Between Covid, political unrest and the changing administration, it’s been a constant, low-level barrage of distracting news. Add to that the fatigue of Covid winter and it’s hardly a surprise if you’ve lost some resolve.
Low-level distraction can kill productivity.
How can you counter it?
Cluster information. In this case, your goals.
In the public speaking team I work on, we teach students that audiences can absorb and remember information better when it’s clustered. Phone numbers are clustered for this reason.
When you want something to be understood, have one overarching idea. Then you can have up to three sub-ideas. And then you can have detail that supports each of those three ideas. What’s key is that all of the information circles back to those three sub-ideas, and we can remember three ideas.
With goal setting, it’s the same. Instead of getting overwhelmed with the 11 initiatives you need to do RIGHT NOW, look for the themes. What are the 3-5 overarching goals and how can smaller initiatives feed into those?
Next…and this can be a challenge. Limit yourself to three goals per quarter. Using the relatively short time frame of three months allows you to completely focus on fewer things. And that works better for our brains, and our productivity.
Maybe know you need to increase your company’s social media presence; you also know you need a website update but that actually makes more than three goals. Now let’s say you choose to leave the website for next quarter. You now have more time and energy to sit down with a department head to really understand their marketing goals and how social media can support those, and you get a better outcome. Better outcome builds success and confidence, which makes future goals easier to achieve.
So to review:
- Write down everything you’d love to accomplish
- Choose three goals – at least one should be connected to bottom-line results
- For each goal, create up to four sub-goals. Here you can weave in some original goals, but now they are connected and easier to remember
- Take out your calendar and schedule the sub-goals over the quarter so that they are not all bunched together
- Final piece: make room for habits like stopping for lunch, weekly meeting minutes. Goals work when they challenge you, but also fit into what you already have to do
Remember: Do fewer things, do them really well… build confidence.
I hope this helps! As always, if you or your team want support on goal setting and productivity, don’t hesitate to reach out.
All my best,