Saturday, December 18, 2010
By Clare Evans
Do you get to the end of the week and you know you've been busy but you don't really seem to have achieved anything?
You've been rushing around from pillar to post, feeling as if you're at the beck and call of everyone and everything else, whether it's a ringing phone or a full inbox or people interrupting you while you're working but somehow you don't find time for yourself.
Well, it's a common problem and could be a sign that you're focusing on the wrong things or don't really have any clear plan of what you need to be doing.
Take a deep breath, set aside a few minutes and get clear in your mind what it is that you want.
What do you want to achieve in the next three months, six months, a year? What are your longer term goals for your business?
Make sure that what you do each day is getting you closer to your goals and that you're not wasting your time on secondary goals or getting side-tracked on to less important tasks.
One way to do this is to have a visual representation of what you need to do each week or even on a monthly basis or across a whole year. Our brains work better if we're able to engage both the right and the left side. Having a linear list or diary appeals to the logic but get creative with it and use some colour to at least stimulate the more creative and visual aspect.
Worksheets and checklists are great for planning and keeping track of time. It feels good to see what needs to be done spread across the week. Use colour to highlight and block out different area where you spend your time. Make it more creative, visual and satisfying.
Even if you're using a diary - you can add some variety by using colour and symbols to identify different tasks - client meetings, admin tasks, research, writing, even your weekly exercise or social appointments. You'll quickly recognise the colour coding and it's easier to read
Even if you already use a diary or online scheduler, a weekly planner provides a one-page record of your diary, action list and goals for the week, making it easier to focus and stay on track.
You can use it for both your business and personal goals and there are ways to create a tracking worksheet you can use for the month or even for a whole year.
It's so much more satisfying and motivating to tick off your achievements and track your progress. It gives you a colourful representation of what you're doing and it encourages you both to focus and do more.