Do you set yourself a list of New Year’s resolutions each year? Perhaps you start with great intentions, but – come February – your focus and drive starts to slip?
You’ll be glad to know that you’re not alone.
That doesn’t really make you feel that much better, does it: to be a part of a gang of slackers who never quite get the job done?
Well, not on my watch.
You need a systematic approach to productive working: setting goals in a way that’s commonly employed by entrepreneurs and business owners all around the world.
In this article, we’re going to explore ways to help you become productive, efficient, and get things done.
How To Be More Efficient
I’d say that I’m a pretty busy person.
And I’ve had to master the art of Getting Things Done.
It might sound overly simplistic, perhaps – surely you just have to apply backside to chair and remain there until project completion?
But that doesn’t always work.
I’ve had to nail my working process: pulling together all of the small tasks to ensure that the big jobs get done.
And I’m going to share my process with you right now, so that you can implement it and use it in your business.
Decide What You Want To Achieve
Understanding what you want to achieve sounds super simple, but without a clear affirmation of our goals, we can meander and get sidetracked.
Whether you’re freelance or employed, there are always going to be days where you lack focus and motivation.
Understanding WHY we’re working – what we’re looking to achieve – is a critical element of successful goal setting.
Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals and keeping that list visible throughout the year is a good way of maintaining the focus for getting things done.
Write down your goals for the year. Stick it on your wall.
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Limit your goals to around five or six projects – don’t go for twenty; it’s too many.
With five or six goals, you’ll get to the end of the year with the feeling that you’ve achieved them all – or most of them.
Make them now and write them down. Use it as an act of commitment to making them happen.
Consider the big, audacious, ambitious goals you have for your year. Don’t be afraid to think big – but be SMART.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound = SMART.
- Be specific – it’s the best way of understanding what needs to be done. “I want 1000 new members” is much more specific than just saying, “I want to increase my membership”.
- Make it measurable: each objective should be something you can tick it a box.
- Make it achievable and realistic: sure everyone wants to fly to the moon, but is it possible to do that? Do you have the facility to make it happen?
- Make it time-bound: give yourself a deadline.
Your yearly goals form the basis of everything that you do this year.
Go ahead and start projecting.
Plan Your Quarterly Goals
Once you have your yearly goals, try breaking each one down into four manageable chunks that allow you to reach your overall goal incrementally.
This is all about looking at “how” you can get those yearly goals done.
Take your quarterly goals and break them down into monthly goals; turning that big ambition into realistic micro-objectives.
Here’s an example:
- Perhaps you might want to grow your business to one thousand members as a yearly goal.
- Your quarterly goal, therefore, would be to achieve 250 members.
- Making your monthly goal an aim to reach around 75 new members.
Sit down at the start of each month:
- Review your monthly goals
- Assess the progress towards your quarterly goals
- Evaluate your journey towards your yearly intention
Break Your Monthly Goals Into Weekly Goals
You see where we’re going with this, I’m sure.
This is about strategy: recognising how to get things done and what you need to do to achieve them.
Sit down each Sunday night and set your five or six goals for the week, based on what you want to achieve over the month.
Separate your weekly goals into daily tasks.
You might want to create a new funnel this week. Breaking that smaller objective into daily tasks with Friday as your deadline keeps that weekly goal in check.
Here’s an example of what a weekly task might look like:
Weekly mission: Create a new funnel
Monday: Plan the funnel
Tuesday: Build that funnel
Wednesday: Create the copy and find the imagery for your website to reinforce the new funnel
Thursday: Film a video as a Facebook ad to market your new funnel
Friday: Test the funnel before it goes live.
Break Everything Into Bite-Size Chunks
Rather than just setting goals, recognise the incremental processes that contribute towards the achievement of the larger goals.
We know that if we achieve our daily goals, we’ll reach our weekly goals, helping us achieve our monthly goals.
If we succeed in our monthly goals, we’ll meet our quarterly goals and
Before you know it, you’ll be ticking off the big goals you set yourself at the beginning of the year.
Think About The Repetitive Tasks
Perhaps – like me – you publish a weekly vlog.
That task has many stages. So, to make things easier, I’ve got a template, noting the crucial steps I need to take to complete that task.
I rely on that template each and every week – it’s not like starting afresh every single week.
Create a List of the Steps For Weekly Tasks
To cut down on your weekly planning, create a task template or process document based on a routine weekly goal (such as producing a vlog).
Copy and paste it into your schedule each week, with the specific details regarding that week’s version of the task.
This means that you work systematically – and you get quicker at completing the tasks as you get used to the process.
Additionally, if you outsource parts of the task to other team members, there’s a clear process document for everyone to follow, with an overview of the overall mission.
Use A Project Management Tool
This probably sounds like a lot of work – and it is, of course. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be simple.
I use Asana (other project management tools are available) to help me manage my yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
I lay out the tasks and delegate parts of each project to my team so that everyone can see what’s required; along with the timeline to keep the overall job ticking along.
Ultimately, unless you assign yourself a part of your working schedule to planning, you’re unlikely to stay on track.
Make time each week to assess the progress of your incremental goals. Ensure that you know where you’re up to and what to do if you’re slipping behind.
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Give yourself intention and give yourself time to ascertain your strategy; you’ll get there.
You will achieve your yearly goals if you just set your mind to it and approach it systematically.
Stay On Track: Avoid Distraction
One of your goals this year might be to write a book.
So lay out your incremental goals, making that big task seem manageable. Maybe you break that goal into a chapter a month. Assign yourself the time it’s going to take.
If you get an offer of a speaking gig, it’s going to be tempting – but is it going to derail your specific yearly goal?
Stay on track by maintaining your vision: that will help you decide whether to take that gig or not. Can you afford the time and distraction? If you can’t, you simply refuse the gig and go back to the goals you do want to achieve this year.
There you have it. My process for getting stuff done.
This very blog is in my weekly schedule, just like my video releases are, just as my podcast recording is.
Everything contributes to the yearly goal I’ve set myself: to produce fifty-two videos, fifty-two blogs, and fifty-two podcasts in 2020.
What Do You Do?
Have you got other approaches to getting things done? Share them with us in the comments box below.
Sharing is caring, after all.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, check out how to Learn & Grow Your Business with my regular blogs dedicated to getting things done while mastering your branding and marketing strategy with the very latest information from a Facebook Marketing Partner (that’s me!).
Thanks for reading. Let’s get things done.