Busy Woman? Here are 10 Successful Goal Setting Tips

myselfhelpdiary woman goal setting tips1. Figure out what you want. This sound simple, but when did you last think about what you want? What do you want in your life, career, family, hobbies?

2. White down your goals. A recent study from Dominican University claims that those graduates who wrote down their goals accomplished them than those who did not. Our brain cannot track our demands and dreams. So go buy yourself a journal and write down all the things that you want to achieve.

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Things that You Should Not Do

do not do itThere are a lot of articles written about to-do lists. Most of the time we are so busy on doing the important tasks but there are also some bad habits that we should stop doing. In this article, you will learn five unproductive habits that you might want to stop permanently.

Do not check your email first thing in the morning. Most people usually do this in the morning. But when you check your email first thing in the morning, you are letting the whole world tell you what to do than taking control of your day. It might be fun to check email in the morning but it is rarely necessary and always unproductive.

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The Forgotten Skill of Focus

You need a 7 Day BrainwashLately, I have noticed a common theme among many friends, colleagues and associates. It seems we are all struggling with the same issue the ability to stay focused on a single task for a prolonged period of time.

When I recently took a mental inventory of my typical day, I quickly became alarmed by the number of concurrent tasks I found myself working on at any given time. Worse yet, when I examined my results and productivity levels, it was evident that I was struggling to keep up with previous outputs during the earlier phases of my business.

Then I came across an article written by Josh Waitzkin that pinpointed the direct cause of my reduced effectiveness. The article was on a topic he calls the “Multitasking Virus” as posted on Tim Ferriss’ Blog at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog.

In the article, Waitzkin demonstrates the detrimental effects of multi-tasking and makes reference to a recent study at the British Institute of Psychiatry which ” showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ in the moment 10 points. That is the equivalent of not sleeping for 36 hours more than twice the impact of smoking marijuana.”

This was a real eye opener for me! I would have a hard time counting the number of times I had been checking my email throughout any given work day. On more than one occasion, I would completely stop a task (often an important, revenue generating task) to tend to a new email that popped up in my inbox regardless whether it was an important email or not.

When I discovered that this type of distraction was literally decreasing my IQ, I could immediately see certain areas where the quality of my work had been impacted. But it also forced me to stop and think about all of the other distractions that I was allowing (knowingly or unknowingly) to impact my work.

Between news and information websites, email, phone calls, instant messaging and business research, I was probably getting distracted a minimum of 10 times a day! If you think that sounds like a high number, take a few moments right now to mentally review some of your own personal distractions. You will likely notice that they add up pretty quickly! In my case, these distractions would actually make me stop the task at hand and move on to something different. Often, I would move on to something of lower priority but I was unable to recognize this at the time due to the fact that I had been so severely distracted from my previous train of thought.

Like anyone else, I am at my best and produce my most valuable work when I am able to stay focused and concentrated on one item of work. This really applies to any task we perform. If you have ever learned a manual skill like laying a hardwood floor, using a weed remover for your lawn, or even running large stacks of paper through a laminating machine (these all happen to be tasks that I recently performed), you likely noticed a learning curve. At first, you might have felt awkward and you may have even fouled up your first few attempts at the task. Gradually you got the hang of it and developed a rhythm. After a certain period of time, you actually started to master the skill and eventually you were able to do double, triple, quadruple (or even better) your productivity.

The same thing applies to practically everything we do in life. If you want to learn a new skill, the best way to do it is through a complete immersion process. If you want to run a marathon, you focus on running and likely divert from the weight room until after the competition. If you want to learn how to speak Spanish, your best bet is to get into a Spanish class and postpone your French class until you have mastered Spanish. Regardless of what you may be trying to accomplish, you will produce your best results when you are able to consistently focus on the highest priority activities.

When I want to write an article, I remove myself from all distractions. I even remove myself physically from my office and go to the library or another spot where I have no choice but to focus on the task at hand. My local library happens to have neither wireless internet availability nor cell phone reception. This combination makes for the perfect cure to my typical interruptions! I am often able to complete my articles or reports in less than a third of the time it would have taken me had I been working from my office and connected to my world of distractions.

An empowering discovery I have made about utilizing the power of focus is that it becomes increasingly easier to stay focused for longer stretches as you develop the mental discipline. One of the six intellectual faculties of every thinking person is something called “will”. This is our ability to sustain concentration on one item for an extended period of time. If you think of your “will” as a mental muscle, you can actually grow and develop this muscle similar to the way you would develop physical muscles at the gym; through frequent exercise.

If you are experiencing problems with productivity, take some time to carefully review the key points of this article. Then, try to determine if and where you are falling victim to distractions. Make a commitment to eliminate these distractions (disconnect from the internet, turn off the cell phone, etc ) so you can begin to practice your focusing exercises. You may want to start with 30 minute blocks. Work on staying 100% present with the task at hand. Monitor your progress. As you feel comfortable and find your rhythm, work on stretching it out to an hour, then two hours and then go beyond if you can.

But don’t forget to listen to your mind and body. Taking breaks is absolutely critical for your long term success. Since I often work from home, I use my breaks to drop all work from my mind and spend quality time with my wife and son. Whatever your situation, make sure you have an outlet to relieve your mind from your work for at least 15 minutes at a time.

Then when you’re ready, go back and continue to strengthen your focusing skills.

Are you a procrastinator?

You need a 7 Day BrainwashAre you your own worst enemy? Do you find that you waste precious time when really you know that you should be getting on with any important tasks? Do you feel guilty when you finish way behind schedule or perhaps fail to finish at all?

