Whether you own your business or are a major decision maker within the company, you understand the importance of planning for the future. A plan is like a map— when following it you can see how much progress you’ve made, and you can pinpoint how much further you have to go before reaching your destination.
Planning includes setting specific objectives and working toward them. You already know it’s a good idea to write down goals so that you know where you stand. Now, consider taking things a step further—how about setting a deadline for each goal? Self-imposed deadlines can be a key to staying focused on the task at hand. Below are some tips to help propel you toward achieving your goals, whatever they may be.
Accept Personal Responsibility
The goals you have set are your responsibility and no one else’s. To stay on track, it’s important to decide what you want to accomplish, why it’s important and when the work will need to be done. Even when delegating tasks to other staff members, it’s generally up to the “delegator” to make sure everybody follows through with their assignments.
Avoid becoming stressed about looming deadlines by giving yourself enough time to complete important tasks. Remember, time exists so that everything does not have to happen at once. Train yourself to think strategically by creating an annual plan for your work, being careful to spread the work out so you don’t have to focus on more than one or two large projects per quarter.
Easy to say, hard to do! To avoid the pitfall of procrastination, set aside specific blocks of time to work on your plan. Don’t let anything else interfere—let voicemail pick up phone calls and tell your coworkers you’re busy and can’t be bothered until you let them know you’re available again.
Oops, I Missed It!
Missed a deadline for a particular goal? It happens to all of us sooner or later. Instead of worrying about a missed deadline, either complete the task right away or reschedule it, assigning a new due date. Whatever you do, keep moving ahead!
Deadlines are valuable tools for staying ahead of the game, and they are crucial for helping us stay focused and motivated. Learning to use them strategically will help you achieve results more efficiently and effectively. TPW