Are you making as much progress towards your goals as you want to? If not, what is the reason: lack of time, insufficient focus, not relevant anymore? If a goal no longer compels you, drop it off your list or rework it so you are motivated to pursue it. Remember:
If time and focus are holding you back, read on.
Over the years when I evaluated why I missed reaching goals, typically lack of focus was the primary cause. Too often I tasked myself with matters that were not laser-focused on what I wanted to achieve. Activities that did not support my objective also soaked up time that could have been better spent. So I looked for a simple tool to help me zero in on my objective. The most effective one is the Decision Matrix used by General Dwight Eisenhower. It forced me to decide the importance and urgency of a task.
Through using it I realized categorizing my tasks was just the first step. Next came disciplining myself to let go of not important, not urgent tasks. They are not worth keeping on the list, let alone delegating them, which requires follow up. Related, was coming to terms with the fact that most not important, urgent tasks should similarly be let go. Just because they’re urgent doesn’t mean I should waste time doing them. I eliminated unimportant tasks over a year ago and no one has mentioned my not doing them.
I recommend you be ruthless in getting rid of all not important tasks.
As a result, you will be left with only important things to do. This will help you better reach your goals in two ways:
- Your time will always be wisely spent.
- Your motivation will stay higher because you’ll have purpose behind everything you do.
This begs the question of how to decide if a task is important. Here’s the trick: Write down a short summary of each goal next to your Decision Matrix. When someone tasks you, the first thing you should do is examine the request in light of your goals. If the task is directly related to achieving one of them it’s important. If not, discard it or if you cannot, delegate it to someone else giving him the fullest latitude to complete it.
When you task yourself, follow the same plan. Be careful since the tendency is to think if you want to do something then it must be important. Don’t rationalize!
By using this simple plan, you will remain more consistently zeroed onto your goals – a quantum leap toward becoming an Intentionalist.
What is hindering you from reaching your goals this year?
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