Whilst you are not the only one to procrastinate in life, it’s a negative aspect that has to be corrected if you are truly to complete your goals in life. Worse, procrastination can easily lead to feelings of depression and worthlessness therefore becoming a vicious circle of time-wasting and reducing your chances of success.

Sometimes, just starting any tasks can be the hardest element to overcome but in order to change behaviours that might have been established for a long time, you need to force yourself to get stuck in and get on with anything on that all-important list.

If procrastination is your secret deadly enemy, then consider adopting some of the following:

-Improve your time management by compiling daily to-do lists if you don’t do so already. Write down everything that needs to be completed that day and then mark them in order of priority. Where possible, write your to-do list the night before so that you know exactly what needs to be done first thing.

-Set your alarm so that you get up earlier. Procrastinating first thing in the morning can lose you hours and then you are always playing catch up. An extra hour can make a great deal of difference plus it starts you off on a positive note.

-Watch less TV. You may be surprised by how much time is really wasted through casual absorption of any favoured TV programmes. Make a note of all the programmes that you really want to watch (or record) and then aim to finish all of your tasks before the first important programme comes on. This way you are more likely to focus on completing those tasks as you have something good to aim for.

-It’s easy to fall foul to lazy days but everyone is entitled to a little self-indulgent time, just don’t waste your time completely, instead focus on your end goal and visualize how good you are going to feel once you have achieved your dreams. If you are a visual person, this can really help you to breathe life into your goals and to help it become a tangible reality.

Systems Equal Success

You need a 7 Day BrainwashWhen it comes to personal behaviour and getting your daily activities in harmony with your life goals, it is absolutely critical to have a system in place. Brain researchers claim that between 90-95% of all human behaviour is habitual which means we literally perform these activities without really thinking about them. Without a system to govern your critical activities, you will very likely fall victim to your habits and never truly accomplish the goals you set out to achieve.

As a person who is working on a number of major goals for my lifetime, I am always examining my results and looking for ways to improve the quality of my work and manage the time I choose to allocate to all of my activities. There have been periods of incredible productivity and other times where it seemed that everything was at a stand-still (even though I felt extremely busy). Upon reflection, it is easy to see that the main reason I experienced success during those productive times was due to the presence of a well defined system.

The word system can be defined as “a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme.” When I think of a system, I think of a list of activities performed in a certain order with a specific result in mind. Ultimately, a properly defined and implemented system is the key to success in any area of life.

Just take a quick look around you and you can begin to appreciate the value of a well defined system. In many cases, the entire system has been automated for optimum performance. If you have any doubts, just think about what happens when you place a phone call, start your computer, turn on your lights, flush your toilet, start your car or even when you eat dinner. Each process is handled by a system that is responsible for producing a certain result. In the same light, I believe it is critically important for every person to have an activity management system for their life; a system that has been designed to help a person reach all of their desired goals and aspirations.

For me, having a system brings clarity to my mind and removes the potential of procrastination. It forces me to focus on what I really want to accomplish and take action accordingly. For example, when I was going through the mental transition from corporate employee to self-employed entrepreneur, there were a number of activities I knew I had to ingrain as part of my behaviour. Before I really understood the concept of systemizing my calendar, I instinctively knew that I had to build a system that would help me create my new habits. For a period of probably 100 days (maybe more), I woke up every morning and opened my activity journal. I would divide the page in half. The right side of the page was a list of six success habits that I had decided to implement in my life; family time, fitness, good deed, personal development studying, business activities and mental fitness (which would include something like meditation, visualization exercises, vision boarding, etc ). The left side of the page would be a growing list of all activities that would pop up throughout the day (for example, returning an important phone call, doing my online banking, filing mail, etc ). I would write every single activity down and check it off upon completion.

As basic as it sounds, that particular system actually changed my life. First and foremost, I would not allow myself to go to bed at night without first crossing off all critical daily activities from the right side of the page. I was literally obligating myself to create new habits. Secondly, I would see the left side of each page completely full of checked-off items. I felt great every time I looked at all of the important activities I had completed and it gave me energy to do it again the next day.

I believe that a good portion of our own self esteem comes from our ability to give ourselves an assignment and complete it. If there was a time I was feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list, I could quickly glance through my journal and remind myself how productive I could be when I put my mind to it. The accumulation of pages in my activity journal ultimately acted as a “success log” and always provided that extra boost of confidence when I needed it most.

After a certain period of time, I’m not sure why but I decided to stop using that system. I went back to a more informal task management system and basically relied on my calendar appointments to keep me on track. The really interesting thing I noticed was that the habits I formed have remained with me for the most part. I have replaced some of those original “success habits” with new habits that fit my current business structure and lifestyle. At the same time, I recently came to the realization that due to my ever-growing list of work demands, my schedule was once again out of control and rather chaotic. I had been spending far too much time on low priority work tasks, my fitness regimen was suffering some setbacks and my overall level of enthusiasm was being affected. After some introspection, it became quite evident that it was time to systemize!

The most difficult part of the entire process was forcing myself to stop, take a breath and examine my results. Once I was able to do this, I could easily see the areas that needed improvement and it was simply a matter of designing a new system that matched my current demands and lifestyle. I’m now back on track, more organized and best of all I’m feeling enthusiastic about my days.

Are you aware of how you spend the time in your day? Could you stand to be more efficient and productive? Perhaps you have broken some of the good habits that used to be part of your daily routine? If so, there has never been a better time to systemize.