As summer draws to a close, and a new season approaches, I’m reminded of all of the goals I have set this year. As I take my straw hats, white dresses, and strappy sandals to storage I realize the amount of time that has gone by. At the beginning of the year, I decided to take some big steps and set big goals, but the time keeps slipping by. Today as we all wave goodbye to summer and step into fall I want to tell you some actionable steps to setting goals and finishing them.
Setting goals by making lists:
I get it, I really do. Maybe you aren’t a list maker and you have tried and tried to become one. Maybe you DO make lists, but don’t pay much attention to them. Or maybe you are AMAZING at making lists and you can teach me a thing or two. Either way, setting goals can be really hard for a lot of us. It’s not the action of writing down what needs to be accomplished, but the tendency to not take the list seriously. Am I right? I do this ALL THE TIME.
Every day I wake up and head to my desk with my cup of coffee and kitten and grab my chalkboard. I then get back up after getting super comfy because I need to wipe off the list from the day before. After sitting back down, I really begin to think what I need to accomplish. I start to write, and write, and write and… oh you get it. Soon I realize that there is NO way I can accomplish all of that in one day. I’ve tried this day in and day out and have come to the conclusion that well… There are only a certain amount of hours in the day.
Don’t set your self up for failure:
Now I’ve learned this the hard way. After making my list that was WAY too long, I would end my night WAY too late and not have accomplished everything. It was totally discouraging and made me feel like I failed at something. This mentality is definitely not true and can be remedied by a few simple things.
1: Pick your top three goals for the day and do those first before anything else
2: Pick four to five smaller tasks that can be accomplished in a short amount of time. Doing this also won’t hinder the productivity of your entire day.
3: Work hard to get those three major tasks finished. By the time you get to the smaller tasks you still will have completed your bigger goals. As a result you won’t feel discouraged if the smaller ones don’t get done.
Take small breaks:
If you are self employed, or are trying to build up your side hustle, I’m sure you have had times of burning out. I am currently experiencing this and have had a hard time following my own tips. It is really easy to get stuck in the work flow and not realize little things happening in our body. Maybe you are thirsty, hungry, or your bones are cracking. These small signs are telling you to get up! Get your blood flowing, drink some water, and go breath fresh oxygen. Many of us can slowly become one with our desk and not realize that if we get up and eat a snack, It would help us be more productive. Try implementing breaks into your day and be strict about it.
Once I started blogging full time, above anything I noticed how important it was for me to get my workout in each day. Also eating super foods that would give me energy really got my brain going, which is more important than you think. Sitting all day and looking at a screen can be really taxing, especially if we don’t take a few minutes to walk around. Maybe on your lunch break go take a 15 minute walk, or sit outside and eat. It’s important to try your hardest to not become mush! Once you are mush, there is no turning back.
Batch your work:
Okay, this one is huge! Once I learned how to do this, it really changed things. Once you have written down your goals for the day, make sure and batch them together in the most efficient way. This can be done by planning out your week and lumping things together all at once. Do you need to run errands, get groceries, meet with a friend, have a business meeting etc? Lump those all together so you don’t have to interrupt your work flow. Try and schedule things all at one time, that way you can really sit down and focus on your tasks.
This is really helpful when applied to all of the things that come with being self employed. There are days during the week that I sit down and plan out all of my content for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook etc. That way I don’t have to sit there and be on time a crunch with my content the day of posting. Batching your time really allows for efficiency but also cleaner and more planned out content.
I find this to be so beneficial for my schedule. I don’t want to waste time putting on makeup 7 days a week, if I can just do 1-2 times. A lot of bloggers will also apply this to shooting content. If you have a certain amount of content you need done for that week, do it all on one day!! I am still learning this method, but it really does save on time and energy.
Get a time cube:
I recently bought the time cube that so many people are raving about. What is it? Well it’s a really handy timer! You can set your time with this dice and once the timer goes off, you move on to the next task. This tactic is amazing for getting work done, because it is SO easy to be lost in the cycle of one task and not accomplish anything else. I also see it as a challenge to get things done and not get distracted with my phone or social media.
It’s like I get to be competitive with myself! If I need to write a blog post, I will flip the dice to 60 minutes and work away. Once the timer goes off, time for something else!! If you are on a super strict schedule maybe set more time, but it is a really handy way to be held accountable.
Surround yourself with comfort:
I know that this opinion may be very unpopular, but I really do like to be comfortable when working! If I am set out to sit at my desk all day, I’m going to just throw my hair up in a bun and get to work. I don’t want to sit on a hard chair with jeans on. HECK no. Many people say that you need to work in a more uncomfortable setting to stay alert, but let me tell you something. Lighting my favorite candle, grabbing a blanket, and wearing leggings does get me focused. I always have water or a La Croix by my side, my kitten on my lap, and blue light glasses on. It makes me feel cozy and ready to work!
So there you have it, all the steps you can take to becoming more productive, setting goals and finishing them. It can be hard, and sticking to a routine can be really daunting. Trust me, I have a hard time taking my own advice too! If you sit down and really focus, don’t put too much on your plate, and eliminate distractions, you will get stuff done. I will link all of my favorite things for my work day, and also everything I wore in this shoot.
Comment below with your actionable steps in finishing your goals so I can adapt them to my routine!
Never forget, Every Story has a Silver Lining