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Important People Are Busy But Unimportant People Are Not?

Important People Are Busy But Unimportant People Are Not?

We used to imagine the rich and successful to have lives of leisure. We saw them as people who took long, luxurious vacations, who ate at the best restaurants and enjoyed expensive hobbies. Their wealth and success meant that they were free to enjoy their time exactly as they liked, and no longer were forced to work stressful, long hours like the rest of us.

However lately, that image seems to have reversed. Today we seem to imagine the rich and successful to be always incredibly busy and overworked.
Indeed, research has shown that some are beginning to view a hectic overworked lifestyle as a symbol of status.[1] As something to work towards, and not away from. Excessive free time is no longer seen as the domain of the rich and successful, but the domain of the lazy.

But why is this?

The Perception of Being Busy

Somewhere during the 20th century, more and more of us began to prioritize work in our lives above all else. Such prioritization meant that we no longer kept to traditional 9-5 working hours. It is assumed that the more hours a person puts into their work, the more they must be earning. With the more money being earned, the more successful a person seems to be.

What is strange, as evidenced by the earlier mentioned study, people want to look like they are earning well through working hard, even if that isn’t the case. Its similar to how some people buy fake designer watches, they want to look successful, even if they aren’t. As such, if you’re not busy, far from it implying that you can afford to have free time, it only implies that you have nothing to do.

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    The effect of this view is that people may find themselves working long, tiring hours for little reason. Taking up jobs they don’t need to do

    But really, working hard for long hours often has little to no correlation with success. In fact, it often implies the opposite or multitasking just for the sake of multitasking. Really, multitasking and working long hours often has little or no correlation with success. After all, ask as single mother with two kids and three jobs and see if she feels rich and successful.

      Ultimately, doing one thing well is a lot better than doing a lot of things poorly. Multitasking, instead of making you smarter, more productive and more successful, actually has the opposite effect, it makes you stupid.[2] It is actually decreasing your IQ by ten points at times, which may have the additional effect of making wealth and success harder as you’ll be building it from bad work.

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      Are You Busy-holic?

      Being busy for the sake of being busy only means that you’re spending your time for nothing.

      When you’re busy, your mind is being overwhelmed by a constant barrage of information. The human mind is simply not good at functioning effectively when it is forced to deal with so much information.

      A professional musician spends their time in a state of constant practice. Their skill and knowledge is always developing and increasing. They work in ways that are cognitively demanding but satisfying. However, “knowledge workers”, people who work in fields like tech or business, lack this and instead spend their time doing work that is repetitive, and doesn’t really test us. As such they fill their time trying to do as much of this work as possible, without reason. The work is ultimately shallow.[3]

      Improve Your Worklife

      Most of the time when people are working, they aren’t involving themselves in tasks that require much thought. If you work in ways that require deep thought, instead of being tired and overwhelmed by the constant desire to work unnecessarily, people will enjoy these three key benefits:

      • We will see continuous improvement in both the quality and value of our work output.
      • A notable increase in the quantity of well produced work.
      • Deeper satisfaction with work and the work you have produced.

      The desire to work unnecessarily, overwhelming yourself in pointless tasks and long hours comes from a lack of satisfaction in your work itself. But how do you find such satisfaction?

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        The key to this is to try and figure out what your key purpose of life is, what your true passion is. Don’t worry if you don’t know this at the moment, we have you covered. Here is a Lifehack article all about this.

        Once you have identified what it is you are passionate about it. Consider following these three steps:

        1. Prioritize

        Time is not infinite. Each second that goes by is a second that you will not get again. So, why spend your time focusing on things that you aren’t passionate about.  Find your passion and work on it!

        I understand that many people have jobs that don’t interest them. However, say you work from 9am-5pm, that still leaves you many hours free to spend doing things that you are passionate about. This is only the case of course if you don’t spend your free time multitasking or accepting jobs unnecessarily. You will find spending this time on your passions to be far more rewarding than wasting time on pointless work.

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        An effective way to make the most of this time is to start scheduling and organizing your time very specifically. In this way you’ll be able to spend each second of your day as efficiently as possible. For more information about freeing up and reclaiming your time, I recommend you take a look at this article, it’s full of lots of great advice about freeing up your time for productivity.

