Deliver to Your Vital Goals in 2014
Whether you’re in business for yourself or work for an organization, it’s a certainty that you’ll have many goals to accomplish in 2014. To keep from feeling overwhelmed with all you want to achieve, invest some time reviewing what’s on your list and determine the “Vital Few” goals. To do this, simply ask yourself this question: “Which of these goals if accomplished 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 on a separate document and keep them visible all year to remind yourself of what’s really important. Creating this discipline will naturally form the right direction as you manage through the busy year.
To deliver to your Vital Goals, you must understand and focus on what’s important. Here are several ways to help you do just that:
Determine what you can stop. This starts by creating awareness of what you’re doing with your precious minutes and getting a better grip on your time. Conduct an assessment of how and where you spend your time and identify what’s putting this critical resource at risk. Are you spending too many hours in unnecessary meetings? Or do you spend too much time sorting through or deleting emails, for example? Record what you’re doing over the span of a few “typical” workdays. Then examine how much time you’re spending on those things that are robbing you from pursuing or achieving your Vital Goals. Whatever items outright prevent you from achieving those objectives should be put on a “to stop” list.
Delegate what’s nonessential or less critical to others. Or, find solutions to manage time-wasters on your “to stop” list in a more efficient way. Perhaps you’ll implement a new technology to send all nonessential emails to a special inbox so you don’t have to do this daily by hand. Or maybe you’ll assign a direct report the task of managing meetings solo, only providing you with a weekly meeting progress report so you can spend meeting time in other Vital ways. Think of your time as currency that must be saved, as well as currency that must be consistently created.
Schedule time to work on Vital Goals. Once you have more of that “currency,” regularly set aside a chunk of that time to attack only what’s really important. Take an hour weekly, for example, to focus on planning and strategizing for ways to achieve your Vital Goals. This may include calendaring more minutes to pursue what’s important from a holistic (not just professional) perspective as well as scheduling time for implementing accountability, e.g., regularly meeting with a colleague or friend to share pitfalls and progress. Taking a disciplined approach to scheduling time to work regularly on your Vital Goals will eventually generate better 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?