5 Ways to Keep Your Eyes on Your Goals
Entrepreneurs wear an insane number of hats. They are CEOs, CFOs, assistants and even IT specialists. Yet, even with their head down in various roles, they remain focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever that prize or goal may be, it’s imperative that you learn how to keep your focus engaged therein.
Here are five ways to help you keep your eyes on your goals.
1. Identify priorities and strategize.Your business’ success is dependent upon your ability to identify the most important things to accomplish at any given time. You must have a very clear sense of your priorities, daily. This is due to the fact that an unplanned day will inevitably lead to distraction take over. Specific, discrete decisions about every moment will help eliminate interference. This ability to succinctly prioritize and strategize every move and minute will lead to a highly productive work environment.
2. Envision the end result.
Ensure that each activity or task is somehow related to attaining that end prize: The sole purpose of your business venture. Certainly, there will be business-related (non-goal oriented) necessities. Make sure those are scheduled appropriately, but don’t veer from the path you’ve marked out for your business. You set goals for a reason: to achieve them. If you’re wasting time on anything else, get rid of it.
3. Manage your time deliberately.
Some people are more productive in the morning, others late at night. Therefore, determine when you are most alert and intense, and utilize those periods with gusto!
Also, even when things seem open-ended time-wise, it’s best to set your own deadlines. The truth is, deadlines keep us focused. They motivate us to accomplish our tasks within an assigned frame of time and will thereby enable us to stay on track to success.
4. Tackle hard tasks dead on.
We have a tendency to get the easier stuff out of the way first. Unfortunately, this is exactly the opposite of the way we should be handling our days. Remember, we’ve got a limited amount of focus and therefore should use our most intense times for the harder things. The email answering, invoicing and other more mindless tasks can be done when we really aren’t that intellectually involved.
5. Check tasks for goal alignment.
It’s essential that you use your prioritizing skills to ensure that each activity or task you take on is directly correlated to your business goals. Don’t get sidetracked by things that sound interesting or that look like “good things to do” -- unless there’s a direct relationship between participation and reaching your business objectives.
A good way to ensure alignment is to schedule a meeting with yourself and your team, every week. Go over the to-do lists you’ve designed. Ascertain what was accomplished and what worked best to meet those aims. If there are things that can be changed to make your week more productive in the future, make them. If there are things you can eliminate, do so. Always look for ways to improve your productivity.
Surely you realize that running a business is no easy endeavor. No doubt you’ve seen first-hand just how simple it is to get derailed from your daily agenda, particularly if it’s on the vague side. However, if you strategize, envision the end result, deliberately manage your time, take on your hardest tasks first and stay in alignment, you can continuously keep your eyes on your goal, and eventually achieve it.
Joey Pomerenke is an entrepreneur and one of the founding partners of UP Global, an international non-profit organization that connects entrepreneurs with their communities and the resources they need most through programs such as Startup Weekend, Startup Digest and Startup America. Pomerenke is a connector of people and a world traveler whose work has landed him in over 30 countries.