Welcome to the fourth and final part of our series: Goal-Planning for Life! Today we’ll be providing some tips and tricks for managing your daily duties. If you haven’t worked through the previous posts, start here.
The purpose of this series is to give you the tools you need to determine your vision, passion, and goals, and create a clear plan to accomplish them.
Now that you know many of your goals and hopes for the future (work through the previous blog posts if you don’t!), we’re going to give you some practical tips for day-to-day productivity. We hope that this post and this series help you wake up each day excited to accomplish the tasks at hand. When you’re working toward a target accomplishment, you might find that you have a whole new sense of purpose and enthusiasm for life!
Go ahead and jump back to your notes from part 2 of our series. What did you write down for your 1, 5, and 10-year goals?
Before we dive into planning for these goals, let’s reevaluate them. We want to make sure that they are SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. Start by evaluating your goals in light of these questions:
- Specific – Do you have a clear goal? A goal that’s vague is hardly a goal at all.
- Measurable – Will you be able to track your progress? Will you know when you’ve reached your end goal?
- Attainable – Is it within your means to accomplish the goal?
- Relevant – In regards to your life or career, does this goal make sense?
- Time based – Can you set a specific, target timeframe in which your goal should be completed?
If any of your goals don’t fit into all of these categories, they probably need to be adjusted or discarded.
Setting and meeting goals
Next, let’s break the goals down a little bit.
First, write down each goal again. Then, underneath, write down each of the steps that it might take to get there. As we discussed previously, you might not know every single specific step that you need to take. That’s okay. What’s most important is that you know the next step. At this point in the planning stage, you may have to write down some steps you won’t end up needing. You may also have to add in more steps along the way. It’s helpful to do this exercise on a Word or Google document rather than hand writing it. This way, you can easily edit when needed.
Here are a couple of examples:
Goal: Read fifty-two books
To be accomplished by: October 2022
- Start a list of books I want to read and continue adding to it
- Purchase or borrow the first four books
- Continue purchasing or borrowing books in order to always have the next one ready
- Read one book per week
Goal: Start a dog-sitting business
To be accomplished by: January 2023
- Research other dog-sitting businesses in the area
- Fix fencing in backyard
- Build ten doghouses
- Make a plan for available packages and prices
- Design and print 100 flyers
- Hand out flyers door-to-door in my neighborhood
Managing your daily duties by planning your day
Now, with your goals in mind, the next step is to break down your tasks for each day. It may be helpful to create lists of what you want to accomplish for each week and month. Then, each night, ask yourself these questions in regards to the next day. Planning your day before it even starts is key to maximizing your time.
- What are my tasks for this day?
- What tasks must be accomplished?
- Which ones do I hope will be accomplished?
- What is the reward for finishing my tasks today?
- What appointments do I have to keep today?
If you don’t check off everything on your list for the day, don’t get stressed. Instead, simply look ahead to the next day that allows you to fit that task in, and write it down. Rearranging will happen. Plans will get interrupted. However, it’s important to be flexible and not quit! Instead, just find another time to get the task done.
Creating and meeting goals can be addicting! The more you organize your time and are able to see your goals completed, the more you’ll want to accomplish. Managing your daily duties is a vital step in seeing your goals to the finish. Though we often think of work as a drag, work is a good thing, and we were created to do it. So use the time, resources, and mind that’s been given to you, and let’s get to work!