        2. Minimize

        In scheduling, you might find that there are many tasks that you have to accomplish, but are ultimately not related to your ultimate goal. In tackling these jobs, consider which ones play to your skills and abilities the best then tackle those first. Its easier to enjoy things that you are good at, and if you can delegate the remaining tasks to others who may be better suited to those tasks. Then don’t be afraid to ask.

        If you do have to complete these tasks, consider putting aside a maximum amount of time to spend on them in your schedule. In this way, these tasks won’t end taking up time unnecessarily.

        3. Eliminate

        This third step is probably the most important. When looking at the many tasks and jobs you have to complete each day, ask yourself “how important is this?” and “what would happen if I didn’t do this?” about each one. If you think any of these are unimportant, and nothing particularly bad would happen if you didn’t complete them. Then simply cut them out of your day. Where you once may have spend a few precious hours on these tasks, you will get this time back for you to spend how ever you wish.

        If you follow the above steps, you should immediately find yourself becoming more satisfied with your life and your work. What’s more, by identifying your purpose and freeing time up time for it, you’ll increase your chances at success because your time won’t be spend on unnecessary and time consuming work.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

        50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster What Is a Habit? Understand It to Control It 100%

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        1 How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals) 2 What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity) 3 13 Things to Put on Your Daily Checklist for Boosted Productivity 4 10 Effective Time Management Techniques for Busy People 5 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

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        Last Updated on November 20, 2019

        How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals)

        How to Measure a Goal? (With Examples of Measurable Goals)

        Everyone sets goals. Whether they are daily goals like completing a project, personal aspirations like traveling the world, or even workplace targets, setting a goal isn’t enough to get you over the line unfortunately. This is why only eight percent of people achieve their goals.[1]

        So how do the high achievers do it?

        By setting measurable goals, keep track of them and progress towards these goals.

        To help you out, I’ve put together a simple guide on measuring goals. I’ll show you a SMART framework you can use to create measurable goals, and how you can track its progress.

        To begin, let me introduce you to the SMART acronym.

        What Is a Measurable SMART Goal?

        SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. They help set clear intentions, this way, you can continue staying on course.

        When you’re writing a SMART Goal, you need to work through each of the terms in the acronym to ensure it’s realistic and achievable.

        It’ll help you set specific and challenging goals that eliminate and vagueness and guesswork. It’ll also have a clear deadline so you know when you need to complete it by.

        Here’s what SMART stand for:

        Specific

        Your goals need to be specific. Without specificity, your goal will feel much harder to complete and stick to.

        They should also have a specific outcome. Without the outcome, it will be hard to focus and stay on task with your goals.

        I can’t stress this enough. In fact, two researchers Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, found that when people set specific yet challenging goals, it led to increased performance 90 percent of the time.[2]

        Here’s an example of a specific goal:

        Increase sales by 10% in 90 days. 

        Measurable

        You need to be able to measure these goals.

        Examining a key metric and quantifying your goals will help track your progress. It will also identify the mark at which you’ve completed your task.

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        Measurable can mean many different things, but generally speaking, you want to be able to objectively measure success with a goal.

        Whether it’s via analytical data, performance measures, or direct revenue, ensure your goal is quantifiable.

        Achievable

        Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

        Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal, so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

        Relevant

        Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

        Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

        Timely

        This is one of my favorite parts of SMART goals….setting the deadline.

        The timeframe will create a sense of urgency. It functions as a healthy tension that will springboard you to action.

        Examples of Measurable Goals

        Now that we know what a SMART goal is, it’s time to help you make your own SMART goal.

        Let’s start with the first step: specificity.

        Specific

        A specific goal should identify:

        • What’s the project or task at hand?
        • Who’s responsible for the task? If you’re breaking the task down, who is responsible for each section?
        • What steps do you need to do to reach your goal?

        Here’s a bad example:I want to have a better job.

        This example is poor because it’s not specific enough. Sure, it’s specific to your work, but it doesn’t explain whether you want a promotion, a raise, a career change, etc.

        What about your current job do you want to improve? Do you want to change companies? Or are you striving for more work-life balance? What does “better” really mean?

        Let’s transform this into a good example.

        I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.

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        If you’re not too sure what the specific outcome should be, you can use mindmaps to brainstorm all the possible options. Then choose a few or one from the mindmap.

