Having an end goal is the first step towards productivity. Where do you want to be in 5 years? What about in 10 years? Your goal can be personal or professional, there are no limitations. Do you want to have visited all seven continents? Do you want to have a particular salary?
Setting goals will give you something to work towards. Think of a bucket list, but shorter term. What are a few things you want to do? Write them down; keep them visible. Having something in sight will increase your motivation. Working towards something invisible makes it hard to envision or take stock of any achievements.
Once you have your final goal in sight, you can then break it down. Section it into blocks, make it more achievable. Enormous goals can seem overwhelming if you tackles them as one huge task. Everything can be broken down.
The merits of time blocking have been discussed before, and the same principle can be applied to goals. Set long term, infinite-deadline goals, and break them down into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily timeframes. This process will enable you to work towards your goals without making huge leaps.
Personally, I tried to set daily goals. I would sit down at the start of every day and write out a list of things I wanted to achieve that day. The problem with that was that I would often overestimate the amount of time it would take to complete a task. Not only that, but I had a tendency to carry tasks over to the next day.
When tasks are continuously carried over, they no longer become daily tasks and their carrying over is felt as a failure because they have not been achieved. This led to demotivation and insecurity, so I tried something new.
I sit down and lay out my weekly goals and I haven’t looked back. Setting weekly goals enables me to outline what I hope to achieve, what’s manageable and what these steps will mean for the overall goal I have set. I have found that I do not overestimate my capabilities when I work to weekly goals. Weekly goals, for me, give me just enough focus for the week while also providing me with a baseline for the month.
These goals and tasks are all focused on achieving my ultimate 5 year, or 10 year old goal. A week is one of 52 steps in a year, or one quarter of a month. Break it down, 52 weeks of goal-setting might be easier for you to work on tirelessly than 365 days. Or maybe you need to work on monthly goals.
Work out the best goal period for you. Whether you achieved everything you wrote down within the time you’ve allotted yourself doesn’t matter. The steps you have taken are successes, they are bringing you closer to the mark. Don’t be discouraged if you have a bad week, and only do a fraction of what you intended. You’re getting there.
Remember, it's unethical to not be the best version of yourself, so get planning the REAL YOU!