Most of us focus our time and energy on whatever short-term tasks land on our plate each week. That’s fine as long as we also commit time and energy to the important long-term projects that will get us where we eventually want to be. Here are six ways to make sure the important projects don’t get lost in the wilderness of urgent daily tasks.
- Write out your long-term goals (include your 1, 3 or even 5 year plan) What do you really want in your life? Your upcoming goals for the year are hidden within this question. For example, some long-term goals could be becoming a good ballroom dancer, spending more time with your kids or changing jobs to one that you will find more satisfying. As you think of things to do, write out ways that you can take action to make them happen. This will help you manifest your long-term goals.
- Organize Life on Weekly Basis Every Sunday evening before your week begins, plan your upcoming work week focusing on some of your long-term projects. Every day, during the week, you will be spending time focusing on this one project and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. Integrate aspects of the long-term items into your daily to-do list so that you will accomplish your most important projects.
- Say No To Small Projects Learn to say NO to activities that may seem urgent, but distract you from accomplishing your most important, long-range projects. If you are spending most of your energy putting out urgent fires, you’ll never have time for what is most important in your life.
- Include Support Spending every day, each week and upcoming months only on long-term, important projects, can be a lonely endeavor because most people don’t have time to spend it in this area. It’s vital to have people to join you on your long-term projects. Ask other’s if they have a project that the both of you, during the upcoming year, could support each other on.
- Just Start However big your long-term project may seem, it’s important to just begin. You might have hesitancy, fear and even self-doubt which feels very real to you, but all of these will lessen once you begin. For example, if you want to write a book, then write just one word down in order to begin the process. This one word will extend to a sentence and soon enough you’ll be writing the next paragraph and before you realize it you would of completed the entire chapter. What step can you take today in order to begin the process. Don’t wait, go out and do it!
- Take Baby Steps Most long-term projects don’t ever get begun because the whole endeavor seems so daunting and huge that we can’t begin. Most people feel they must take on the entire project all at the same time and that overwhelming feeling limits the person from beginning. As you begin, take small steps that you know can be accomplished. The smaller and more doable of the action the better. Once you gain some momentum, you can let the energy and excitement of the project take over and before you know it, you’ll be fully engaged.
Copyright ©2005-2017 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.
Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world's leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Visit Joel online at Garfinkle Executive Coaching. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!
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