The best part of a new year is the glorious optimism it brings. The worst part of a year is reaching half-way and realising the first half had not amounted to much of anything positive. There may be much procrastination, much laziness, much unproductive time but not much else. It is not too late. You can make this final stretch of the year count. (Even if you feel exhausted)
How to get it together for 2022
Take a break and breathe
Unstructured, haphazard, chaotic, undisciplined, disorganized, unplanned, uncoordinated, hit-and-miss, all over the place – If any of these words resonate with you, it really is time to take a break and breathe. Stop. Breathe. Reflect.
Check if the goals you set are still what you want to work towards
Goals drive us! Big or small. Setting goals is a way to motivate yourself to step up and become better. Tracking your progress gives you a measure of what you are capable of, what you need to work on, and whether you need to reassess. The best part is looking back at a tough goal and being able to say, “I did that!”
But there is nothing wrong with changing a goal if you have gotten to any point in the process and realised it is unrealistic, unimaginative, uninspiring or that your circumstances are just different. Clarify what you want to change and set a reimagined end goal. Make it good. Make it inspiring. Make it realistic and make it something that matters to you because when you achieve that goal – you are one step closer to your big picture.
Use a Fine Planner
Step one in organising your life – plan every day. Select a planning tool that reflects your personality and gets you revved up when you see it! (Tip: Paper is loadshedding-proof.)
Start by entering every deadline, appointment, meeting, and other important date in the monthly calendar. This should be updated at least at the beginning of each month. It provides you with an overview of what is on your plate for the month ahead.
The weekly layout is more detailed and keeps you focused. Great leaders swear by spending time on a Sunday evening setting out the week ahead. Set milestones, determine what’s due and how long you will need to get it done, enter meetings and important reminders, and include any extra tasks you need to track.
Make it fun – use colour to differentiate topics, add stickers, doodles, and inspirational quotes. Own the process of managing your time and tasks with grace and gumption.
Create your space, set your pace then step it up
The space you work in everyday should be clean, crisp (organised) and calm. Routine matters in our lives and setting a good pace for yourself will help you create discipline and results. Your space and pace setting starts with your planning. If you don’t have that, see number 3.
What pace looks like:
- Be steady but disciplined, especially on tough days. REPEAT
- Remove all distractions and annoyances – set tech check in times during your day (tea, lunch and email slots). For the rest of the day stay away from all distractions.
- As a challenge on good days, add one more “pace to your day”. Find something small to finish over an above your set outcomes for the day. Like, putting a file away, making one phone call or replying to one email. But make sure it won’t take you more than 5 minutes.
- Try trimming of 10 minutes from a task time frame. So instead of taking 30 minutes to write your report, take 20 minutes. Those 10 minutes stack up to something really good.
- Do some speed “workouts”. We often underestimate ourselves so every now and then (like at least once a week), give yourself a challenge to get your 80% of tasks done in 20% of your time. (True story! It’s called the Pareto Principle – or a least one application of this principle).
- Work on high value tasks. How do you know which are high value tasks? Great question!
They are the ones that will make a bigger impact in your day and your goal(s). When you write your to-do list, e.g., ten tasks, two of these ten will really make a difference and achieve more results that the remaining eight. So, start your day with your top 20%. (Another Pareto Principle application)
- Aim to finish before the deadline. This helps with keeping you sane.
- Find a pace setter – someone you can be accountable to. This not only creates connection, but the human spirit likes to have that support.
Your goals. In reach. Together
Coaching does not only help you get on track, but also can assist with any changes you want to see, course correction you need to make and new ideas you want to launch. Connect with a coach today and make it happen!