Friday, May 29, 2015

Focus On What's Important

Have you ever noticed that the people who need the most help with time management are really skilled at resisting any help with it?

I've heard so many excuses that they would fill Lake Michigan, and most are so light they'd float on the top. They're light because they ARE excuses, and not reasons.

That doesn't make them any easier to overcome. We fall in love with our reasons, even when others see them as excuses. We cling to our constraints as if they are holding us (body and soul) together.

What's a person to do? How do you help that time-challenged performer become more productive? Even more important, how do you become more productive yourself when we all have our little clinging constraints holding us back?

Goals are a way to help us focus on what is important.

It all starts with the goals. When we set goals that are aligned with what is most important (our mission, our values, our expectations) they help us navigate the waves of procrastination, time-wasting, and distractions. Clear goals help us to keep our focus.

Set clear goals that align with your purpose and include these three things:

Action words (what will you do?)
Results (what will you get?)
Time (when will it be done?)

While I do find SMART goals to be useful and often teach them to others, my simplification is easier to remember and will give you an even more focused results. Use ART goals. (Sometimes I use ARTS goals and add the element of Standards at the end: what are your criteria for quality? This can be an important part of some goals and is worth considering).


The right, clearly written goals help us focus on what's important.

And that's what's important about managing time: Working on what matters most.

-- Doug Smith

Front Range Leadership: Training Supervisors for Success

doug smith training: how to achieve your goals

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