Unlike every year, this year I set no goals; have no list of New Year’s resolutions. Like most of us, I used set goals, have my new year’s resolutions just before the New Year and grand picture of what to achieve in the coming year. Write or update my goals / to do list to add new ones.
Even if I hadn’t had a new list, at least I had a soul search and have a few things in mind to incorporate in my personal and business life. Every new year’s eve or during this process I used to get sad for unachieved goals, the reasons which held me back etc. Also a year means I was getting older.
I read numerous articles, tried many different techniques, paper and software over the years and still do. The best time management philosophy so far is the TMI (Time Manager International). It suits my personality to break things down to smaller action items using the pine tree philosophy. Trunks (the trunk is you and the overall goals you have set yourself for your private and professional life), Branches (the branches are key areas – the main areas on which to concentrate your efforts in order to reach your goals), Twigs (the twigs are major tasks to be performed within each key area) and Pine Needles (the pine needles are all the practical activities and details that are necessary to complete each of your major tasks).
This approach allows you to see overview of your life, structure and feeling of being in control rather than drifting along and diverting from your main goals and activities to reach your vision. It also helps one to under occupy your brain by limiting things to maximum of ten.
The overview provides you with;
- Better performance and more energy
- Greater flexibility and freedom of action
- Clearer priorities and better decisions
- More creativity
- Reduced stress
- Less irritation
and better control of your life.
First time I was introduced to time manager, I spent three weeks to actually setup my goals and organize myself (saying my life would be better explanation). It forced me to actually think about every aspects of my life. It pinned me down to smaller actions by using results philosophy. If you like to have results, you need to have a system which supports you.
You need to know your goals and they have to be clear to you before you can achieve them. You need to prioritise these goals if they are too many to fulfil. You also need to determine the tasks from these goals. They should be constantly reminded to you in order to do something about them and action them.
A task should be;
- Complete: Containing everything that you wish to spend time on.
- Clear: Giving you overview of your duties and tasks grouped logically.
- Specific: Containing information to clarify the object of the tasks: what, who, when, how much, and how.
- Practical: Easily accessible and easy to store transport update and work with.
Your decisions should strive to do the right things for every year, every month, every week and every day that lead to your goals. You should spend your time on the things that lead towards them.
So what made me to do nothing about setting my 2015 goals? Simple, because I already have them and just because most people fail to keep them in sight all year round doesn’t rush me to specially do it. It’s not and shouldn’t be once a year activity. It should be your ongoing work.
I also had issues with timed goals and tasks. It stresses me and if out of my control to do the tasks and reach my goals, it demoralises me. In some goals and tasks, I started to set milestones rather than time them. It elevates the stress but keeps the focus.
You can apply these methods and techniques for personal and business life and make sure they all fit your lifestyle and support you to manage your time where it should be spent well.
8 February 2015