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Why Clarity Improves Productivity

Why Clarity Improves Productivity

Although it can be quite an entertaining mental exercise, thinking in terms of subjective view points has the extreme potential of causing unnecessary confusion. One party of a productivity team may contend that a definition of an important task is exactly what it is – while another party may go on to explain how the task is different to him (according to his background and beliefs) and as a result, may be entirely something else to others. When we’re trying to accomplish a goal, this type of foolishness and personal “re-defining” of important tasks can’t be tolerated especially in environments that depend on deadlines. Constantly re-defining what has been generally accepted by the masses is simply a waste of time – nothing can be accomplished if we’re stuck in a stage of defining things instead of acting on them. Let a fact be a fact and work to transform those facts into something meaningful and task-fulfilling.

In certain circumstances, subjective view points can become nothing but absurd in the sense that when they are improperly used, they can and will depart from what everyone expects. If these subjective view points are accepted and executed in a manner that reflects their implied meaning, they carry the danger of being perceived as “stupid” or they end up having no real meaning at all. That’s why it’s important that you use key concepts in a manner that they were intended to mean and that won’t contradict you or themselves.

Once you’ve committed to eliminating subjective view points from your project, you must also commit to eliminating them so that your present and future efforts remain consistent. Consistency is just as important as clarity and when implemented on a regular basis, as it instills trust from everyone involved. Often, our success depends upon the trust of others and enables us to stay focused on tasks that are most important. The danger in not remaining committed to eliminating subjective view points and not being consistent about it – is that you run the risk of appearing unprofessional, uncaring, or completely inept to perform a job.

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This is not to suggest however, that subjective view points don’t have a place in life – it merely points out how they can delay productivity for those of us who must deal with fact-based tasks. Leave subjective view points for the poets and the artists. Your reputation after all, just may depend upon the successful and meaningful representation of key concepts – not their creative applications.

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Nicole Miller is a developer and member of the Association of Shareware Professionals.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them

How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them

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.

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.

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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.

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.

Learn the differences between a short term goal and a long term goal. 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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, you have definite dates on which to do things.

7. Use Your Reticular Activating System to Get Your Goal

Learn in this Lifehack’s vlog how you can hack your brain with the Reticular Activation System (RAS) and reach your goal more efficiently:

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8. 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.

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Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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