Deliver Your Vital Goals
Whether you’re in business for
yourself or work for an organization, it’s a certainty that you’ll have many
goals to accomplish as the year turns. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, invest
some time reviewing your list of goals, and determine the “Vital Few” that give
the maximum amount of return for your effort.
To do this, simply ask yourself
this question: “Which of my goals will drive the most success for me?” Don’t
forget to add personal goals, including those related to your health and
family, to the list. Once you determine what’s critical to your professional
and personal well being, write those items down. Keep that list in a visible
place, and look at them often, reminding yourself of your goals. This will help
you create the necessary discipline as you manage a busy month or year.
To deliver on your Vital Goals,
you must understand and focus on what’s important. Here are several ways to
help you do just that:
Eliminate the Trivial Many.
Take stock of your time. Pay attention
to how you spend your precious minutes, and think about ways to get a better
grip on your time. Assess how and where you spend time, and identify anything
that is putting this critical resource at risk. Are you spending too many hours
in unnecessary meetings? Do you spend too much time sorting through or deleting
emails, for example? Record your time expenditures over the span of a few
“typical” workdays, writing everything down, no matter how small it may
initially seem. Then, examine how much time you’re spending on the things that
are robbing you from pursuing or achieving your Vital Goals.
Delegate the nonessential.
Once you know where not to spend your time, delegate! Find
solutions for managing your frequent time-wasters in a more efficient way.
Perhaps you can implement a new technology that sends all nonessential emails
to a special inbox, so you don’t have to do it by hand every morning. Or, assign
a direct report the task of managing meetings you don’t need to attend, providing
you with a weekly meeting progress report. Think of your time as currency that
must be saved, and spent wisely.
Schedule time to work on Vital Goals.
Regularly set aside a chunk of
time to work on the truly important items that need your care. Take an hour a week,
for example, to focus on planning and strategizing toward achieving your Vital
Goals. This may include reserving time to pursue what’s important from a
holistic (not just professional) perspective, as well as scheduling time for
accountability, e.g., regularly meeting with a colleague or friend to share
pitfalls and progress. Taking a disciplined approach to scheduling time for
your Vital Goals will generate higher results.
When you haven’t created time to pursue what’s important, what Vital Goals have you pushed aside — and what have been the consequences?