Last night, after I posted about the importance of actually writing down your goals, I went to write down some of my own.
It was a list of things I wanted to accomplish today. Nothing too grand or too lofty; in fact, it was mostly tasks that revolved around my typical work-day routine, with a couple on-going goals thrown in for good measure. And, well, the more I looked at the list I’d just created, the less inspired I felt in jumping right in and tackling them. Sure, it could have been because it was past midnight and my eyes were heavier than San Francisco fog, but I could sense something was off. There was a key piece of the puzzle missing. Maybe it had to do with my whole approach; you know, the way I was attacking the tasks, how I was “climbing the mountain” of work, if you will. Perhaps I needed to change my strategy.
So I started thinking back to the times when my Plan of Attack DID work. And soon enough, three tactics stood out…
1. Break It Down: I’d put things on my to-do list such as “Go through emails” or “Comment on blogs,” and then wonder why I got so overwhelmed so quickly. Not only was my wording vague, but there was no discernible timetable attached. How much time did I want to devote to each task? How many emails did I want to go through? How many blogs did I want to catch up on that day? It’s amazing the calm and clarity and renewed motivation that can come from breaking goals down into specific, manageable, bite-sized nuggets.
2. Take a Break: I have this horrible habit of “getting in the zone.” I’ll start working and before I know it, time and the world around me has become sort of irrelevant. I’d develop an intense and acute case of tunnel vision, wanting to work and work until I get something done. But, I’m trying to learn — and remember! — the inherent value of peeling my eyes away from the computer screen every once and awhile.
3. Allow for Adjustments: I’ll be the first to admit that I can be pretty stubborn when I want to be — some might even say a bit, well, rigid at times. If I get an idea in my head, I get so fixated on doing it that way; it’s almost like I have trouble thinking outside the box. But, really, life is one giant series of adjustments, so I’m guessing that things would go a lot smoother if I loosened up just a little. I figure it can’t hurt, right?
What do you think, friends? Do you have any tips or tricks to add? Anything that’s really worked well for you? Here’s to productivity — and being able to change with the tide! xoxo
[Photo via We Heart It]