Tag Archives | personal excellence

New time management trick to avoid overload

Thanks to Gustavo for this great path photo from Argentina!

I developed this little system that has been working great for me, so I wanted to share it. You already know about my to-do list technique. It’s low-tech (on paper) and involves setting priorities within specified categories that I’ve set up for myself. This system is based on that one.

Remember when I mentioned the day I had “a 6:45 a.m. breakfast meeting and an errand I had to run immediately afterward, then a specific class at the gym that I wanted to take, and finally a meeting in the afternoon. Clearly, I had very little time throughout the day to do my full list of things. I set up a shorter list, and got everything done that I wanted to…precisely because I didn’t overload myself”?

I’m all about not overloading myself (primarily because I’ve done it in years past), and I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment, so I’ve been very disciplined lately about calculating which days are highly productive days, which days are medium days, and which days have lower productivity levels. I classify days depending on how many hours of coaching sessions, appointments, and meetings I may have on those days, plus other events such as courses or Meetups.

I’m in the middle of one distance learning course at the moment, and I’m starting a second course in March, so I want to get as far along on the first course before starting the second one, so I’m not overloading myself with two courses at once (Notice that I looked ahead in my schedule for the next couple of months to plan ahead and avoid future overload? Don’t forget to do this.). Plus, the more information I have from the first course, it will give me a lot of background information that will help me take advantage of the second one, which is a lot more comprehensive.

The issue is, I wasn’t sure if this was a realistic goal or not. It’s what I wanted to do, and I needed to find out if I could actually achieve it. How to figure this out?

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6 Quick guidelines for goal setting

Thanks to Ali for this amazing path photo! Click on the photo to visit her blog.

Still stuck on Someday Isle? Do you want to get serious about transforming your dreams into goals, but don’t know where to get started?

Remember: a dream is a goal without a deadline. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve realized I need to make a major change and just kept putting it off until I sat down and set a clear, reasonable, achievable deadline to what I wanted to do. And not until then did that dream of a change actually become a part of my everyday thoughts and plans, as I worked toward achieving that goal and making the change I wanted so badly in my life.

Does this sound familiar to you?

First off, choose one of your goals and write it down, either on paper or on your computer. Get it out of your head and into writing so you can clearly see it.

Now think about these guidelines:

  • Is your goal specific and highly detailed?
  • Is it expressed in the present tense, as if it is already a reality?
  • Is it a positive goal, or a negative goal? Meaning, does the statement describe what you do want, or what you don’t want?
  • Does your goal have a precise timescale for achievement?
  • Does it have a clear destination or a measurable outcome? Where is it that you want to be when you’ve accomplished it?
  • Does it have a verifiable outcome? How will you know when you’ve accomplished it?

Did that help you clarify things?

Let’s take one of our Someday Isle dreams: “Someday I’ll lose weight.” Is that specific? No. Is there a timescale or deadline? No. How do you measure the outcome? Who knows. Is losing one pound or one kilo enough to say you’ve reached your goal? Good question.

Not clear at all, is it?

How does this alternative sound? “By June 1st of this year, I weigh 60 kg.” Is this goal specific? Yes. Is it expressed in the present tense? Yes.  Is it a positive goal? Yes. A negative goal in this case would be “By June 1st of this year, I will have lost 5 kg.” Focus on what you do want, which is the target weight of 60 kg., and not what you don’t want, which are those 5 kg. you want to lose.

Does this goal have a precise timescale or deadline? Yes: June 1st, 2011. Does it have a clear destination? Yes: the target weight of 60 kg. Does it have a verifiable outcome? Yes: all the person has to do is to stand on a reliable scale on June 1st and check their weight to verify whether or not they have achieved their goal.

That’s easy, isn’t it? Take that goal you wrote down and rewrite it according to these six guidelines. Does that make it look easier to achieve?

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How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

Life is a path, and the only way to go down it is by taking one step at a time.

We’re nearing the end of January…how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

We all know what a New Year’s resolution is: a commitment that a person makes to work toward a personal goal, project, or lifestyle change throughout the year. New Year’s resolutions can work toward improving attitudes, habits, health, finances, career, education… pretty much anything that’s related to personal or professional development.

A 2007 survey conducted by the British psychologist Richard Wiseman showed that 88% of all resolutions end in failure. Why is this? It seems that the part of the brain which is largely responsible for willpower is also that part that takes care of keeping us focused, managing short-term memory, and working out abstract problems. Adding a long list of additional tasks to its current responsibilities may be asking a bit too much.

A more effective way of going about things might be to take resolutions and goals little by little. Life is a path, and the only way to go down it is by taking one step at a time. Rather than overwhelming yourself with a long list of things you want to accomplish without setting priorities or dates for each one, you might want to take that list and prioritise it.

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Welcome!

Hi there and welcome to this blog!

I’m Holly Worton, and I’m passionate about helping people achieve their personal and professional best. After years of owning my own company, I’ve realised that my purpose in life is to help people achieve their highest potential and live the best life for them. I am dedicated to helping people grow, both personally and professionally.

I believe in making clear intentions and goals as to what I want in life, and in applying the dedication, attention, and patience needed to achieve them. I also believe that life is a path, not an end, and in making the entire journey as spectacular as possible.

The two things I love doing the most are helping people and writing. So this blog will give me the chance to do both! I’m also available for one on one coaching sessions, both in person and via Skype. If you have any additional questions, check out the FAQ or feel free to contact me directly.

My intention is to help you get the absolute best out of your life. Personal and professional excellence  is easy. Sometimes we all need a little help, and that’s what I’m here for.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for regular posts that can help you change your life!

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