This is going to be my year. I feel really positive that this is the year I’m going to make a difference in my career, but where do I start?
Whoopee! What a great, positive statement. You are already one step in front and you need to stay that way. So start changing your behaviour and you will be amazed how energised you will feel, how exciting life and work becomes and what success is achieved.
What do you want to have achieved by Christmas 2012? What can you do differently, what can you do more of, less of, what opportunities can you take up?
Think big, be inspired by role models, mix with positive people. If people don’t like the new you, move on. Aim high and ignore the little nagging voice that says you can’t. You can, but you need to stay energised, which also means looking after your body. Break down the goal into bite-size chunks that need to be achieved in the next six months, three months, weekly and more importantly today. ‘What do I have to do today, right now to achieve this strategy?’ This isn’t about luck, this is about commitment.
I have so much work I don’t know where to start. I keep writing to-do lists but rarely achieve much. How do I prioritise and what about the stuff I never get round to doing?
Writing to-do lists uses up energy and not much else. So you need to learn how to prioritise - and with that comes planning.
So your boss asks for a report for next week, you say yes, add it to your list, worry about it and then rush it just before the deadline. You need to plan how much time you need to research, to write, to present and then block off these periods of time.
At the end of each day, write down three things you have to do tomorrow. Just before you leave the office, clear your desk completely and leave your three priorities on the desk. This has a wonderful way of focusing the mind and you don’t need to waste energy the following morning on thinking about where to start. It’s all staring at you.
Look at your day-to-day tasks. Do they move you towards your goals? Could they be delegated? Would anyone notice if they were ignored?
You’ll never find time to do it all, and it won’t be better next week or next month. Take control. You can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself.