Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Goals! Goals! Goals!

I get regularly asked how I do so much. I can distill it down to one word: goals. My entire life and career I have been goal-oriented. The way to keep goals organized and stay on task is to write (not type) your daily, weekly and monthly goals. I have a desk calendar. When I was in college and had to travel from class to class, I had a binder calendar. I would write the homework assignments and deadlines on my calendar. I once had this condescending HR woman look at my calendar and make comments about "silly" calendar and neat penmanship. The only person who looked 'silly' was her. Truth is, I still to this day have a desk calendar with the same so-called neat penmanship, and I use a highlighter pen to put special emphasis on deadlines. My eye always goes right to the highlights so things do not go unforgotten.

The trick to the workhorse abilities is to systematically go through your daily goals, accomplish the tasks, mark it off, and move to the next. A list keeps you focused. Put the order of priority. I like to put lower-priority tasks toward the bottom just in case I run out of time and need to do something like cook dinner. If I get mentally exhausted I also give myself leeway to stop and move the task to later in the day or the next day. As an effective project manager you have to always be thinking ahead. If you know your business the way I know mine then you should be able to incrementally and successfully keep the work modulated to the right deadlines to make the overall deadline. For example, I break editing books into daily tasks. I like to edit at least a chapter a day (if possible). I also schedule my day based on the east or west coast time schedules.

What I'm really sharing has to do not only with goal-setting skills but overall organizational abilities. I once had a guy step in my house and say, "Whenever I see a messy house I always wonder what that person's mind must look like." Good and interesting observation. My mind looks neat, tidy and organized! :)

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