Before I had kids, if I had a major work deadline I’d simply stay late at the office and work through until it was done. Now that I have kids, this often isn’t practical. I therefore have become a lot more ruthless with my time and prioritising the outcomes that matter. To do this, I’ve found a goals planner is essential.
The goals planner technique I use to be super effective at work
I’ve read several books that have had a profound impact on my life. One of them is the fable “The monk who sold his Ferrari”. It was after reading this book that I decided to focus a lot more time on designing my upcoming week vs having everyone else (including my inbox) define my priorities.
Here’s how I practically use a goals planner, every week:
1. On Sunday night (or first thing Monday morning) I:
- Get out my A5 size notebook
- Read what I’ve written in my goals planner as my goals for that quarter
2. I then look at my online diary to:
- See what important meetings and deliverables I have coming up that week and the week after
- Look at what social functions I have
- See whether I’ll be doing more with the kids with drop offs and pick ups or something different from our usual routine
- I then have a view of how busy my week will be with events already booked in
3. On a new double page of my notebook:
- On the left side I list out the key deliverables I want to complete for that week. I include a few that contribute to reaching my quarterly goals
- On the right I write the days of the week evenly spread out down the page
- I then write next to specific days of the coming week when I will focus on which deliverables. I don’t put them all down to do on Monday. Just the 1-2 big ones per day I will focus on
- I also map out what exercise I will do each day, depending on what else I have going on each day. For example, if I know I have a big work day and function that night, I know it’s only realistic to fit in 10 minutes of meditation before bedtime
4. Each morning, the first thing I do when I get to the office is to review my priorities for that day. I think about whether something urgent has come up that needs to take priority. If not, I just focus on the most important task of the day.
It sounds so simple … and it is. Yet many people say they “don’t have time” to sit and think about their priorities. Using this goals planner is by FAR the most productive 30 minutes of my work week.