        With the example above, to become a better growth marketer, I have to explore different learning options like online courses, blogs, books, or in-person courses before I made a decision.

        Measurable

        Goals need to be measurable in a way where you can present tangible, concrete evidence. You should be able to identify what you experience when reaching that goal.

        Ideally, you should go for a metric or quantity as quantifying goals makes it easier to track.

        Here’s a bad example:

        I will get a promotion at work for improving quality

        Here’s a good example:

        I am going to land a promotion to senior VP by improving my work quality. When I say work quality, I will measure this by projects completed, revenue earned, and success factors important to my superiors.

        If you’re having difficulty measuring your goals, you can use a goal tracking app. They’re a great way to measure your progress, especially if it’s time-based.

        In addition, I love to use the following strategy to keep myself accountable and ensure I’m hitting goals:

        Reminder emails.

        I schedule emails to myself asking for measurable data on my goals, and even CC others to hold me accountable.

        For example, if you work with a team, CC them on your email to keep yourself honest and on-track.

        Here are five methods you can use to measure your progress towards the goal:

        1. Keep a record – Have you recorded all your actions?
        2. Assess your numbers/evidence – Are you breaking your commitments?
        3. Create a checklist – Can you simplify your tasks?
        4. Stay on course – Are you moving forward with your plan smoothly?
        5. Rate your progress – Can you do better?

        Achievable

        When it comes to being able to achieve your goals, you should stick to Pareto’s principle. If you’re not too sure what it is, it’s the 80/20 rule.

        Don’t just attack and go for everything at once! Pick things that give you the most results. Then, work on the next objective or goal once you’ve completed your first ones.

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        Here’s a bad example:

        To get more work-life balance, I will examine all factors of my work and how to trim down the time I spend on them.

        Here’s a good example:

        This week I will record my time spent on projects to analyze the amount of revenue or success they generate. Projects that fall short of production will get less time and resources than others. 

        Relevant

        It’s always important to examine your goal to ensure it’s relevant and realistic to what you’re doing.

        This is where the bigger picture comes in.

        Here’s a bad example:

        I want to be promoted to CMO because I need more responsibility.

        In this case, it’ll be unlikely for you to receive a promotion if the purpose and reason behind your goals are not strong.

        Here’s a good example:

        I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.

        The why will help you grind out in moments when you just want to throw in the towel, and also provide more purpose for your goals.

        Timely

        And…finally we’ve hit the deadline.

        Having a due date helps your team set micro goals and milestones towards the goal.

        That way, you can plan workload throughout your days, weeks, and months to ensure that your team won’t be racing against the clock.

        Let’s start with a bad example:

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        I’m going to land a new promotion this summer.

        Now, let’s turn this into a great example:

        Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees and scale it. Within five months I will leverage this success into a new role.

        So that’s how you create a measurable goal.

        Here’s a summary of the example above in the order of its acronyms.

        Overall Goal: I want to transition into a new role with a reputable company.

        • S: I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.
        • M: I am going to land a promotion to senior VP by improving my work quality. When I say work quality, I will measure this by projects completed, revenue earned, and success factors important to my superiors.
        • A: This week I will record my time spent on projects to analyze the amount of revenue or success they generate. Projects that fall short of production will get less time and resources than others.
        • R: I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.
        • T: Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees and scale it. Within five months I will leverage this success into a new role.

        But before we finish off, I want to leave you with a note:

        If you want to ensure you reach your goals, make sure you’re accountable. Ensure that you will stick by the goal and deliver the results that you want. Because sometimes, the goal might not just be for you. It could be goals for your clients, customers, and even loved ones.

        For example:

        Here, Housecall Pro promises customers that they grow up to 30% in one year.

        By placing that statement on their landing page, they’re keeping themselves and their goals accountable to their customers.

        For personal goals, tell your friends and family.

        For professional goals, you can tell your peers, colleagues, and even your clients (once you’re ready).

        Bottom Line

        So to wrap things up, if you want to measure a goal, be SMART about it.

        Start with a specific outcome in mind; make sure it’s measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to your existing schedule.

        While 92 percent of people fail to reach their goals, you can be the exception.

        Reach your goals by setting targets and objectives together.

        More About Goals Setting

        Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via unsplash.com

        Reference

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