It’s the last week of the first month of the year and you may be lost in mixed feelings. Do you deserve a sharp reprimand for missing your goals or a pat on the back for a job well done? In this self-reflection class, you have to own up and be true to yourself. As 2019 strolls by, are you making every day count? A fabulous year can end in an ordinary way if you lack the energy and enthusiasm to ace your daily goals.
To be honest, I know how it feels when you have a list of daily goals with unchecked boxes staring at you. If you pride yourself as one, who is a pro in getting things done, missing your goals could be worrisome. To make matters worse, the pace at which your days disappear, you silently wish that you can have more than 24 hours in a day.
Time is one of the equally distributed resources – everyone has access to the same 24 hours in a day. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and you all have the same 24 hours but how come they seem to be getting more out of their day. Perhaps there is something they do, but you ignore.
If 2019 will be different for you regarding results, then you have to be intentional about how to excel at your daily goals. Here are some tips that work:
7 Tips That Work
1. Create a list of your daily goals
The rule is if anything is important to you, then you have to write it down. Writing your goals gives you an opportunity to think things through and put these tasks in the front burner of your brain.
A list of daily goals serves as a reminder when you are lost in the pool of daily activities. In fact, research has shown that people who write down their goals on a regular basis are more likely to achieve them when compared to those who just have it in their heads.
I have a friend who has a daily ritual of writing his life goals in a journal every day. He described this habit as a powerful motivator and a superb drive for amplifying his productivity.
What do you want to accomplish today? Do you have it on a list?
2. Do one thing at a time
The power of focus cannot be underestimated when it comes to productivity and execution. I have found doing one thing at a time extremely powerful and magical.
When you don’t narrow down on a single task at a time, you spread yourself too thin and become less effective. You can’t boil an ocean but can boil a jug of water – focus on one thing at a time, finish it and move to the next task. The Focusbooster app can be of great assistance in this regard.
In the next thirty minutes, which task are you going to give undivided attention? Just focus and get it done.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein
3. Start with the big tasks
It usually happens that when you have a long list of daily goals, you unconsciously start with the easy ones first and end up not doing the hard ones. Often, you are unable to finish the difficult tasks when you follow this sequence because you are usually exhausted even before you start them.
Start your day with the execution of significant and challenging tasks. Expend your fresh energy on the tough assignments and finish them before moving to the easy and simple ones. Interestingly, when you muster the strength to complete an arduous task, you get the motivation to keep moving.
On your list of goals for today, which one is the hardest? Let it be the first task you have to face. Go for it!
4. Reward yourself
When you get the job done, learn to celebrate your small victories and reward yourself. You deserve some accolades for a job well done.
The Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo works based on the principle of rewarding yourself with a five minutes break after twenty-five minutes of uninterrupted work.
Surprisingly, this system works like magic. For example, you can say that you are only qualified to watch your favorite TV show if you score well above 90% in the execution of your daily goals. Watching the TV show is a reward for acing your goals.
The anticipation of relishing a pleasure you derive from your leisure time can be a driving force to complete your daily tasks on time.
After an hour of steady focus on completing a task, don’t you think you deserve a 10-minute break?
5. Learn to say No
We are naturally wired to say yes to almost every offer. But to stay productive and effective, you must learn to say No. You just can’t accept every invitation to be of help to others.
If it clashes with your schedule, learn to say No or reschedule to what suits your priorities. If you say Yes to people and you don’t have the time to attend to their needs, they will eventually feel terrible when you let them down.
So, why don’t you just say No if it does not work for you rather than trying to please everyone?
Take a critical look at your commitments this week, maybe you need to say No to some of them to increase your productivity.
6. Starve your distractions
In these days, you have more enemies of progress than you thought. In fact, your most prized gadget – your sleek smartphone can be an obstacle between you and achieving your goals.
Staying on your phone all day can rob you of the precious time that could have been invested in pursuing your goals. When you are set to get a lot of productive work done, you can put your phone in a “do not disturb” mode.
Another way of curbing distractions from social media is to have specific times of the day that you visit these apps on your phone.
Be sincere, do you really need to visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn every 20 minutes? Install these apps to block your access to social media accounts for a specific period of time – Freedom and Cold Turkey.
7. Get an accountability partner
If you know someone that believes in you and is passionately interested in your success. You can ask if they are willing to be your accountability partner.
Having someone to share the list of your daily goals with is priceless. At the end of the day, a five-minute chat can be used to evaluate how you fared and right there you will see the room for continuous improvement.
Draft a mail and send to two friends asking if they will be willing to be your accountability partners. You can stick to a daily or weekly review, whichever works for you is fine.