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Reach Your Goals Faster By Prioritizing Your Activities

Reach Your Goals Faster By Prioritizing Your Activities
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    Work smarter not harder – Repeating the phrase innumerable times has not resulted in people being able to understand the meaning, importance and technique of doing so. Somehow we fall into this trap of slogging away and in that process we do not realize that working hard does not always mean that we are doing the right things.

    You may realize after continuing to do hard work for a month that you still miss deadlines, get caught with surprises that you have not planned for and forever find yourself creating excuses for being later. Sure, you are a fast worker and complete you tasks quickly and faster than anyone could imagine but still find yourself struggling to manage time in your life. The fact of the matter is that when you are so busy running and rushing through all the work in your life, you do not realize that you are probably running in circles.

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    Only by changing your working style to become more effective can help you realize your goals on schedule. This will ensure that every action of yours has a purpose. Unwanted interruptions will no longer distract you while you are focused. And you may suddenly find that your life seems to be under your control. You meet deadlines, complete things on time, are never later for meetings or anything for that matter and you are not caught surprised with unexpected events that disrupt your plans, eventually leading to a state where your life is planned, tension free and in control.

    Being able to be in control does not come by magic. It comes from planning and acting on it. In a day there are many tasks and chores that you need to complete. What you need to do is to segregate these activities into a priority list – ‘must dos’ and ‘should dos’. The essential ones or ‘must dos’ are those that if not attended immediately, would result in more time and energy to deal with later. Paying the insurance premium of your car, taking an appointment with the dentist for a long standing tooth problem, repair the leaking roof, show up on time for the departmental meeting would occupy this list. Attending the sports day of your child or taking your family out for a dinner should also come in this category as they are no less important to your success and sense of values.

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    ‘Should dos’ are those activities that can be postponed by a couple of days. However, that doesn’t mean they should be done on the third day itself! The key here is to devote 80% of your time in doing the ‘must dos’ activities and the 20% of your time in finishing the ‘should dos’ ones.

    If you are a natural planner then prioritizing your activities can be done mentally and does not need you to sit down with a physical list. But if you have had an issue with time management all your life, it is highly recommended to start with a pen and paper and jot down your activities for the day. When such a practice turns into a habit, you will soon realize that you do no longer need to jot them down and can prioritize your work on your way to office or while taking a bath.

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    Not all the activities in the ‘must dos’ list will contribute towards accomplishment of your goals, but ignoring them would eventually cause more stress and time later, thereby affecting your overall efficiency. For example, if you keep postponing taking an appointment with the dentist, it may manifest into a grave problem later, requiring more time and resources. Also if there are many such unfinished tasks, they may keep bothering you every now and then, preventing you from thinking clearly on your main goals.

    Vishal P. Rao share his insights and tips on holistic living at Relishing Life

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    Leon Ho

    Founder of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

    Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:

    Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

    Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination:

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    1. Make a list of your goal destinations

    Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.

    So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?

    Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.

    If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.

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    2. Think about the time frame to have the goal accomplished

    This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.

    Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

    3. Write down your goals clearly

    Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.

    For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.

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    4. Write down what you need to do for each goal

    Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal. 

    These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!

    5. Write down your timeframe with specific and realistic dates

    Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.

    For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.

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    Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.

    6. Schedule your to-dos

    Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.

    Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things.

    7. Review your progress

    At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

    Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.

    Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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