Posts belonging to Category Time Management Tips



How Do I Keep Track of My Goal Achieving Process?

steps to goal achievingHow do I keep track of my goals while I’m in the process of achieving them?

It’s a quandary which many people have because, for many, it’s the first time they have taken goal achievement seriously.

As I indicated in my last blog, achieving your goals is a process, often, a very long process.  Some goals may take years to achieve.  At a minimum, larger goals take at least a year to attain.  That’s a long time.

How do you keep track of such a long process?

There are many ways to do it and it’s so very personal.  I would say this:  use whatever makes sense to you.

However, I would say that you do need one essential thing:  a physical way of keeping everything in one place.

For what?  To write everything down – goal descriptions, thoughts, ideas, changes, rewrites, planning, creating, information gathering, notes about conversations you’ve had, names and phone numbers of people you meet or to whom you are referred – so many details – all in one place.

1.  One suggestion is a hard cover journal type book with ruled lines in it.

2.  Some people are technology bound.  That’s fine as long as you have a device in which you can make notes any time, anywhere and preferably use online storage for all the content should you lose your portable device or it is damaged.  You’ll lose so much if, somehow, there is no access to the process you’ve gone through and the information you’ve collected.

3.  You can have a combination of both written and technology.  In that case, I would suggest a binder instead of a hard cover writing book.  You’ll need blank sheets for handwriting and section in which to put copies of your computer generated process.  Some people know how to use project management software, some people love Excel and others like using Photoshop for a pictorial representation of the goal.  Whatever you use, make sure to have copies all in one spot along with the notes you write.

Then . . .

make sure that you write the steps to be taken in your schedule within the time slot you’ve allocated for achieving your goal.  You may know that I am a fan of working on your goals every single day, even it consists of only five minutes.  However, I do suggest that you have time set aside for your goals at least every week – no longer otherwise your goals will be forgotten.  If it’s important to you, you’ll make space for it in your life!

We all take pictures of the trips we’ve taken.  This is one “trip” you build the picture as you go along and you don’t want to miss a minute of it!

Lorraine Arams
http://www.wizetime.com

I have a free goal setting tool on my site if you don’t have one – check it out – goal setting the time management way!

Do You Really Have to Write Down Your Goals?

goal settingDo you really have to write down your goals?

I have two answers to that question:  Yes and no though I personally believe that every goal should be written down in one format or another.  Some people, however, are really, really good at keeping things in their head and following through – short term.

How do you know if you should write down a goal or not?

It’s very simple.  Is your goal a short-term goal?  What I mean by short term is a week or a month.  Short goals are generally urgent.  For instance, you have want to get a good mark in a course and need to do well on a paper which is due at the end of the month.  Or you need to have a report done by the end of the week for your boss – the deadline is set and there are no alternatives.

These are still goals, albeit short-term and related to an activity already underway such as passing a course or holding down a job.

Most of these goals can be added to your schedule for a short duration and, for those people who keep a running tally in their heads, well, these goals won’t take up too much space!

However, for long-term goals, that is, those goals which will take you a little longer than a week or a month, yes, it is very important that you do write it down.  The steps will become part of your schedule for a very long time to come.  It’s so easy to forget what your original intention was and get sidetracked.

What most people do not realize is that goal achievement is a process.  It’s not just a matter of deciding what they are, writing them down, putting a deadline on achieving them and that’s it.  If only it were that simple!

Process takes time.   Goals consists of things you’ve never achieved before.  You really don’t have a road map and need to build one as you go.  It takes time to research, talk to people, try things out, etc. And you’ll be encountering a lot of dead ends, detours, road blocks, ditches, washouts, treacherous conditions, and other factors as you travel down the road towards your goal.

I do not believe you can plan goals effectively in your head.  It’s so very important that goals and the achievement process are written down.

What do you write and how much?

You need all the standard stuff:  deadline, a way to measure it, a way of determining whether it is attainable or not, whether it is a reasonable goal for you, a complete description of what it will look like when you attain it,  whether or not it’s relevant to your life, how you feel when you do achieve it, why you want it and whether or not the goal is actually a goal you want or someone else wants you to achieve.

My favorite way to do this is as follows:

–  write like mad – one, two, fifteen – how ever many pages you want – in handwritten form or on the computer – whatever way you prefer

–  boil it all down to 60 words or less making sure you have all the key points in there

Why do I like this method so much?  Because by the time you have boiled the “dream” down to 60 words, you’ll really understand the goal and what you want to achieve.  You’ll “see” it in your mind’s eye.  One of two things will happen:

a)  you’ll decide you really want this goal

or

b)  it was a silly goal or something you really didn’t want after all and toss it –

either way, you’ve won.  If you want it, you’ll have the determination to see it through.  If you’ve decided against pursuing that goal, you will have saved yourself a lot of time, money and energy you can use elsewhere.

What next?

As I said before, it’s a process.  And processes require multiple steps.  It’s not always clear what the steps should be.

Also, as you move along towards your goal, you’ll discover that you’ll change your mind.  You’ll tweak some of the details or you’ll discover information which makes you rethink exactly what you want.   The more you work on your goal, the more precise your description will become.

