I'm the type of person that isn't happy unless I set out to achieve lots of different goals - at once.
For instance, this week, I have these goals, listed in no particular order.
1- Write this weekly article, Rosanna's Take
2 - Research my story ideas and start developing loglines for my TV script
3 - Research a show runner for my passion project
4 - Devote 25 hours to my consulting clients
5 - Research and sign my son up for 9 weeks of summer camp
6 - Order blank t-shirts for my latest design I've been creating
7 - Work out 3x
And the list goes on...
I've always liked to stay busy and frankly, I don't want to be any other way.
But it does take a particular skillset to be able to switch focus from one goal to another throughout your day seamlessly and efficiently.
The keyword here, found within the title of this article, is manage. The most important skillset you want in order to achieve many goals at once is the ability to manage your day.
I'm sharing the 3 main ways I manage my time in order to get all my differing goals accomplished.
# 1 - Create and Keep a Calendar
I personally use my Gmail calendar to plot out my entire day.
And I mean my entire day.
For example, I put down that I'm meditating at 5:30am.
I'm exercising from 6:00am--6:45am.
I'm showering at 6:45am.
I'm getting breakfast ready for my family at 7:15am.
Taking my son to school at 8:10am.
And you get the picture...
You want to block out everything you need to accomplish during your day.
Doing this is extremely important because it allows you to see how long each activity takes and gives you a visual of how much time you actually have to achieve your goals.
Because it's not enough to just set a goal.
You have to give yourself an opportunity to achieve it; otherwise, what's the point?
What I mean is...
Although it's okay to challenge yourself, you don't set yourself up for failure.
Stop and think about how much time a goal will truly take you, considering every step of the way. If you decide you need 20 hours to complete a project, don't set a goal to complete it in 5 hours.
I know this may seem like common sense. But trust me, when I consult clients, I find underestimating how much time a goal will take to achieve is one of the most common mistakes people make. It used to be one of my biggest mistakes too.
And it is a big mistake.
Because when you set unrealistic goals, unless you're Supergirl or have the current means to pay someone else to accomplish it on your behalf, you're not going to be able to achieve your goal by deadline. When you do this to yourself, you deflate your confidence every time you miss a goal.
And confidence is 50% of what's needed for success. So don't mess with your confidence, people!
#2 - Weekly Accomplishments Plan
Every Monday morning (or sometimes Sunday night), I make a plan of attack for the week. I call this my weekly accomplishments plan because it has a motivational ring to it.
It's much better than the word deadline or to-do list. Both sound like impending death to me. After all, the word deadline actually has the word dead in it and words are extremely powerful so choose them wisely. Anyway, I digress...
I start my weekly accomplishments plan with a list of goals that I want to accomplish for the week. I then number the goals by priority. The things that must get done this week are numero uno on my list.
I look at my calendar, see what time blocks I have available and like a puzzle, I plug in when I plan on accomplishing each goal.
Obviously, start with your priorities. Once they are plotted down into your calendar, then move onto the next level of goals and plot those down.
Sometimes things will have to wait until next week (or you could possibly hire someone to help you complete it). It's okay because with this system it will all get done asap.
#3 - Always Focus on the Present Goal
As I live out my day, I follow my schedule, doing my best to focus only on what I scheduled myself to do in that moment.
The key to doing this successfully is essentially self-awareness. Every time my mind starts to wonder, I pull my focus back in on the goal. The rule is whatever I'm working on in that moment, I work solely on it for the time I've allotted.
For instance, I'm working on this article right now. I'm not thinking about my kid's summer camp schedule nor am I wondering about my TV script's story ideas. I'm only thinking about what needs to be said right here, right now.
I, basically, avoid multitasking, which is working on multiple things at once. Although it's impossible to avoid it 100% in this modern, busy world, I do my best to avoid it as much as possible.
I find multitasking isn't the most efficient way to get things done because it wastes time with the continuous switching gears that happens when you are constantly changing focus from one thing to another and then to another and then back to the first thing again.
So I do my best to always focus on the present goal, which allows me to get things done faster because my brainpower isn't being diluted.
Once I'm done with the task at hand or I've run out of my allotted time (whatever happens first but if you run out of time, be sure to take note so you can plan better next time), I stop whatever it is that I'm doing and move on to the next thing I scheduled for myself to do.
Now, sometimes I may only have a little further to go to finish the task I'm doing because I didn't estimate the time it would take to perfection.
Hey, I'm only human. It happens.
So what I do in those circumstances is make a conscious decision as to whether the present task should take priority over my next scheduled goal. If I decide it does, then I'm okay with rescheduling my next goal.
Again, let me reiterate that I only reschedule if the present goal is a clear priority.
Otherwise, stick to the original plan as much as humanly possible.
And with that, my friends, is the secret to how I manage to find the time to get it all done. I hope you find this helpful.
Now on to my next goal...