How much time do you spend doing busy work or tasks vs. actually working toward your goals? The freedom we are given as entrepreneurs allows us to be productive in multiple facets on several projects throughout the day, but it doesn’t give us the accountability to be as productive on the things we NEED to be productive doing in order to accomplish our most pertinent goals.
Now, at the beginning of the second quarter, it’s easy to feel the pressure of the approaching end of year. Here is a quick process you can implement today to give yourself greater traction and accountability toward your goals:
Figure out your goals for the next year and break those down by quarter or month. They can be in multiple categories if you’d like, but they need to be clear, targeted and written down. For me these would be:
YEARLY PERSONAL: Finish & be ready to submit screenplay by end of 2015
YEARLY PROFESSIONAL: Get two recurring corporate clients by end of 2015
Come up with monthly or quarterly actions that need to be completed in order to achieve these goals. For me, the most immediate of these would be:
MONTHLY PERSONAL: Create scene structure and organize by end of July. Have a completed draft of all 30 scenes by the end of September.
MONTHLY PROFESSIONAL: Create my pitch to corporations by end of February. Identify 10 corporations I’d like to work with by end of August.
Start slashing activities. Go through the past week (or looking ahead to the upcoming week) and write down all of your daily activities—whether it’s something that takes 5 minutes, like checking email, or something that takes an hour, like reviewing something for a client. Move anything that isn’t necessary to the success of your business or directly related to your most important goals to the bottom of the list. Ultimately you will end up eliminating or delegating these activities from your list.
Do those activities that are directly related to your future goals even appear on your list? If they don’t: ADD THEM NOW! These things should be completed in the first half of your day. The second half of your day can be devoted directly to client work and clerical activities. While it sounds backwards, it’s not. You will feel MUCH more motivated to help your clients once you’ve accomplished something related to your bigger goals.
Track your progress. If it turns out that you aren’t accomplishing enough in your business, maybe it’s time to hire some help. Weigh this expense against the importance of accomplishing your goals. If you have enough dedication and you’re giving yourself the time to accomplish the steps to achieve your goals, you should be in good shape. If not, take a different approach.
Q for you: When was the last time you made progress toward a life-long goal?