If you have downloaded my free goal achievement system, I talk about the steps and how to keep building as you go along until you reach your goal.

Most importantly, when you reach it, you’ll know you’re there! Why?  Because you wrote it down!  You won’t have to wonder, “Is this what I wanted?” – you’ll know because you’ve worked with it throughout the adventure!

So, yes, I do believe it is critical to write down your goals, the steps, the planning, the changes, the “evolution” – it’s so much more fun when you can see it in writing and look back at what you did to get there.   What you have learned will serve you well achieving the next goal and the next.

If you would like the free tool I offer for achieving your goals, please visit my blog at http://www.wizetime.com.

Lorraine Arams

Would You Like to Know Why You Aren’t Achieving Your Goals?

achieving goals

What happened?

You’ve taken the courses.  You’ve done the exercises.  You’ve thought it through.  You’ve written your goals down.  You’ve applied the SMART principles.  And yet . . . year after year, that’s where the goals seem to sit – on paper, going nowhere.

Life takes over.  That’s what many people say.

The deadlines  come and go.  Nothing.

It’s an empty feeling, isn’t it?  Is it the reason most people give up setting goals?  Likely.

Why is it happening to so many people despite the huge amount of material out there?

Would you like to know why you and others are not achieving those goals which have been neatly and carefully written?

The reasons are many, of course.  All people have some reason, not all the same.  And, each year there seems to be different reasons why not much has been accomplished towards achieving goals.

The last time you took a course or read a book, you thought for sure, this time, you would get there.  When you’re relaxed, everything seems possible.  Then, the pile ups happen.  All kinds of things happen.  Often, it has to do with work and health.  Long hours at work, even for a few months, can throw everything else out the window.  Or your health is impacted or someone else’s.  All of a sudden, it’s chaos.  You barely have the time to do laundry!

What has happened to your goals?  Can you even find them?

And that’s the problem with most goal setting courses and systems – you set a lot of goals in various parts of your life and, of course, even after all the terrific exercises are done, your life is still there – nothing has changed.  All that has happened is that you’ve invested time in this exercise, hoping you can do something to get your dreams to meet reality!

That’s the rub – you’ve still got a full life so how do you put all of those new things into it and expect to achieve them all?  You can’t.  That’s the truth.  It’s impossible.

The reason is simple:  your life was full before you began setting goals and it is still full after it.  Goals require attention and work.  Where will you fit them all in?

Every single goal needs work and work takes time.  That time may or may not be available in your current schedule. This is the point where most people fall flat – making room for the work involved in achieving a goal.

Let’s say you want to take up golf as your exercise this year.  An average round of golf takes at least 4 hours or more.  Where will you fit it  in?  Where will you fit in:  finding a reputable instructor, attending classes, practicing on the range, playing with friends, buying clubs and other equipment you’ll need.  It’s a great goal but where, in your schedule, will you find the time?

If you were already doing it and it was part of your regular schedule, it wouldn’t be a goal, would it?

That’s why I believe most people fail. They simply have not taken into account the time factors.  Then, they feel like failures and, year after year, they try again until one year, they simply give up.

If you want to try one more time, try the system I offer you for free on my blog.  It’s a blend of something old and something new, designed to assure that you reach your goals in the future the time management way.

I hope you do try it.  Do let me know how it works out for you.  Just that one little tweak contained in this system may just make the difference between achieving even one goal this year or achieving none – give it a shot.  Once you have achieved one goal, it’s so much easier to achieve the next and the next and the next.  Big goals don’t seem so onerous any longer – and your confidence rises – success builds upon success!

Lorraine Arams
http://www.wizetime.com


Do You Think Time Management Habits are Overrated?

the question about time managementDo you think time management is overrated?

Yes and then, again, no – it depends on the person and situation

Time management is important, I agree – to some degree.  What is that degree?

The degree to which you are experiencing consistent satisfaction and happiness in your life.  Beyond that, time management becomes an obssession rather than a tool to get what you want out of your life.   So, if you are not satisfied with your life, it’s a clear indication that you need some level of time management in your life.

When Should You Learn Time Management Techniques

If you are always upset, rushed, out of control, missing appointments, missing deadlines and feeling empty despite the fact that your days are jammed with activity, then you need new time management habits.  Better habits are a requirement to stop the stress, the madness, the impact you have on others.

However, that being said, there is no “one size fits all”.  Humans and life do not operate in neat little boxes – people are all different, each seeing the world quite differently than the person next to them.  Each person is unique.  To that end, time management tools are just that tools – habits which may help or not.  The only person who can know if it works or not is the person trying them out – no matter what the gurus tell you.

What Will It Take

Time and patience.  Why?  You need to learn different systems from different people and pick  something from each one that will solve one of your time management problems until you have developed your own system which works for you.

Sometimes the technique will work and sometimes it won’t.  Just keep trying new things until you find what works in your life – believe me, there are many techniques which will work.  Incorporate them into a system which works!

How will someone know if a time management technique works or not? Life will get better little by little, stress will diminish and the person will begin to know that they can have a positive effect on their own world.

