Advertising
Advertising

How To Get Things Done While Being Mindful

How To Get Things Done While Being Mindful

    As you venture your way into 2012 and try to reach the goals, make the habits, and finish up the projects that you have outlined for yourself, you may start to see a bit of stress and overwhelm building up in your life. You become so concentrated on what you have setup for yourself to accomplish during the year that the “less important things” fall by the wayside.

    Most productivity gurus will tell you that this is a good thing; to make sure that they things that you are working on are the things that you want to do, are good at, and are important. It makes sense to concentrate on the things that keep you energized and creative. But, we may that because of all the attention we are giving to our “big ideas” we start to lose touch with some of the other things in life that are important.

    Advertising

    We have to accomplish the things that we have set out for ourselves all while staying mindful of what is important to us in our lives. And, boy, it can be tough sometimes.

    Make a list

    David Allen talks about our “Areas of Focus.” These are all the areas in our life that we deem important and that need attention to ensure that we are operating at a certain level of productivity with the least amount of stress.

    GTD is so useful, at least for this geek, because it concentrates on the lower levels of productivity first; tasks and projects. It’s a bottom-up approach that helps one “clear the decks” so they can start to look at the higher levels of their lives (ie. Areas of Focus).

    Advertising

    This is where some GTD practitioners get stuck. They concentrate on the task and project portion so much that they forget the higher levels. It’s important to get your deck clear as soon as possible, that is, closing all your open loops and making sure that you have everything on the task and project level accounted for.

    Then you can list the areas of your life and start to find balance.

    I make the list of my Areas of Focus in a mindmap and then review it at least once a month with my weekly review. Sometimes, especially if you are feeling extra unbalanced in your life, you may need to pull this list out to re-ground yourself.

    Advertising

    My list:

    • Work
    • Home
    • Husband
    • Lifehack
    • DevBurner
    • Finances
    • Health and vitality
    • Spirituality
    • Learning
    • Pets

    Take some time and quiet yourself

    I noticed yesterday that most times I only think of myself. What am I going to do today? What am I going to write about? How will I have enough money for that? Am I going to make it this year?

    This constant, selfish self-talk had me wake up with a slight realization. I need to stop. And when I stop, I will think of others in my life. I don’t mean thinking of others in the way of “how am I going to do ‘x’ to help them.’ I’m talking about an honest look at the person or situation for what it is.

    Advertising

    You’d be surprised how often your mind is selfish. What will surprise you even more is that when you stop and think about others, many things that you may have been ignoring start to show up like realizing your anniversary is coming up, that you haven’t seen your friends in-the-flesh for several weeks, or haven’t talked to anyone in your family recently.

    Wash, rinse, and repeat

    The only way to stay mindful while accomplishing your goals this year is to make sure that you get in the habit of reviewing your Areas of Focus and stopping to reflect and think of things other than yourself.

    Our minds are constantly on; analyzing and troubleshooting everything around us. It’s a good thing that they are so powerful. But we have to use them vigilantly to ensure that we are paying attention to the right things and doing the right things in our lives. You can only make sure this happens by repeatedly evaluating your focus.

    Conclusion

    If you have been on the productivity kick for any period of time, you know just how hard it can be to stay focused as well as focus on the right things. The only way that I have found to keep this going is to make sure that you have defined what your focus should be and then stopping yourself and become mindful of it. Hopefully with this type of practice you can accomplish your goals this year knowing that what is important to you isn’t being ignored.

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

    5 Project Management Tools to Get Your Team on Track To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better

    Trending in Productivity

    1 How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life 2 6 Ways to Make Progress Every Day (And Realize Your Goals) 3 How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck 4 5 Must Read Self Improvement Books That Will Change Your Life 5 The Psychology of Habit Formation (And How to Hack it)

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on November 9, 2020

    6 Ways to Make Progress Every Day (And Realize Your Goals)

    6 Ways to Make Progress Every Day (And Realize Your Goals)

    Are you at a critical stage in your life, and it seems you are not making headway with your life goals? Does it feel like you are complacent, and you are struggling to accomplish what you set out to do? You can make progress by establishing and diligently working towards those goals that align with your life’s mission.

    A lot of dreams are not terminated because the dreamers gave up; they died due to a long period of inactivity. This is the more reason you need to develop a progress mindset while you pursue those relevant and meaningful goals.

    A progress mindset will enable you to work on any inadequacy that can truncate the realization of your goals. With such a mindset, you are constantly evaluating yourself, improving your skills, and seeking ways to learn and grow through life.

    Why Is It Essential to Develop a Progress Mindset?

    Your mindset encompasses your beliefs—how you perceive your talents, skills, knowledge, and personality. Your belief system eventually influences your viewpoints about goals and success. A fixed mindset can hinder your progress, while a progressive mindset will enable you to achieve sound health, happiness, good relationships, and peace.

    6 Ways to Make Progress and Realize Your Goals

    Here are 6 practical ways that you can make progress and realize all your goals.

    1. Figure Out Your WHYs

    Nothing is static. You are either making progress or retrogressing. You need to establish why you want to move forward.

    • Career: Why do I want to be fulfilled in my career?
    • Marriage: Why do I want a happy home and loving children?
    • Health: Why do I want to be physically and mentally sound?
    • Finance: Why do I want to be out of debt?
    • Academics: Why do I want to ace my grades?
    • Relationship: Why do I want to communicate better?
    • Personal: Why do I want to be a better person?

