Articulate, commit and make a start.
Today it was important to come to London, plan new chapters for my book on the train, attend an Awards Dinner, meet my sister, blog and sleep. Anything else was a bonus.
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.” H L Hunt
Setting priorities really is that simple. There are a limited number of hours to achieve the tasks you set yourself and therefore considering what can be left for another day or removed entirely from your list is key.
To maintain focus and momentum, use a simple method for being productive. As the quote reminds us, this is dependent on, being clear what you want to achieve. Articulate your desired outcomes and then work backwards and determine what must be achieved across a month and therefore on a weekly basis. Committing to achieving the outcome is a critical first step. The act of noting this down is useful to embed the commitment.
A straightforward process can be followed:
Monthly and weekly
- Determine and commit to an outcome for the next month or week
- Detail the tasks associated with achieving that outcome
- Plot them backwards by week and then day
- Note the tasks that remain in order to achieve your planned monthly outcome. This includes any slippage from previous weeks; this is OK, things change
- Add the tasks from 1. into a list of all other tasks that you are required to achieve. These include tasks required for wellbeing, family and similarly ensure balance across your week. Ideally, it’s good to have monthly outcomes for these areas too
- Identify which tasks are urgent, important or nice to have
- Acknowledge what may need to be sacrificed in order to achieve your urgent or important goals. There may be a trade-off
- Identify any tasks which can be entirely removed from your list or moved to a future day or week
- Order the tasks, starting with the most important
- Make a start, avoid procrastination