Productivity is a hot topic because so many people (especially entrepreneurs) are productivity-challenged. If you missed last week’s post, an interview with author Peter Bregman, be sure to check it out for some great productivity tips!
Today, let’s take a look at setting some goals and actually motivating yourself to achieve them! If you have had the same goals for What-Seems-Like-Forever then you are most likely quite productivity challenged. You may be thinking, “Hey, I work hard all day,” but are you working on the RIGHT things? Probably not. If you’re chasing your tail working IN your business instead of ON your business, go back to the drawing board and take a look at your business model. You might consider hiring a business coach to help you find the answers and put things in order. But if you know that, with a few tweaks to your day, you can get the important things done, then ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my three most important goals? - What gets in the way and prevents me from achieving these goals? - Do I have any fears or emotional blocks that tell me I can’t – or shouldn’t – achieve my goals? - Do I have an effective productivity model in place? (Such as the one that Peter suggests in his interview and book). - What are two to three action steps that I can take this week to get closer to the completion of each of my goals? - What support system do I have in place? (Such as an assistant, business partner, coach, mentor)
Some other things to consider:
Have you ever tracked your time? If you are busy but you’re not getting the critical things done, then you are probably spending way too much time on-line, on the phone, playing spider solitaire or doing household chores. The magnitude of this time wasted won’t hit you until you track your time on paper or a spreadsheet for about three days. Seeing things in black and white has quite the impact! Think about what motivates you to achieve your goals. If you don’t have a great motivator you can’t kick yourself into high gear effectively. What positive things motivate you?
Think about the things that make you feel good when you’ve achieved something important; what reinforces your productive behavior? Now think about whether or not you have a system in place to deliver that reinforcement. If you are motivated by verbal praise, but you don't share your progress with someone who will praise you, it doesn’t get you very far, does it? So tell a friend, your spouse – even your mom – how important this is to you and ask them to be your “praise partner”!
If you are motivated by reward, but the money isn’t coming fast enough, reward yourself in simple ways. Set a goal for the day and when you achieve it treat yourself to something special: a walk in nature, a night out with your friends, a round of golf, an extra hour or two of relaxation over the weekend – whatever does it for you!
Who, other than yourself, holds you accountable for your goals? Having someone to report to has an enormous impact on productivity levels. You can ask a friend or peer to be your accountability partner. If you do this make sure to outline expectations and set a schedule. Meet once a week to report in. Have specific goals and measurements in place and hold one another to them! Not wanting to disappoint someone other than yourself might just be the ticket to spark a fire under your productivity engine!
If you would like serious accountability and support check out my Take Action! Accountability Group. It begins this Wednesday, October 5th, and I have two seats remaining!
Last updated: Oct 3, 2011
MARLA TABAKA is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness. @MarlaTabaka