Setting and achieving goals plays a big role in us feeling motivated and engaged at work. Making an actionable list of tasks helps us focus our attention and achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Below are some helpful tips:
While working
Streamline emails by turning off pop-up notification emails, allocating specific times to check and respond and setting up filters to automatically file unimportant emails
Track your daily activities and how much time each task takes to give you a realistic view of how you spend your time, as well as when time is wasted
Note your energy levels at different times of the day to help you plan which activities you should be doing and when
Schedule your most challenging tasks for when your energy level is greatest, for example, if you’re most focused and creative in the morning, then use that time to do your writing or brainstorming, rather than respond to emails
When feeling stuck or overwhelmed
Plan a fun or exciting activity to look forward to
Commit to starting on your project and take a small step towards it
Find the joy in completing a task you’ve put off for some time
Reframe a problem you face as a potential opportunity
Identify and spend time in environments that unlock energy and creativity, then use that energy to work on a goal
Focus on the one thing you can do to make everything else easier or unnecessary
Visualise achieving your goal and how you will feel once you have done so
Take time to reflect on what you have achieved this week
Take time to recognise and celebrate your successes
Use positive self-talk
Break projects down into smaller, more manageable actions you can take
Set yourself up for success
Start your day with the most important task for that day
Spend time setting up your filing systems for emails, computer documents and papers as it will save you time in the long run
Keep your workspace clean and organised so you can focus on tasks at hand
Delegate tasks that are less important or that others could do better, when possible
Be aware of distractions
Learn to say no
It’s easy to get caught up in the details and end up spending too much time on a task so learn ways to counter unhelpful perfectionism
When creating your list of priorities, be realistic about your capacity at any given time
Dedicate chunks of time to single tasks rather than sporadically or while multitasking, to ensure they are given the time that they need
If there are resources that would allow you to utilise your time more effectively, ask for support or discuss it with your manager
Create a “stop doing” list – it can be just as important as a “to-do” list
Create tomorrow’s to-do list, the afternoon or night before
Create next week’s to-do list, the Friday afternoon (the week) before