Top 10 Keys to Improving Your Efficiency
How many times have you “committed” yourself to “firm” goals at the beginning of a year and then not achieved them by year’s end? In the fast-paced world in which we all live, consistently finding the time to devote to improving our personal skills for a better future may be one of our greatest challenges. However, take heart; there are ways to regain control of your time and optimism for a better future. Empower yourself to achieve the goals that have eluded you in the past. Following are 10 tips to becoming more time efficient and goal oriented.
1. Establish a life plan or mission statement. What do you want to accomplish over your lifetime? Prioritize your most important goals with an explicit time period for completion such as 90 days, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. Develop a strategy to measure the incremental milestones along the path to achieving your overall goals so that you can measure your progress over time.
2. Consider career, family and personal growth goals. Expand your horizon. How many times all of us thought about someday pursuing our personal interests such as taking up a new hobby, learning a second language, reading the “classics,” or becoming healthier? What about traveling to that special place, hiking that mystical trail, learning to scuba dive, or sailing to the exotic destination that exists in our mind. Make sure that these goals get as much consideration as the more “sensible” ones such as career advancement, time management, or financial goals. Remember, “Someday” never comes, only the goals that are explicitly defined, with reasonable and honest time frames and a firm commitment are ever achieved.
3. Structure your important work hours with a time management system. Make sure to reserve time to manage our daily “emergencies” and block out time to complete necessary tasks like phone calls, email, meetings, marketing, unplanned interruptions, and administrative duties. To consistently find time to exercise, it MUST appear on your daily planner.
4. Plan your week ahead of time. Use either Friday afternoon orMonday morning to plan the week to come. At the end of the week, look to see what was not accomplished and list it in the following week’s to do list. If you consistently find many items not completed, reconsider how reasonable your planning has been and make changes.
5. Make a daily to do list. List out the items that need to be done and prioritize the importance of each one.
6. Manage interruptions. Keep track for one work week how many interruptions you experience, how long each one takes to resolve and whether they were external or actually self-imposed. You may be surprised at how much time, energy and money interruptions can cost you.
7. Review your schedule and goals daily. After taking the time to plan your week and list your goals, DO NOT file them away outside of eyesight and hope that everything will get accomplished. Keep these items in a place of easy access and review them frequently.
8. Make goals measurable. You must be able to measure progress towards your goals to sustain your motivation. After clearly defining your personal goals, being able to incrementally measure your progress is the most important component in lifestyle change. How will you know if you are on the right track to achieving your goals? You must break large goals into several measurable components so you can see your success and stay motivated in your efforts.
9. Get a buddy to help with accountability. Often describing to another person what we are working on and why its important to us can help us with support and accountability towards reaching our goals.
10. Have goals and tasks that are achievable. Make sure that the tasks and goals that you set out to accomplish are attainable; don’t set yourself up for failure.
It takes time and energy up front to become more time efficient and goal oriented, but you can create more time in your life and increase the chances of reaching your goals and full potential in life.