed it by saying “I want to thank you guys for this. I appreciate the vote of confidence.” Without taking a breath, my managers’ boss looked me right in the eyes and said. “We’re going to expect a lot more from you with this new title.” The deadpan way that he delivered his message made me wonder whether this promotion was such a good idea. I had been working my ass off already!
In time and through several more promotions I learned that the expectation to produce immediately was a trap. Failure is imminent for the newly promoted or newly hired who jump in and start rattling the bushes without first doing their homework.
I have been using the book “The First 90 Days”, by Michael D. Watkins, when coaching new leaders to successfully make the transition from one role to the next. My clients find its practical wisdom easy to digest and immediately applicable. If someone would have given me two key strategies from this book I would have had a much easier time adjusting and being successful in my new role. So here goes. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Productivity, Success, Time Management
The problem we faced last week was that after about 3 months of working on your goals you begin to get distracted. The truth is this is natural. You should be expecting this, so don’t let that bother you. The trick is getting back on track. When most of us lose focus that ends it for our goals. Month after month goes by with movement on your objectives. Before you know it, it’s Christmas and you’re wondering where all the time went. Not a happy place.
This week we’re going to tackle 3 of the top reasons why you have difficulty rebounding when non-goal focused responsibilities grab your attention. Let’s address it and fix these problems today!
The No Plan Problem
We’ve all heard it before; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This adage is so simple, yet so true. What’s surprising to me is the number of people who don’t take time to create a plan for their goals. Planning is a simple process. We do it all the time because innately we understand its benefits. Imagine trying to do your weekly grocery shopping without a grocery list? Creating a shopping list is planning. Imagine getting dressed in the morning without checking the weather? Or going to the hair dresser without knowing what you want to look like when you leave? Planning is easy. And like with any one of these you have to set aside time to plan for your goals. In January I presented a Six Week Goals Development Series that included planning steps. If you haven’t already, give it a look. But no matter what set aside time this week to check your goals and plan how you’re going to reach them. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Productivity, Project Management
If you’re like most people once you’ve decide on a goal you’re pumped up, motivated, and energized. You’re excited about the target that you set for yourself and you get right to work. Somewhere along the way – I swear it’s around 3 months in – you begin to lose focus. The excitement is gone. Soon other things start to creep in to distract you from your mission. Six months later we’re shaking our head wondering what happened. But some people have a knack for getting right back into the game. They seem equipped to weather these boredom storms then re-commit to their dreams. But most people stay on the sidelines watching time pass them by.
It’s no surprise to me that people aren’t reaching their goals. The problems are all too clear. You just don’t know how to get back on track once you get derailed from your effort. Here are just 3 reasons why:
You don’t have a plan. The biggest mistake that people make when trying to achieve their goals is not having a plan. Anything worth doing requires a well thought out plan. Even though you have tons of evidence right in front of you about the benefits of planning you fail to take this important first step towards goal achievement. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Productivity, Success
It’s March and you’ve already hit your first target. You’ve created, prioritized and scheduled your 2014 Goals. In essence you developed a “plan”. BRAVO! Check in with your friends and colleagues about their goals and I bet that most of them are still wrestling with what they want to do this year. And I bet none of them actually have a plan to keep them on track. In my experience people develop their goals and jump right into working on them. They don’t stop to plan or even create a vision of success to motivate them. What happens? Within 3 months they fall off the wagon. The allure of achieving their goals has faded. And without a roadmap to follow they don’t know how to get back on track. But you’re beyond that. You have a plan and you’re firmly on your way.
In this last installment of the Goals Development Series I’m offering you 3 Key Concepts to help you successfully carry out your plan.
Key #1: Identify Motivators Early.
Throughout the year, as you’re working on your goals, your emotional energy will go from high to low and back up to high again. During the “high” times you will feel like you can accomplish anything. During “low” times you’ll have little to no motivation to work on your goals. These are the times when you will need a person to help you get moving again. More than just a cheerleader, this motivator is someone you respect, who knows what you’re working on and who can advise you on how to regain your enthusiasm. Whenever you get off track, schedule a motivation session with your coach, colleague or friend.
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Success, ToDo Lists
We’re almost done preparing our 2014 Goals. Last week you prioritized your Goals and the Task lists associated with them. This exercise should have given you a sense of how challenging the year will be and how wonderful you’re going to feel when December comes around and you see how much you’ve achieved. This week let’s map out exactly how you’re gonna get it all done this year. To do that we need two things: a Chart and a Calendar of your Goals. Read more
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Live Your Dreams, ToDo Lists
Prioritizing is the process of arranging items in order of importance. When we prioritize we selectively choose what we plan to do while at the same time deciding what we plan not to do. This is important to understand because when we decide to work on our goals we are also deciding to put something else on the “back burner”. It’s not like we will neglect our responsibilities but rather that some tasks will have to be rescheduled to make room for us to work on our goals. The cold hard truth is that in order for you to achieve your goals somebody else’s goals/concerns will have to wait. That’s what prioritization is all about. This is not always easy to accept. Yet, if you want to succeed in 2014 you have to prioritize.
You might have heard the phrase; “What gets focused on gets done”. We see examples of this expression every day. People achieve their goals by focusing singularly on their target then doing what it takes to hit the mark. One memorable example of this in my lifetime is the transformation of Times Square in NY. When I was growing up 42nd Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue was filled with sex shops, cheap movie theatres and smoke dens. Drugs were sold openly on corners and you couldn’t walk down the block without having to step over someone sleeping in the street. The renowned Theatre District had become the last place anyone would bring their family. But in the 1990s Mayor David Dinkins committed to transforming 42nd Street from a place for sex and drugs into a destination for tourists and families. During his administration the city reclaimed several dilapidated theatres, moved out smoke shop owners and convinced the Walt Disney Corporation to rehabilitate the historic 42nd Street Theatre. The result?
What used to look like this….
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Success, ToDo Lists
So far we suspended actually working on our 2014 Goals and instead spent time getting clear about what they should be. With a sense of clarity firmly in place, we can now begin identifying the specific steps needed to move them forward. These steps, also called “Tasks”, are the engine that drives goal achievement. Without Tasks keeping us moving forward we won’t be able to reach our goals. Even if today you won a $5 million lottery you would still have to plan how you’re going to bring your dreams to life. So this week we want to develop a task list for each goal.
I’m not talking about your typical ToDo list cluttered with all the things other people want you to do. A lists made up of tons of other people’s priorities. That kind of list does little to move your goals forward. What I’m proposing is a “Reach My Goals” list. Read more