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Why Setting Goals is Essential for Success in Any Area!

Why Setting Goals is Essential for Success in Any Area!

When I started working in my chosen profession, I couldn’t understand why there were those individuals who seemed to succeed in anything they tried, and then there were others who just couldn’t manage to achieve anything. After a while, I became amazed at the precise connections that starting showing up, and the biggest difference lay in setting and reviewing goals regularly.

Then I saw an academic study done by Dr. David Kohl on goals — did you know that:

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  • 80% of Americans claim that they don’t have goals
  • 16% of them have goals, but they don’t write them down
  • Only 3% actually have written goals, but they don’t review them regularly
  • Only 1% has written goals and they review them regularly, and these are among the highest achievers in the US

You need to set goals, independent of whether you want to achieve more or less. Goals are not only about achieving more or wanting to take on more in life; a goal starts with a simple desire. If you have a desire for less in life — for example, less work or less responsibility — these are also goals.

What do you do with your desires and wants in life? You could both ignore them and leave them to fade away in your mind, or listen to yourself and start taking action to get what you want in life.

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Excuses, Excuses.

Do you use any of these excuses for not setting goals?

  • You don’t see the importance in setting them
  • You want instant gratification, and goals seem so far off
  • You don’t know where to start or what steps to take
  • You don’t believe that you can actually achieve what you really want in life

Whatever the reason, I am sure your excuse is limiting you. What happens when you don’t set goals? If you’re vague and unclear about what you want, you might end up at a certain age with things that you didn’t want, or perhaps nowhere even close to having them at all. If you don’t set goals, how do you know what you need to do to get where you want? Or imagine, you get somewhere, and it’s not where you want to be.

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It’s like going to an estate agent (your mind) and saying (thinking) – I want to end up in a beautiful place by the beach one day. That day arrives and you end up in Somalia. I am sure it is a beautiful place and you could be really happy, but is probably isn’t what you really wanted, why? because you weren’t clear.

Learn about the different ways you can make it easier to start setting and achieving your goals.

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The Benefits of Setting Goals

Setting goals not only increase your chances of succeeding, but…

  1. When you set goals, your actions are more focused and you start putting into action the whole process of turning your vision into your reality.
  2. Goals also keep you motivated and inspired when you’re “just not feeling good”; they give you the impetus you need to keep going.
  3. Setting goals and reviewing them regularly is like holding up your vision in front of you on a regular basis, giving you targeted direction and keeping you moving closer to what you want.
  4. You will accomplish more in months than many people do in years, and you will see better results faster than you could have ever imagined.

If you have a really strong desire for something, you have two choices: wishful thinking, or taking action. You can wish for a miracle, try to put the least amount of effort in, hoping to get the most out, and do nothing. On the other hand, you can get clear on the steps you need to take and take them, slowly, one by one until you reach success in that area and you will live with new amazing results in your life.

Setting goals is the essential ingredient to achieving success in any area. It begins with a desire, and then a written goal, followed by the right attitude and action, and that is your formula for success. Keep reviewing your goals and watch how your vision miraculously turns into your reality.

To your success!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Published on July 17, 2018

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

What is compartmentalization

To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

Reframe the problem as a question

Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

Choose one thing to focus on

To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

Comparmentalization saves you stress

Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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