Last year, Shane and David shared techniques they use to manage their day, take care of their to-do lists, and achieve their goals.
As we wrap up another year, we wanted to share these techniques with you!
Feel free to use these 13 tips as you look back over the last year to evaluate where you succeeded and where you can improve. Of course, take time to plan for the year ahead so you can accomplish your biggest goals.
1. Start with your why
Start with the why and constantly remind yourself of the reason you are on this journey. Make your why clear and compelling or you will find yourself going through the motions, not accomplishing your goals.
When you start with your why, the what and how get much easier to determine.
2. Have clear objectives (and deadlines)
Begin with the end in mind. What will success ultimately look like for you?
A good formula to remember is: X to Y by When?
3. Chunk it down
You won’t be able to tackle all objectives at once. Break down tasks into component pieces and note when those particular tasks need to be done—what do you need to do this quarter, this week, and today?
4. Manage deadline expectations
We often underestimate what we can do today, so we tend to put off what could be accomplished. If you have an aggressive, short-term target you will accomplish more.
5. Perform a calendar audit
Look back at your calendar over the last week or even the last year. Based on purpose, goals, and/or objectives ask yourself these questions:
What went well? What didn’t go well? What would you do differently?
Then look 1-4 weeks out and ask if you have the right things on your calendar to tackle your objectives and accomplish your goals.
6. Schedule time blocks
Set aside blocks of time to get specific things done. For example, every day from 1pm-2pm block your time to answer emails. Do this with particular project tasks, one-on-one meetings, answering emails, reading mail, etc.
7. Focus on batching tasks
This is similar to blocking time, but think of it in terms of specific tasks. For example, batch your administrative tasks together. If you have several phone calls to return, do that at a specified time each day. Or you can look at specific duties and ask yourself these questions: Can I do it (in under 2 min), delegate it, or defer it?
8. Stick to your genius
Your genius is where your strengths and passion intersect. Stay focused on that area. Do what only you can do and delegate the rest. Do not spend a lot of time on your weaknesses (which is what we tend to naturally do).
9. Get rid of low payback activities
Think of these activities as a potential waste of time. The activities aren’t inherently bad, but you could be doing something more productive. For example, don’t get sucked into social media or a TV binge-watching session. Put boundaries on how much time you spend in the low payback activities.
10. Build a task list
Put tasks on your calendar and archive the rest (in a task list, app, or program) to prioritize them later.
11. Try a sprint
Get super focused on something you need to create momentum around. Spend a short time hyper-focused on this activity. For example, start on a Monday and go to the next Friday (12 days) focusing only on that task. You’ll be amazed at how much progress and momentum you will create. But remember, not even a professional runner can sprint for a long period of time.
12. Start with an easy task
Pick something easy to accomplish right away. It will create momentum
when you see you can do the little things, and then you will be able to confidently tackle the big things.
13. Reward yourself
This tip is more important than you may think. Rewarding yourself, even for the smallest tasks, creates added motivation to get things done. So do it! Come up with little ways to reward yourself for the smaller tasks. Big rewards are in order when you accomplish larger goals, whether it’s taking that trip you’ve planned for years, taking a day for yourself, or buying a special item you’ve wanted.