It's officially the last quarter of the year. 2018 will be over in less than three months. I've certainly had some successes throughout the year, but I really want to finish strong...
There are a several items left on my list of goals and projects. As much as I hate to admit it, I know that I won't be able to get them all done. And there are a few I most likely won't even manage to start. These things are going to have to wait. I'm ok with that. It's perfectly alright to defer them until next year, as long as they aren't a critical piece to a larger project. As for the other things on my list, I must get clear, real clear, on what the core items are. What are the main things? What actions will bring me closer to achieving my goals and completing the things that really matter?
Clarity is fundamental in staying focused. Determine what you absolutely must accomplish. Know exactly what you want and need to do. Where you want to go and how you intend on reaching the destination. Intentionally deciding each morning how you are going to show up and exactly what you are going to accomplish will get you in the right frame of mind. It sets the tone. Re-visit your intentions several times a day to help keep you on track.
Another key skill is the ability to prioritize. Decide which tasks or goals have the most significant impact. What are the big players on your list? Work on those first. And work on them in an orderly, organized manner. Make a plan. Set specific times each day or each week to work on checking those off your list. Get it on your calendar and stay with it until you are finished. Consistency is crucial for success.
Distraction removal plays another important role in becoming more productive. If you're anything at all like me, avoiding the tough stuff and taking a detour onto easy street seems a whole lot more pleasant at times. Especially after an already long day at the office. In reality though, distractions are only a delay tactic that result in frustration and regret when they steal away valuable time and energy. Say no to anything that isn't going to help you reach your goals. That includes everything from binge watching Netflix to having other people's agendas interrupt your work flow.
Dedicate time at the end of each week to review and evaluate your progress. Celebrate your wins. Acknowledge where things didn't go as planned. Then decide on your strategy for the coming week. This is so important. Knowing what your next steps are and scheduling them will help you start the week strong and feeling in control.
In my mind, productivity and getting things done are synonymous with happiness and contentment. It's important though to remember to take time for yourself each day, no matter how driven you are or how tight the deadline is. Go for a walk outside. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee. Play with the kids. Do some yoga. Or read something just for fun. A little self-care will help you reach your goals faster and stay with a busy schedule longer.