Jul 2, 2018 | by Cindy Sullivan
June 21st officially kicked off summer and, to me, that means lightening up - - from shedding jackets and sweaters for summer lightweight clothes, time away from the usual routine for vacation, kids out of school, to the generally lighter "vibe" the summer months bring. It often also leads to projects around the house like cleaning out the garage or purging unused items. So, it seems a good time to apply it to our Time Management as well. This week's article will look at ways we can lighten up our Goals.
Our Goals can get weighted down at times so it's good to give them a good "looking over" and determine what deserves to stay and what can go! Here's how to get started:
- First, gather those goals in one place. There seems to be no better place to let things percolate and grow in size than when we let random ideas and thoughts bounce around inside our head exclusively. Problems seem bigger, tasks to do seem more plentiful, and goals can remain overwhelming and unattainable. Start with creating a list, making a vision board, doing whatever speaks to you so that you can assess you goals - - from outside your head.
- Priorities and focus can change. I've known people who hold on to a goal simply because they never got around to it and - by God - they are going to get it done.....eventually! The reality is that our lives evolve. What may have been really important at one point in your life may no longer really tie in to your priorities. Save your energy for what is important NOW. You will never engage in the same way with a goal that isn't a NOW priority. Work on those that are. Consider giving a Goal the boot when:
- You feel more dread when you consider it than excitement. Let go of anything that doesn't serve to build you up!
- If you use the words I SHOULD...... This comes more from a feeling of obligation - not motivation
- It relates to something in your past that is just that.....past.
- Which goals have a "finish line"? Once you have your goals gathered and can assess them, consider which have a point where you will consider it "done". Things like planning/taking a vacation, writing that book, or finding and hiring an assistant all have a specific end. Once completed, the goal is complete. It's great to keep your full list but it's usually best to only have 1-2 goals active at one time in order to give each the attention they deserve. Put the others aside with the knowledge that they aren't forgotten, but that others are in the queue first right now. You're essentially lightening what needs to be NOW without sacrificing all the other things you want to accomplish.
- Which goals are part of the "marathon"? These goals are usually about your day-to-day intentions and lifestyle. Perhaps your goal is to spend less time on social media, invest more time training your staff, or cooking and eating at home more often. Enacting these is about building habits and providing ourselves prompts and support until the new goal is part of our normal routine. These consist more of reminders and prompts so that we schedule the time needed for each vs a list of "to do"s to help us complete the overall goal. Like "finish line" goals, pare down your focus to one at a time. You can work to build a habit over time and then select the next one from the list. OR, try giving a marathon goal a focus for one week and then rotating to a new goal next week. This keeps your moving toward your intentions without piling on more tasks!
- And lastly, lighten up on yourself! We should find our goals exciting and motivating (otherwise, why are they are goals??) so it's easy to see why we are anxious to tackle them. That can lead our perception that we will be able to do things more quickly than often turns out to be the case. Lighten up your goals this summer by allowing yourself space! Space to not be rushed, space to spend more time on something than you thought might be needed or to address things you didn't know would come up. Allowing yourself more space can even allow room for more creativity. For me, anytime I try to force something creative, guess what..... that's when I'm LEAST creative! Think about how much time you THINK it will take to tackle that goal, then add 50% more time. If you get it done early, great. But, if not, you will be glad you allowed yourself that lighter load!
Cindy B Sullivan provides consulting, coaching, speaking and training in the areas of Time Management and Productivity. Take her 6 Pillars of Effective Time Management assessment to find out where you can work to hone your time management skills. Free phone consultations are available. www.cbSullivanConsulting.com Email: cindy@cbSullivanConsulting.com or call 615-406-5436 today to schedule!