The success we all seek in life isn’t something that just surprises us one day. It is hardly a single event. Success is something that we build up to over time. Step by step. Brick by brick. Moment by moment.
With that in mind, taking charge of your future and increasing your level of success may be as easy as One – Two – Three…
Have a vision. Easy, right? Lots of folks that I know are averse to the idea of writing down their personal mission, vision and goals. Just give it a try, one time, and watch the road to success unfold in front of you. Check out this cool Franklin Covey resource for developing your own personal mission, etc. Unless you know what you’re working toward, you’re unlikely to know when you even get there!
- When crafting goals, “SMART” goals are really the way to go. These goals will support you as you work toward your vision. After defining your goal, check in ad determine that it meets the following criteria. If not, refine and revise and check again:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Action-oriented
- R – Realistic
- T – Time-bound
Commit to doing just one thing at a time. Although we’d all like to fancy ourselves “multi-taskers,” it just isn’t realistic. The human brain can really only do one thing at a time. Earl Miller, neuroscientist stated it well, “You’re not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously, but switching between them very rapidly.” Once we accept this fact and focus on getting one thing done at a time, and doing it very, very well, success is the reward!
A multitude of studies have confirmed that the downsides of multitasking are many:
- We make more mistakes when try to multitask
- We don’t produce our best work
- It actually takes longer, on average, to complete the [main] task at hand
- It can be downright dangerous (think texting and driving!).
- Want to know more about the benefits of doing one thing at a time? Make a moment, stop what you’re doing and view this excellent TED Talk, just 2:45 of your time, providing a great argument for “monotasking”!
Create a daily schedule and daily task list. We all know that it is important to balance our time and priorities; and know too well that distractions during the day are not hard to come by! We often struggle with how to satisfy each of our commitments: work, family, friends and hobbies.
- Schedule your days to include every activity that is important to you. Want to get a workout in 3 days per week? Put it on your calendar. Need to help your child with their science fair project? Put it on your calendar. Committed to a coaching session with a new employee? Put it on your calendar. Want to read 15 minutes per day? … You get the idea. Regardless of the area of life that it relates to, schedule your commitments; your priorities. Those who block out the time on their calendar are far more likely to accomplish the task at hand.
Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try saying, “it isn’t important.” See how that feels.
- Whether you’re using an old-fashioned hard-copy calendar, Outlook or a Google calendar, be consistent and watch your to-do list crumble way in front of you! A powerful book that I recommend on this very topic is, Eat that Frog! – by Brian Tracy. In this book, you’ll gain 21 excellent insights on getting important things done.
- Every Sunday night, I spend time with my Passion Planner getting organized and ready for the week ahead. I encourage you to do the same. Make a cup of tea, relax and enjoy your time planning and organizing your success; see the rewards pile up!
Moving closer to achieving your version of success is easier than you think. Commit to being organized and remain disciplined in the execution of important tasks. Remember every minute that we spend is an investment in our future. Plan and spend your time wisely.
Each of us has learned a variety of ways to build success; through trial and error, mostly! Share in Comments what you’ve learned that has helped you define and reach your goals!
About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant, speaker and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders. She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of businesses to analyze human resources and business operations with the objective of collaborating to design cost-effective training, employee relations programs, develop employment policies and procedures, and help business leaders exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly gorgeous, intelligent kids. She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.