On your mark. Get set. Go! The new year has begun. As you reengage with work, are you hitting the ground running? I hope that you’re well rested and ready to go. If not, take a few minutes to catch your breath and start thinking about what you can accomplish this year.
What do you want? Goal setting is always a hot topic at the beginning of the year. When the slate is wiped clean, it seems so possible to shoot for the stars again. The problem with goal setting is that the same clean slate allows you to set goals that quickly get forgotten. I’m sure that this year is no different for a lot of people. The challenge is to set goals that motivate you, not immobilize you.
Any goal you set for yourself should be a goal that you truly want. First, look at who wants the goal. If it’s your boss, your friend, your significant other or anyone else who wants the goal for you, that won’t work for you. Even if you truly want to achieve something, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll achieve the goal. If you want the goal, it does make it a whole lot easier to work hard for something that you truly want.
Do it now! What stops some people from working on goals is that other stuff gets in the way. What do I mean? Let’s say that you have a goal to keep up with new research in your industry. Unfortunately, you get behind in another project that keeps you from working on your goal. If only you could avoid getting behind.
One of the ways to keep me on task is to follow the rule: Do it Now! If I have an item to send a customer after a phone call, I don’t plan on doing it later. I do it now. If I handle a piece of paper and put it aside, I file it now, not later. If I didn’t do things now, my papers would pile up and create both a visual and mental distraction. I have found that over the years this rule of ‘Do it Now’ has kept me moving forward and minimized the number of distractions that sabotage my goal keeping.
Stop wasting time. If you had an extra 3 hours each week, what could you accomplish with that time? Even taking the hours to sleep would be better than continuing to be sleep deprived. A few years ago, Coopers & Lybrand (now Price Waterhouse Coopers) released data from a poll on personal organization. One statistic caught my attention. They found that the average desk worker has 36 hours worth of work on their desk and wastes up to 3 hours a week just “looking” for things. How much time do you spend looking for things?
Disorganized people waste a lot of time which takes them away from working on truly important goals. If you didn’t take the time last year to organize your files, your storage, your desk or whatever work area you have, please take the time now. Schedule even 1 hour each week until you feel comfortable with your organization.