Tag Archives: achieving goals

Make a list, do your list, make your dreams come true.

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A goal is a dream with a deadline ~Napoleon Hill

Many people have great ideas and very few do anything with them. Ideas are an energy, but like electricity, energy doesn’t do anything useful unless it has a conduit to focus it to complete a task. Unless dreams/ideas are wrapped in the conduit of a to-do list, not much happens with them because the energy is scattered- not focused.

This becomes even more vital for those who are doing work at home, or are attempting to balance parenthood and a career as a freelancer or other home-based business. It’s easy to get distracted by chores, kids, partners and their need to be loved, entertained, and cared for. However, without balance nothing gets done. Enter the to do list.

Write out all that comes to mind when you ask “What needs to be done today?”. It can become an extensive list. Now go through the list again asking “What are the consequences of this item?” Meaning, if it doesn’t get done today what would happen? Some things hold little consequence like a chore that doesn’t happen, some holds great consequence like not making an important business call when the client is expecting you to. Write these high consequence items on a small magnetic dry erase board and place them somewhere you go to get distracted–say the refrigerator–if it is a work environment, place it in line of sight. Write the top five things that need to happen on the dry erase board and remove each task as it is done. Make sure this top five happens every day. If it absolutely can’t happen –extenuating circumstances–add it to the top of tomorrow’s list and get it done. This feeling of accomplishment encourages more accomplishment. Especially for long projects and for chores like dishes and laundry that are eternal, it feels good to be done, at least for now ūüôā

By structuring the day into the conduit of a to-do list, with consequences and deadlines things get done. There will still be occasion to look back at the end of the week and say “Where the heck did that week go?” Only with a to-do list done, that feeling comes with a sense of satisfaction about all that was accomplished during that time. Todo List

What are you doing? Manage your time, manage your life.

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Have you ever stopped to ask yourself ¬†“What am I doing?” ¬†Why are you doing a specific action at a particular time?

It’s interesting to break-down how people use time. ¬†What is the difference in actions between the way a transient person uses time and a billionaire? The way a stay-at-home parent uses time and how a corporate executive uses time? How a celebrity uses time and how an office worker uses time? ¬†The way we use our time ultimately defines what kind of life we have to look back on, when we reflect on the life created by these consecutive moments, how time is used can have a major impact in the arena of material success, how a person uses their time is a¬†fundamental¬† factor in a person’s chances of success.

In the poem I Was Going to Live My Dream But…¬†I illustrate the many little time takers a person encounters in their day. This is written from the point of view of ¬†a wife and mother, however it’s easily transferable to any life and the specific fill-in-the-blanks tasks that make up a ¬†day’s worth of time.

Time is a precious commodity. As we get older time practically vaporizes before us, and once in awhile a moment will happen that causes a person to take note of just how many years have flown by. Those years, all made up of tiny moments, are reflected on, and the question inevitably comes “What did I do with that time?”

So what’s the point? What is the point of the tasks that take up a day? What goals do these actions make happen? What results come from these actions? Is it what you want? Are you happy? It’s ¬†good ¬†to be mindful of questions like these as the day goes by to make sure you are getting the most of every moment. Especially in today’s world of technology with literally thousands of methods of distraction available to us in an instant a person can lose a lot of time without a satisfying return on investment from how that time was spent. ¬†It takes discipline, discipline ¬†in thought and action in order to have satisfying experience of life. ¬†Discipline becomes at the same time the most difficult thing to do and the most important thing to do when achieving goals to live a satisfying life.

Discipline has a negative connotation, as if something is being taken away– Freedom stolen. ¬†This is not the case. Discipline is simply a path, like digging a canal that flows to the life a person wants, time can be much like water. Water can cause a lot of damage when it’s not channeled through a canal, at best it lazily floods and makes a big mess, at its worst it can be highly destructive, but all of that can be avoided with proper channeling of the water flow. Once water is channeled within a canal, it can irrigate a field, or serve as a water source, even create power if attached to a hydro-electric device. ¬†Channeling the water makes it productive and the same is true with time. Daily schedules help combat distraction, and when teamed with a reasonable to-do list which is ¬†marked by priority, a day’s worth of time begins to take shape. Much like a canal, ¬†the schedule gives a path to time that causes something to be produced with it. Consulting ¬†schedules and to-do lists ¬†lends ¬†guidance¬†to decide what activity should be going on in a particular moment in order to reach a goal and feel satisfied at the end of the day.

These are merely guidelines of course,  as the day unfolds its undoubted that the schedule and list will go through alterations,  however there is still a course that can be returned to and priority tasks can be completed.

Make a list of all the time stealers in your schedule. Which stealers can be removed from your schedule by either delegating them, deleting them or managing them more effectively. For example social media like Facebook and Twitter can steal a lot of time if you let it, but with a timer beeping when allotted time is over, and by limiting access to it by only checking at designated times of day (this can apply to email as well), one can have more time for productive work with a good return on time invested.

It is important to make not only financial or material goals but also personal and social goals as well. Spending time with family, having fun, self improvement and care time are included in the list of what must be done. With the guide of a schedule and to-do list and with¬†discipline¬†to¬†channel¬†the use of time, one’s daily actions can produce a very happy and satisfying life.