Note: I originally wrote this blog for my weekly subscribers to our list but I thought it might be something that everyone could relate to! (If you’re not receiving my weekly notes and you think that you might want to check things out, click here)
Well – I took last week off from sending you something new because I was working like crazy to read through the first-round edits for the next book! It’s coming along, but I always underestimate how long this whole process happens…do you do that?
UGH – you’d think I’d learn!
Well – this weekend is our annual planning conference for my business. It’s where we plan when I’ll write a new book (my goal is to put out one book per year), when we take vacation (yay!), when I am speaking at conferences, when my team is consulting and training on the road and all that good stuff.
We also have 3 goals for the year (yep – only three for 2016!) and then plot out for each quarter what we need to do to accomplish those three goals.
My motto for 2016 is this: I work only on things that help me reach my goals. I say no to everything else.
I realize that I have two problems when it comes to staying the course on our goals:
Problem 1: It is not that I don’t do enough, it’s that I do too much of the wrong stuff!
One of the most interesting things I’ve learned about myself recently is that I’m not busy just for busy sake, but that I’m overly busy because I can get really excited and enthusiastic about a lot of things – and those things make their way onto my to-do list and, well, then I’m burning the midnight oil waaaaaaay too much.
I find that one of the skills/habits that I need to build for myself during 2016 is remember to ask this: Am I the only who can do this task? If so, then how long will it take and does it have to be done today or tomorrow or can it wait until next week? If the task can be done by someone else, then I need to have someone else do it!
For example, we are putting out a series of videos soon and I need to go through, watch all of the final cuts of the videos (they’re about 45 second long) and make sure that we have the copy right and the appropriate resources attached to the videos. I have seen the videos a zillion times and created the resources myself, so I know they’re fine. But, do I need to spot-check everything one last time for about 2 hours total? Probably not. I can have someone else do that and let me know if anything needs to be tweaked.
So, then, what do I do with those 2 hours I just got back? Something that only I can do. Typically that involves writing new content. So great – I just gained 2 hours of writing time!
Some may say, “Oh, so Jill just wants to become an expert delegator!” (Which, by the way I am not a good delegator because I really do like the details of things.)
I would fight back on that – I don’t think that I’m trying to just delegate more, I see it as being way more objective about a task and determining who has the best SKILLS and TIME for getting it done.
Problem 2: Saying no.
I like new things. I like to get excited about an idea and then figure out really quickly how to get it done. When something goes on too long I tend to lose interest and focus only on getting it done…not necessarily getting it done with a ton of energy. (This is why I hate meetings that don’t result in doing something!)
The problem is, my goals for my company are not goals that can be done in one weekend. In fact, the goals are so big that they are going to take all year to accomplish them. All hands on deck and all year.
So I’m realizing that I have to exercise my “no” muscle. I don’t really have trouble telling other people no, but I do have trouble telling myself no! I want to do new things, fun things, big things…but those new, fun, big things get in the way of accomplishing my 3 goals for the year. They take up time, they allow me to take an off-ramp to other goals that aren’t in line with what I want to accomplish this year. These things are good – and they oftentimes come with a TON of really great feedback! The off-ramp things are successful!
But they aren’t aligned with my 2016 goals…so I have to say No. Maybe just No for now.
So…that’s what I’m thinking about today. I’m thinking about how I can keep things simple so that I can reach my goals for 2016 and also determine what type of actions led to reaching/meeting those goals. With too many activities in the mix, I don’t have a way to track which of my actions got results.
And that’s what I’m really interested in this year.
Question of the Week: What is something you need to stop doing in order to meet your goals for 2016?
If you’re interested in other articles like this, check this and this out!
This blog post really resonated with me! I find myself drawn to many “shiny new objects” popping up in the education world. I like the idea of focusing on three goals to help my teaching mind stay on an effective track. Thank you for the insight and advice!
Oh gosh – we ALL struggle with this! In fact, most of my writing is in response to something that I am trying to work through or understand. When you’re excited about what you’re doing (which I know you are, too!), it’s easy to forget that ‘no’ is appropriate…it helps you get to the “yes” stuff that is so important!