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Get Inspired- Post Your Goals Up on the Wall

Get Inspired- Post Your Goals Up on the Wall

Most Lifehack readers are in tune with the value of goal-setting and how important it is to have a vision of what you want to achieve. This vision is really solidified by having actual visual representations of your goals. I like having a place to look at things that inspire me, like quotes, photos, and other meaningful scraps of paper that I enjoy, so this weekend I did a very easy project using cork tiles to create more bulletin board space. I created this space in my closet so that I could see these motivating items each morning when I am getting ready for the day.

You could also do this project to create more bulletin board space in your home office, kitchen, utility room, or other area to serve as a communication center for your family’s calendars, forms, and schedules. It’s very easy to do. Believe me, if I can do this project, so can you!

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Goal Wall

Here is what you need:

  • Cork tiles (information and options below)
  • Adhesive- I used Liquid Nails “Paneling” formula because it specifically mentioned corkboard on the label. I am sure there are other options.
  • Caulking gun (if your adhesive requires it)
  • Measuring tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Sharp utility knife and a cutting surface (a cardboard box works well)
  • Yardstick or other straight edge for cutting

First, measure your space. You could be doing an entire wall or just a section of one, or even the back of a door. Get creative! Use your measurements to decide then how much cork you’ll need to buy. I used 12 x 12” cork tiles, so it was easy to figure out what was needed.

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The cork tiles can be difficult to find locally—you may want to call ahead before trying some stores. I was surprised that they were NOT available at home improvement stores. I found them at Michael’s (a chain of craft stores- but they did not carry them online). Here are some places I found them on the web: Corkfloor.com and BoardDudes. Corkfloor.com also has an excellent selection of colors if you want to get even more elaborate, and Corkstore.com has rolls of cork that you could use to carve shapes if you want to make it a work of art. You need to make sure whatever you buy is thick enough for pushpins to work well. Also buy extra tiles in case you make a cutting mistake.

Think through your layout of tiles before gluing them on. I had one row of tiles that required trimming, so I decided to have the cut edges underneath the upper shelving so they would not show as much. I glued the whole tiles on first, then I cut each piece to fit above it.

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Goal Wall

I marked the required cuts with my marker and cut them with the utility knife against the yardstick as a guide. Use the cardboard box underneath when you are cutting to make sure you don’t damage the surface below. I also recommend cutting the tiles just slightly larger than you think, since the material is “spongy” and will line up more cleanly if you fit them very tightly.

This project took me less than an hour, not counting the time needed to shop for the supplies. Get inspired!

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Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their homes by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something insanely practical every few days or so in the Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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