Newsletter 21_No time for horse play!

COMPRESS.dsl: Newsletter 21 : No time for horse play! Here’s the inside track to setting your goals and achieving them - horse sticking out his tongue

Here’s the inside track to setting your goals and achieving them 

Hellooooo there

The crazy days continue, with projects racing in and out the door and our clients producing reports at a fast and furious pace. About two weeks ago, when our weekly production meeting started to resemble a noisy rodeo show, we stopped, took a deep breath, and decided that we could all benefit from some goal setting and time management advice. We hope that the information set out below will be of some use.

Set your goal

Use the SMART method to set your goals: they should be specific, measurable, achievable (this is generally the hurdle I fall down at), relevant, and time-based. This sounds complicated but it is actually quite simple. For example, if I want to get more clients, I should set the goal as, ‘I shall attract 5 new clients in the next 6 months’; or, if I need to get more online presence, my goal could be, ‘I want to post one item on Facebook/LinkedIn every week’.

Infographic depicting "SMART" diagram - setting goals the smart way

Organise your goals into a sensible order

In deciding what tasks to tackle first, the time management matrix is a useful tool.

In deciding what tasks to tackle first, the time management matrix is a useful tool. [HH, could you possibly redraw the following matrix in our style?] Time Management Matrix: 4 quadrant to work from or in

Planning is very important. Either at the end of the day, or at the start of the new day, make a list of what needs to be done, and when you plan to do it. Try to stick to one task at a time (in other words, unlike me, do not be distracted and veer off course every time a new email lands) , and avoid multitasking (cough cough) which we all know is, ultimately, unproductive.

Jaqueline Harvey of the HSRC uses the 1-3-5 rule to set realistic goals. She selects one big task, three medium tasks, and five small tasks to complete in a day. This, to me, sounds reasonable and realistic – too often I add a quite ridiculous number of tasks to my to-do list for the day, and then I lose motivation when I (obviously) can’t achieve them.

Now make sure you actually do the tasks

Finally, let’s tackle the elephant in the room, procrastination. Often, we feel that just making the list of things to do, and putting them in the right order, was quite exhausting enough, and we’ve now earned a good cup of coffee and a break.

Again, Jaqueline has good advice: just do five minutes. Usually that is enough to get you going, and you’ll have made such good headway that you’ll keep going for a bit longer and actually achieve meaningful progress.

This link also gives good advice on how to set and meet your time-management goals, without curling up into a ball of desolation.

Finally: how NOT to do it

Cartoon: 2 dinos talking about goals_source: "dinos and comics"

Enjoy the autumn (or spring, if that’s where you are), and may all your goals be achieved.

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