There is a wonderfully simple way to realize your professional goals. At times, achieving our goals seems so far off or slow that we get discouraged, procrastinate or just give up. We fall back into old, comfortable habits that lead nowhere.
There is a method that has been used by many successful business people and advocated by many great thinkers.
It is to live successfully one day at a time. At the end of the day, if you wonder where the hours went and why you didn't accomplish much, then this could be the solution. Success is nothing more than a lot of successful days strung together.
You will never find success with sporadic bursts of activity, get-rich-quick schemes or ethical compromises. The greatest successes are built slowly and deliberately through focused, consistent, high-quality efforts on a daily basis.
The following five-step system can help you increase productivity and avoid procrastination and inconsistency.
* Each night, write down, prioritize and visualize the completion of your goals and tasks for the next day. This includes everything such as projects, email, advertising, cold-calling, relaxing, budgeting and so on.
* In the morning, review those goals and again visualize their completion. This process will start your subconscious and conscious mind working toward these goals. It will also replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.
* Assign a specific time frame to each goal or group of tasks, anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. Research has shown that the most effective duration is no more than 30 minutes, without a break.
* Choose a task according to its priority, start a timer and focus on nothing but accomplishing that task. Remain totally focused on the task at hand. Don't try to do future work. Focus on today only.
* When time is up, move on or take a short break. It's not the number of things you do, but the quality and the efficiency that counts. Eventually, you'll be able to increase the number of tasks and will perform them even better.
If everything is done to the best of your ability, you can fall asleep that night knowing you accomplished something phenomenal. Be careful -- it can become addictive!
Why does this system work so well?
* An identified end result or goal. Our brains are goal-seeking machines. When you give your brain a goal, it wants to find ways to achieve it.
* A specific deadline or time frame. Once your brain has been given a goal, the deadline motivates it to act. The closer the deadline, the more your brain revs up.
* Believability. This system forces you to break everything down into manageable chunks. Therefore, you don't see an overwhelming, out-of-control mass of tasks. When you believe you can do something, you will do it.
Success comes not from finding an easy shortcut or by taking advantage of one's fellow man, but by simple, daily, focused effort, directed tirelessly toward desirable goals.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant in Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.