Setting and Achieving Goals

Pre-Stage Your Efforts, Get Ready

  1. Write down “who” has an interest in your effort.  In addition to you being accountable to them, they and those they know, are potential resources in engaging your plans.
  2. Get a $1 daytimer (daily calendar) from Walmart and make notes of deadlines.  Alternatively, write all the deadlines down on the first page of your 3-ring binder.
  3. Get a 3-ring binder and “TAKE NOTES”.  The human brain only takes notice of a small fraction of the relationships we are exposed to.  By “TAKING NOTES” the brain is reminded about how systems of relationships are tied together to create perspectives, so that complex systems of information are meaningful and can be acted upon; by you.
  4. Write goals down or even blog about them.  Setting goals helps the brain select what information is more important, or has higher priorities than others.  Set priorities without being self-deceptive.  Every goal is composed of tasks that have qualities of Urgency, Importance, and Difficulty.  Plot two separate coordinate axis graphs: 1) Importance versus Difficulty, and 2) Importance versus Urgency.

how to be more productive

Set Priorities – the Priority Matrix

1) First list in a column every effort you are required/need to complete; the order is not important
2) Put sequential numbers in front of every task
3) Create three (3) additional columns next to the list for Importance, Difficulty, and Urgency (IDU … memory aid “I do”)
4) Based on your experiences and current knowledge, quickly rate each task related to each column
of IDU (0 = low 9 = high)
5) Then plot the numbered identifier of each task on a chart of Importance versus Difficulty
6) Then plot the numbered identifiers of just Quick Wins in a chart of Importance versus Urgency
7) List in order of Urgency all of the tasks that are “Important and Urgent”; and focus on getting them completed as soon as practical; this provides breathing room to act on what is needed next.
The following is the order of priority for the Priority Matrix cycle:

  • Quick Wins of Important and Urgent tasks (requires learning why each task is related to long term goals; i.e. consequences),
  • Important and Urgent tasks that are more difficult (tasks requiring time to complete before deadlines)
  • Important and not Urgent (more than sufficient time to complete after more difficult tasks are finished and no longer urgent)
  • Not Important but Urgent (delegate to someone else if practical where the same effort is Important to them, or do something to make the relationship not urgent without hurting long term goals; consider ignoring), and
  • Not Important and Not Urgent (ignore it, just care for it so it does not become important, and if it evolves to be important then elevate its priority).

For advanced consideration, frame priorities based on different perspectives.  Some of these perspectives might include:

  • Example of Making a list of Life Goals
    • As we experience life with accomplishments, new goals develop. But recognizing your accomplishments is important so that experience and related confidence build.
    • Often, choosing a lofty goal is supported by recognizing needed accomplishment of intermediate goals.
  • Career (not necessarily related to maximizing income)
  • Income development (many potential sources)
    • Starting a store front business
    • Starting a service oriented business
    • Starting an online business
    • Employment
    • Investing (stocks, real estate …)
    • … more than one can be done at the same time
      • the ability to quickly learn and set priorities is increasingly more important
    • Video of how teens can make money
  • Family development
  • Family support
  • Friends development
  • Friends support
  • Personal health
  • Participating in Community leadership