Yesterday, your job was to choose a goal or project to focus on during the next 10 days. Hopefully you’ve got something in mind, because today we’re going to get ultra-specific and clearly define what it is that you’re trying to achieve. You’re going to use your goal to measure your productivity. Without a specific goal that defines what you’re trying to achieve, how do you know if the work you’re doing is worthwhile?
The importance of goals
Goals are extremely important when it comes to productivity:
Goals provide direction and define what you’re going to spend your time on
Goals keep you motivated towards some desired outcome
Goals help you prioritize what to work on and when
Creating a vision
A vision is a picture of what you want your life to look like; it helps you define your short-term goals and daily tasks. Follow these steps to create a specific and actionable vision for your chosen project
1) Define your short-term goal and time frame
“I want to build a photography website and be earning $1,000 a month in 3 months’ time.”
2) Define your time budget
“I’ll spend 15 hours a week on this project.”
3) Define your long-term goal that will be the result of your short-term goal
“I want to quit my job and travel more.”
4) Put it all together
“My goal is to build a photography website, work 15 hours a week, and be earning $1,000 a month in 3 months’ time. I’ll continue like this until I can increase my website revenue until I can cover my living expenses. I’ll then quit my job and take my side project full-time and start traveling within the next 6 months.”
Notice how this goal has very little to do with being more productive. Your goal is your motivation and defines why you do what you do. Productivity is how you’re going to achieve this.
Mistakes to avoid
Avoid setting unclear and non-specific goals. With no goals, you have no way of measuring your progress. That’s when you end up being “busy” doing lots of “stuff” but not really making any progress.
Action step: Write your vision
Go through the steps above to define your vision. Right now you probably just have an idea in your head, but if you don’t have a clear and specific goal written down, it won’t happen.
Feel free to write more than one goal; you might have a goal you’re trying to achieve in your professional life, and you may have a completely separate goal for your personal life.
Tomorrow, we’ll start to organize all of your daily and weekly tasks into a task management app. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.
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