    For every aspect of your life, establish the reasons for changing levels.

    Someone once said,

    “When your why is strong and convincing, the how will emerge.”

    Establishing your reasons will help you to be an active player in decisions that affect your life. You will also be able to establish if your motivation to progress is intrinsic or extrinsic as you make progress.

    2. Establish Tangible Goals

    Once you have established your reasons, the next step is to establish your life goals. Develop your aims for short-term, mid-term, as well as long-term goals. This process will enable you to track your progress and implement changes that improve your progress.

    Keep Your Goals SMART

    Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound in order to make progress. For instance, I want to improve my typing speed by 150 wpm within the next three months. I will spend two hours daily practicing on Mavis Beacon. I wrote in detail on how to set SMART goals that you will accomplish.

    You can learn how to write SMART goals in the video below:

    Write Your Goals on Paper

    Sticking your goals on your wall or notepad will offer you a visual cue that can reinforce why, how, and when you want to make progress on your goals.

    Update Your Goals as Required

    Review your goals at intervals to ensure you can still achieve them.

    3. Create Your Game Plan

    It is not enough to know what you want from life; you need to design a roadmap to get to your destination.

    Here’s what you can do:

    Break Your SMART Goals Into Habits

    Begin by highlighting the good habits you need to cultivate and the bad habits you need to eliminate. Here’s how to break bad habits that can truncate your progress.

    Advertising

    Master One Habit at a Time

    Once you figure out the good habits to have in your life, then ensure you practice them daily. Scientists revealed that you would need 18 to 254 days to develop new habits and that a new habit will only become permanent after 66 days of practicing it.[1]

    Once you have gained mastery over a habit, add more routines that will enable you to make progress in the direction of your goals.

    4. Imbibe Positivity

    A positive outlook means you are always optimistic about yourself, interactions, and events. It also determines your ability to expect favorable outcomes when working towards your life goals.

    Positivity is a mental posture that sees accomplishments and opportunities instead of failures and defeat. It will keep you hopeful when you are facing daunting challenges.

    A study on positive thinking revealed that visualizing positive images can reduce worry and anxiety.[2]

    How do you maintain a positive outlook on life?

    • Look out for the best in every circumstance to be more progress-minded.
    • Use positive affirmations. For instance, when you wake up, say, “I will work hard to complete all my milestones today.”
    • Associate with positive people that will support your progress. You need positive energy to consistently make progress in the direction of your goals.
    • Change your perspectives about failures and setbacks, and see them as significant components of making progress.

    5. Practice Reflection as You Progress

    A lot of things will occur once you are determined to advance. You will learn new lessons and implement changes. You will form new habits and eliminate bad ones.

    It is reasonable to take time out and evaluate what worked and what did not. Ask yourself how you can improve and surmount new obstacles. You can log your answers in a diary or use a virtual journal to track your thoughts[3].

    Advertising

    Self-reflection guide. Adapted from Gibb's (1988) reflective cycle.

      Scientists have proved the significance of reflective practice on your productivity. A group of students at the Harvard Business School found out that call center agents who reflected for 15 minutes on what they’ve learned outperformed their colleagues by 23%.[4]

      Self-reflection will enable you to keep your goals in mind constantly, which will ultimately help you make progress.

      How do you make this happen?

      Set up a Weekly Appointment With Yourself

      During this period, define your goals and reflect on them. It will also help you verify if your goals are still achievable.

      Ask Reflective Questions

      Did I achieve all I planned? What salient lesson can I pick this week? What new things did I learn, and what actions do I need to make progress?

      6. Celebrate Your Achievements

      It is highly crucial to acknowledge every milestone you complete as you make progress in life. Celebrating your achievements will build your confidence and provide you with motivation to continue.

      One of the best ways to do this is by pampering yourself with rewards when you achieve a goal. These rewards could be things you enjoy, such as a special meal, a music collection, or a mini-vacation.

      These little rewards will continuously remind you of victory anytime you feel like giving up. Merely looking at your mini-vacation pictures will motivate you to keep working towards your next goals.

      Celebrating your achievements will enable you to build on existing momentum and will allow you to attract more successes.[5]

      Advertising

      Bonus Tips

      Here are other things that you can do to help you make progress toward your goals.

      Invest in Self-Improvement

      Self-development enhances your self-worth and self-confidence. You can improve yourself by listening to podcasts or audiobooks on any subject of interest. You can also attend webinars, seminars, or workshops to enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge.

      Keep Moving

      Every success comes with obstacles. Not giving up on your goals despite setbacks will help you achieve anything you desire. For instance, if you write a book and don’t make a single sale, write another one.

      Don’t allow anything to discourage you from making progress. In case you missed a deadline, train yourself to meet the next one. A positive attitude will enable you to stay on course and infuse you with confidence.

      Final Words

      Goals offer you a sense of purpose and fulfillment when accomplished. When you make progress relentlessly in the direction of your goals, you build up the confidence to overcome obstacles, and every setback becomes a stepping stone to achieve your next target.

      Apply these six practical steps to make progress and achieve every goal you have set.

      More on How to Make Progress Toward Goals

      Featured photo credit: Khiet Tam via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next