I love feeling organised and having all of my tasks set out easily in front of me – there’s absolutely nothing more overwhelming than having a hundred things to do and no way of tackling them easier. I’ve always been a list maker so realigning my lists into goals and setting expectations against these goals has improved my way of working significantly – not only am I more motivated and focused but I have a clear idea of what I need to get done and also whether I have any scope to take on extra tasks. Here are 5 goal setting tips that I absolutely swear by to help me keep hold of this motivation…
5 Goal Setting Tips To Help You Stay Motivated
Get into the habit of setting out your goals – and prioritise the most important
Understanding exactly what you need to achieve on a particular day doesn’t have to be challenging at all. I find that writing down everything that I want to get through that day – with urgent, major and minor tasks indicated – makes the workload a lot easier to manage. It’s tempting to do the smaller and more interesting jobs and put off the major, more challenging jobs for later – prioritise these tasks and then you can end your day with the more lighthearted of tasks.
Don’t start your day with admin or emails
This is one that I am still often guilty of – sorting through my admin, replying to emails and then starting all over again when inevitably, more little bits and pieces need to be done can take up a whole chunk of your day. Start the day with a priority task and then schedule in a small block of time to reply to essential emails and look through admin tasks. The temptation to reply to every email as they arrive in your inbox is something you need to fight against – particularly when it’s distracting you from completing tasks and causing you to stop and start every five minutes. Goal setting relies on you actually completing your goals and not just spending your day emailing backwards and forwards.
Schedule in 5 minutes slots to take a break
When we first started working from home, I would feel SO guilty if I took a break or got distracted for five minutes but you have to be realistic. No one can keep their motivation and their attention span for 4 or 5 solid hours and in the office itself, we’d have chats with colleagues, wander to the kitchen to get drinks or snacks ~ it’s fair to say, taking a five-minute break here or there to revitalise and refresh is small in the grand scheme of things. Take 5 minutes to refill your water bottle, go to the bathroom, wash your face or have a chat with the people you may live with. You don’t have to plan it into your calendar but make sure you’re giving yourself some time to stretch and hydrate.
Use apps to motivate you
It’s SO easy to get distracted by technology when you’re working – particularly if you work on a PC or laptop all day. I make sure that my phone is close enough to me that I can use it for audiobooks or music, but far enough away that I’m not tempted to scroll Twitter or procrastinate the day away. One thing that I do use is an app called Forest. Forest is a productivity app that allows you to set timers for focused work – it makes your phone unusable and once you’ve completed the time, you grow a little virtual tree on your land. It’s all fun and games and I love setting myself goals as for how many trees I’m going to grow on any given day.
End each day prepping for the next day
I work 9-5 shifts in my job, with an hour for lunch. I used to get up a little bit earlier and get myself all set up for the day before my shift started – but I’ve more recently ended my days by going through my to-do list and what work I have left to do, and planning out my day before I sign off my PC for the day. I found that when I was planning in the mornings, I would spend far too much time in the evenings worrying and stressing out that I’d forgotten to do something.
Instead, I now go through everything I was supposed to do during the day and make sure it’s all done and then any tasks that I didn’t quite get to that I can push on to the next day can go on an updated list. It means that I’m able to wind down properly without the fear that I’ve inadvertently forgotten to reply to an email or complete a report.
One of the benefits of organisation, list-making and goal setting is that you can align it perfectly with how you work. If you prefer to use a diary and notebook, great. If you work better with digital calendars and to-do list apps, that’s fine too. It’s all about setting those goals in the way that works best for you, so you can achieve everything you need to in the most efficient way possible. Goal setting doesn’t have to be complicated at all – if anything, it should simplify your life as much as humanely possible.