How can you stay focused on your goals when there are always dozens of distractions pulling you in myriad directions? Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how!
Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference.
In Review – 7 Easy Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goals
Whatever your goal, whether it’s a project, career, personal life, health or finances, Jennifer said, it’s easy to get distracted.
There are many things that can take you off the path and make you lose your lodestar. From clutter to family and friends, hobbies and the ever-important sleep schedule, house chores, the lure of social media and just events in your life, it’s a surprise anyone gets anything done.
How to Stay Focused
With all those things pulling your attention in many directions, often at once, how do you keep to the task of achieving your goals? Jennifer had these suggestions.
- Set SMART Goals: The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realistic/recorded and time-bound. That means having goals with a structure to help you plan and track your progress.
- Create a Picture of Success: It often helps to visualize your goals. Know what it will look like and the goal moves from an abstraction to a real, attainable thing.
- Keep Them in Sight: Have a list of the tasks you need to complete; make sure there’s a schedule and have it calendared so it’s clear and deliberate. It can also help to have some visuals such as pictures to keep you focused.
- Identify & Remove Distractions: Remember those pesky distractions? Now it’s time to do something about them. Some things that pull us away from work are unavoidable and important, but others are time-wasters. Make the distinction and terminate with extreme prejudice those distractions that can be lost.
- Avoid Procrastination: Procrastinating comes in many forms, from taking a coffee break to overdoing it with research. It’s important to nip this tendency in the bud. Get an accountability partner to keep you on track. Sometimes it helps to do the hardest tasks first or the easy ones first, whichever will keep you busy. Regardless, don’t wait to do something. Start early and get it done.
- Prioritize: One way to create order from the chaos of the many tasks you must accomplish to reach your goal is to prioritize them. Not all tasks are created equally, some are critical, while others could be left to the last minute as they’re not so important. Therefore, some you need to pay more attention to than others, but you won’t know until you prioritize.
- Visually Track Progress: To get to your goal you must know where you are. That means having tools to track your progress, using tasks and milestones to break a big project into more digestible parts, and being able to see where you currently are in the big picture.
Pro-Tip: Jennifer ended with a bonus tip that she got from a Steve Jobs quote, “Abandon 1,000 great ideas to meet one big goal.” Basically, this means that ideas come, and they go, but if you follow them all, they’ll never have a chance to mature into reality. Stay focused on that one big goal. Jot down the ideas, if you must, but get back to work on achieving that goal!
Thanks for watching!
Today, we’re talking about seven easy ways to stay focused on your goals. Well, it’s so important to stay focused on your goals, no matter if you’re talking about project goals, career goals, those in your personal life, or even health and fitness.
Because no matter what’s happening, there always distractions all along the way when you’re trying to get from your current state to your future goals. Well, what could some of the distractions be?
Well, it could be clutter around your workspace, it could be family and friends who are wanting to always dominate your time, it could be hobbies, it could be sleep, some people opt for sleep instead of working on their goals, it could be house chores, it could be social media or even events. So I think it’s important to identify these when you’re talking about your goals.
So let’s talk about some of the easy ways to stay focused. Well, it’s important to me to talk about smart goals when we’re talking about goals. And that means they need to be specific.
So say if you have a goal to read 10 books by the end of the year, layout specifically, how you’re gonna do that. Maybe one a month or…and then specifically what titles. You also want them to be measurable. How are you gonna measure and track your progress all along the way?
And you wanna make sure it’s achievable. If you’re trying to read 10 books by the end of the year and you’re traveling, and you have heavy projects, not a lot of available time, it may not be achievable for you to do that. You also want it to be relevant.
To say, for me, I’m in business so I’m always reading business books or professional growth. But if it’s not related to that, maybe if they’re 10 books on mystery books, it may not be relevant to what I’m trying to do, may not be, again, be realistic.
And some people think it’s important to record them, like document these goals. There also need to be time bound. So say if I wanted to read 10 books, but I never really declared when I wanted to do it, to say it’s important for me to do it by the end of the year, but I never declare it, so maybe by the end of a couple of years, I still haven’t done it.
So it’s important to say when you’re gonna do those. It’s also important to create a picture of success, what will it look like? And that’s why I believe that vision boards are so successful.
Also keep them in sight. Be always looking at your goals, whether it’s maybe a list, a list of things, and how you’re going to achieve the goals. Even put them on a calendar, like milestones.
And again, pictures. Also identify and remove the distractions. So the distractions we’re talking about, it’s important to understand what they are for yourself and then eliminate those time wasters.
Then avoid procrastination. It’s a lot of time easy if you’re trying to achieve big goals, it can be overwhelming sometimes. So you want to put some techniques in place to get you moving forward. So it could be an accountability partner. I know for myself, I have an accountability partner that have my goals, and if I don’t meet those I have to talk about those and really move through those barriers.
Some people like an approach of completing the hardest steps or the hardest goals first. And on the flip side, some people like to complete the easy ones first, it’s really preference. I found very successful people who meet their goals and it just is on preference.
Also, some people like to start early, do some of the more challenging things first. So it’s all up to you, but getting a strategy is important.
Also prioritize your goals. If you have too many goals, know which ones are the most important, so you’re working on those first.
And visually track your progress all along the way. So know what your goals are, what your milestones are, and when you see that you’re making progress, it is encouraging and inspiring to keep going.
There’s a bonus here with the background and technology. I follow Steve Jobs a lot, and he’s well-noted for having a laser focus. So he says, “Abandon 1,000 great ideas to meet that one big goal.”
So if we continue to create new ideas and new goals, we’re never really gonna meet the one that’s the most important. So as you can see, a tool can really help you with your goals and your milestones.
So if you need a tool that can help you laser focus on your goals, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.