Are time management habits overrated?  It depends whether or not life is feeling good and your dreams are being realized step by step.  If you feel unfulfilled, it’s time to get some new habits.

Start looking at 2011 with a new way to set and achieve your goals – it’s a twist on goal setting but the twist will definitely give you the edge – perhaps the edge you’ve always been looking for.  Visit my site at http://www.wizetime.com, sign up and you’ll get the tool for free!!!  Get ready for 2011 – it’s bound to be better if you plan it out this way!

Lorraine Arams
http://www.wizetime.com

Lorraine Arams
http://www.wizetime.com

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http://bit.ly/daGcfQ – learn to blog

Are You Living Your Life by Accident?

accidents of lifeDid you ever ask yourself:  Am I living my life by accident?

Most people haven’t.  Yet, most people do live their lives by accident.

When accidents turn out well, we’re happy and we build a life accordingly.  However, some accidents are not so pleasant and don’t make us happy but we feel we have to “stick it out” for a variety of reasons – our mortgage, our family needs, our car payment, our retirement fund, our job.

Accidents Looking for Success

Many people decided that they would work anywhere which offered a pension and top benefits – that was the first criteria – it didn’t matter whether it were in government or business and it didn’t matter what job they were assigned.

Others wanted only to work for government because it was the “iron rice bowl” of all jobs – you likely would never get fired, you’d have good benefits, not have to do a lot of work, great vacation time and a good pension – all you had to do is do minimum work and keep your head down.

Others decided they wanted to be in a profession a sure thing with social status attached – a doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc – and they went to school, passed the exams and took on the role.

Others couldn’t decide what to do and followed other people’s advice.  They got the training, landed a job and met requirements.

Yet, others, not happy in a particular job and feeling ambitious, bravely undertook career moves which they thought would get them to higher positions.  For some, it materialized; for others, the path was not successful.

And still others followed the path of looking for something which could offer them an outlet for their passion and find a job they loved to do every single day.  Again, some found that happiness while others never were able to locate just the right “thing” that made them rush out of bed in the morning to start another great day.


The Drivers of the “Accidents”

1.  Money

2.  Pleasing others

3.  Ambition

4.  Indecision

5.  Passion

6.  Security

7.  Social Status


Which driver drove your decisions about your career?

Did you think about it when you chose your life’s work?

How about the other parts of your life?

Did you purposely select each part or “did it just happen”?

Did you decide your life’s work say, like this group:

—-   from an early age, they decided what work they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.  They found out what was needed to get where they were going, planned their future as much as possible, interviewed employers to determine whether it was a fit or not, and, when they landed the job they wanted by design, they guided their careers step-by-step through the maze of the workplace.  How often will you find these people?  Not often.  How did they know to work such a plan?  Some say that they found a mentor early on and others were guided by their parents and yet others discovered this planning strategy totally by accident.  It made sense to them, and they followed it – it worked.

Eventually, however, everyone comes to the same conclusion – you really do have to plan where you want to be and how you are going to get there.  The how involves a lot of reading, connecting with people who are already doing what you want to be doing to find out what is required and, hopefully, connecting with a couple of people who are willing and able to either coach or mentor you along the way.  You design and plan; work the plan adjusting as required; continually connect with those willing to help you and you keep track of your progress.  Adjusting the plan is mandatory because situations or the economy or other factors change and the plan needs to adapt to changes.

And so it is with everything in one’s life.  There are choices.

Is it ever too late?

Perhaps.  It may be too late to become an Olympic athlete or a star basketball player with the big leagues.  It may be too late to become the head of a major corporation or it may be too late to become a great race car driver.

Think of Grandma Moses – she became a well-known painter after the age of 80 – her kids were grown and she decided to paint.  Think of Winston Churchill – was he too old to lead England to victory over the Germans?  Or how about Cornelius Vanderbilt – was he too old in his 70’s to become a railroad entrepreneur when all of his life had been devoted to the shipping business?  How about the 50-year old who did commercials for Bowflex in a bikini – was she too old?!

There are a multitude of examples of people going back to school, finishing a degree and doing the work they’ve always longed to do!  How about you?  Where are you in the spectrum?  Are you willing to strike out and plan your new life?  Or will your life simply continue as it has been – a life lived by accident?

The choice is yours.

Is it easy?  No and especially in the economic upheavals we are currently experiencing.  For many people, this is a time of survival – get a job, any job just to put food on the table.  Can they still live the life they want?  Yes.  Though it will take longer and may suffer some setbacks along the way because of situations out of their control but when the sun shines through again, they’ll be ready to glow!

Why is it a good thing? Because it keeps the flame of hope alive!  That is all we have – hope – and when hope no longer exists, it’s difficult to keep going.  However, when you are working your plan, hope is alive and well no matter what else you have to do.

What will your choice be? Do leave me a comment on my blog and let me know how you are doing – what you’ve decided to do with the rest of your life!

And pick up, for free, my version of goal setting – it’s a twist which may very well, for the first time in your life, have you setting and achieving goals.  Just sign up to my blog and you’ll have access immediately – what a great way to get ready for 2011!!!

Lorraine Arams
http://www.wizetime.com

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