Everyone knows you’re supposed to set a schedule and use goals to move yourself along, right?
Yea, me too.
The thing that’s really catching my attention these days is that you have to break the goals down into small steps, and your schedule has to have wiggle room.
As my client list grows, and the projects get bigger, there seem to be things that come up more often – things I haven’t planned for. You know how it goes…you’re working away and the printer runs out of ink.
You open the drawer where you keep the ink…and discover the one cartridge you need is the one you don’t have. Narutally.
Or the phone rings and a client needs 30 minutes you were planning to use for something else.
The wiggle room is partly what you work into your daily schedule. It’s also what you work into your deadlines when you’re planning a project. If you think a project is going to take you 2 weeks, give yourself an extra few days.
At the backend – when the deadline hits – customers are always happier when you’re on time than when you call and tell them you need an extension.
When it comes to breaking goals down into smaller pieces, there are two things I’ve been working with.
Most folks know I use a custom Goal Sheet for setting out and updating goals while I work on them. Those sheets stay in a binder under my datebook.
Yep, I actually do my goal setting by writing things out longhand. That’s the first thing – writing things out gives me time to think and gets me away from the computer (both good things).
How do you do it? Are you using pen and paper or a computer-based scheduling system? I’m interested to know if anyone is successfully combining a paper datebook and a computer schedule.
The other part of goal setting is to remember you need time for it in your schedule. (Guess who got behind in his goal setting and is working to catch up right now?)
It isn’t because I don’t put it into my schedule, it’s because I put too much into my schedule.
What I mean is, I was overloading my schedule. Goal setting got put onto Sunday afternoon. I only did it twice, but it was enough.
For two weeks, my schedule included “working” 7 days a week – bad idea.
My thought was that goal setting isn’t really work. You know, you can do it sitting in a park or while watching TV. Yea, right – it isn’t work.
It really is work.
Putting it onto Sunday afternoon didn’t make it easier, it ended up making me slack in my approach to doing the goal setting. (Result of bad idea.)
So I’ve put it back on Friday afternoons where it was before. Much better – and I’m almost caught up, too. 😉