I was recently asked “What’s your best advice on getting things done and keeping the momentum going?”
My response – Set the PAR for the course. In golf, par means the expected number of shots (strokes) to get the ball in the hole at the end of the green. I set – and encourage you – to set a PAR for each day – what you expect, your plan to execute and a review. As you may have guessed – its an acronym: P – Prepare A – Action R – Reflect.
The much known quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to plan”, is interestingly misquoted – what Abraham Lincoln (may) have actually said was: “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
What’s the difference between planning and preparing? Planning is setting out the goal, and the steps you need to achieve your outcome. Preparing – is doing everything you need to do to set yourself up for success (including planning).
FIVE KEY Strategies to PREPARE for your day
1. CARVE OUT TIME to prepare your day – and every day (in the morning or the night before). Choose this as a daily habit for 5 – 15 minutes.
Momentum Tip: When creating a new habit, “marry it” to an existing one. Eg. Do it with your first morning coffee, when you are waiting for your computer to start up, after you have dropped off the kids at school.
2. PICK 3 PRIORITIES – so even if the day ends up in chaos, you commit to completing these three. They are your action focus for the day. Make them the three high impact/priority tasks.
Momentum Tip: 1) Stick it on a post it note for visual prompt. 2) Choose two work and one personal priority. Having a personal priority is essential to that elusive “work/life balance”.
3. REVIEW your goals – for the week, month, year. What milestones are you working towards – what needs to go on your action list for today?
Momentum Tip: It’s never to late to set great goals for 2017. Make it a priority. Schedule time to do this.
4. CHECK & UPDATE YOUR SCHEDULE: What is scheduled? Who do you need to talk to today? What needs to be complete? Where do you need to be? When are you going to complete tasks be?
Momentum Tip: DO NOT do this first when preparing. Opening up your calendar first creates mental overwhelm!
5. WHAT ELSE? This small questions is power packed to give your extra clarity. What else do you need to do? What else do you WANT to do? What else would make this an amazing day? What else…
I trust this is timely prompt for your to create a productive and purposeful day!