Life would be a lot better if there was an exact mathematical formula that we could use to achieve our goals. Unfortunately, an exact scientific equation has never been discovered, and in a way, it’s a good thing that there is no cookie cutter way to make it to your goals. The road to success is not paved with certainty or guarantees, but there are ways that we can help ourselves get to where we want to be, even if it takes several detours to get there.
Too often in our work lives (and non-work lives), we wish for things to be a certain way but don’t invest the time or energy towards moving in the right direction. In our minds, we take on too large of a task and get overwhelmed by the idea of what it would take to reach that goal. By mapping out smaller, more achievable goals, we could actually make the process easier instead of surrounding it with unnecessary anxiety.
Set a Daily Plan
Rather than trying to remember a jumble of tasks that need to get done each day, sit down to plan out your week to maximize your time and productivity levels. If you can set realistic expectations for yourself every day, this can help you in eventually reaching the pinnacle of your goal. The old phrase that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ reigns true for anyone stressing over a large project at work. You will never get it all done in one day and trying to scramble for ways to do so will only hinder the quality of your work.
Don’t Look at Your Email
For the vast majority of us, when we first step into the office, our instinct is to turn on the computer and go through unread email messages. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless task often snowballs into performing a string of non-urgent tasks that take up our entire morning. By addressing the more important tasks as soon as your day begins and staying away from your email for a few hours, you'll find yourself tackling much more work than you ever expected. Go through the list of things you have for the day and give a good moment of thought to how much time you’ll need for each step. This will give you a good idea of what things to address first.
This coincides with the first point. When you do decide to sit down and make yourself a daily plan, keep realistic expectations in your mind. Don’t put down what you think you should be accomplishing day by day, but what you know you are capable of completing. This way you are not disappointing yourself if you don’t get something done, piling on unnecessary stress as more and more work begins to accumulate.
It’s okay to want to celebrate a little after accomplishing each small goal that you've set for yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top, but allowing yourself time to feel happy about what you did throughout the day or week is an important part of staying motivated and rewarding yourself for hard work. Make a checklist and if everything is checked off by the end of the week, treat yourself to some binge-worthy TV, ice cream, or whatever makes you feel good!
If You Slack, Make It Up
Hey, we’re only human. There are going to be days that you are not going to check off everything on your list. Those days aren’t too fun, especially when you’re so looking forward to having a Ferrero Rocher as a treat for all your hard work. If you end up not being able to complete a certain task due to a lack of time, don’t try to cram it all into one day. Simply plan to work on that task the next day and move it to the top of your list. We want to panic as little as possible throughout the day that way you are ensuring you’re in the right mindset to reach your goals!