I think every single person who has attended a planning session through work, taken a self development course, or read a book on goals has heard about SMART goals.
- SMART goals are, well, smart, but setting them doesn’t mean you’ll do them.
For the next few Mondays, I am going to write about how to get the goal done.
When I haven’t seen someone for a long time, they are usually impressed by the amount of things I have accomplished and what I do in a day. Oftentimes, they ask in amazement, ‘How do you do it? How do you get it all done?’.
In actually, it isn’t that amazing, it is really quite ordinary.
Before I figured out how to get something done, I would dream big, think crazy thoughts, write them down, and then put things into motion in an excited, unfocussed manner..
…then three days later would happen.
Stress, lack of clarity, and confusion settled over me like a fog. My task list had somehow quadrupled in size overnight, the email inbox was piling up, and all my goals and ambitions were tossed out the window.
- Apparently people need to eat and clean underwear is more than just a ‘nice to have‘.
The cycle of ridiculousness continued.
Every time I started something new, my excitement would take over and I would stay up until the wee hours of the night ‘being productive’ and making my dreams come true.
A woman cannot live on caffeine alone.
For a long time, I lived in the chaos I thought everyone lived under and stopped dreaming and setting goals. The stress was just not worth it. The only redeeming thing from that season of my life is the amount of trees I rescued from death by not making copious amounts of lists.
One day I figured it out, or more accurately, I finally read a book and did what it said.
Getting Things Done.
This is not a super exciting book. In fact, if you don’t want to do the work David Allen lays out to start clearing your brain and creating space in your life; don’t read the book.
I was fed up and desperately needed a change.
In my very ‘all or nothing‘ approach to life, I read the book and started implementing it the next day.
File folders, index cards, and sharpies were purchased and a boring, ordinary system was implemented.
Every morning at 4:45, with a cup of coffee in hand, I can be found going through my daily file folder, writing out tasks on 3×5 cards, and planning my day.
My stress and anxiety has lessened and my accomplishments have grown.
A lot of ordinary creates extraordinary.
Successful people get things done. They aren’t perfect and they don’t always hit the mark, but they get things done to the best of their ability and keep going; tweaking along the way.
By creating structures and embracing the mundane disciplines of breaking up your goals and managing your system, freedom and capacity are created.
Along with DL approved snacks, I have 3×5 cards in my purse.
I can often be found writing an action item, something to look up, an email to send, or something else on a 3×5 card; I have no shame.
- Want to do more in life?
Start by learning how to get what is currently in front of you done. Once you have that down, start adding in your dreams and goals.
Before you can run, you have to learn how to walk.
Doing one thing at a time gets you really far,
Are you getting things done?