Currently I am sitting on the Feuersee in Stuttgart, which quickly became one of my most favorite places to sit and write. There are always people around here. Different characters and stories, which also can be inspiring for topics to write about.
For the rest of the day I have not that much planned, as I already got everything packed for my trip to Mumbai tomorrow.
When I don’t have anything planned, I start to think about a thousand things that I could do, which led me to priorities in my life.
What is important? What should I be working on? What will advance me, and what not? Does my current endeavor align with my overall goals? Am I on the right track?
If you don’t think about your priorities and goals in life, someone else will.
Without Goals you are running in circles
The first and most important point to consider in this article has goals at all. Because without having any goals, you are just running in circles. You will react to your environment without moving forward. If you don’t know where you want to sail to, you will drown in busywork.
A goal doesn’t need to be a fixed number or a specific 10 page description, it has to be the direction you want to go.
I have many different time based goals. Some are for 10 years, some for 5, some are for 2019 and some are goals for the current month. The shorter the time range is, the more specific the goals get.
For example, by reaching the age of 30, I want to earn at least a 100k. This is a goal for the next four years. This doesn’t say anything about the process of how I want to reach this.
Some goals are more specific, for example productivity goals; I want to keep my productivity pulse above 85 percent for a month and measure the impact.
To advance you at least need to know in which direction you want to go. Stop running in circles and get your goals straight. Goals shouldn’t stay in your mind. Write it down and review it from time to time to know where you are staying.
Align your Priorities with your Goals
Now that we have the goals set up we can dive into priorities. As every day has the same amount of hours for everybody, it’s important to decide what you are going to focus on.
For everything that you are doing ask yourself, does this align with my goal? Every action, every course that you are taking needs to align with a goal you have in mind. Otherwise, it’s just running in circles, as mentioned above.
Another thing is to keep in mind that you have to adapt that priorities and actions sometimes. The world keeps spinning, maybe a goal that sounds valuable right now is not worth a penny at that time you will reach it. For example, in the energy business, focusing on oil and coal may not work in the future. Adapt your goals for the future, when the world changes, be ready to adapt.
Create Breathing Room
We all have the same 24 hours. You can squeeze more time out to work on your dreams, but it’s still 24 hours.
To be always on the top of yourself, you also need to take care of yourself. This deserves an own post or even a whole category, so I only want to give you a few things on the way here.
Take time away for yourself, really plan it. Block time in your calendar, spend time with friends, and enjoy life. There is no value in working your ass off all the time and not enjoying your life at all.
Pay attention to your body. Your body knows what you need. Get rid of bad eating habits and that takeaway food. I may not be the best example for this, but I am evolving 😉
There are statistics out there that say, people that write their goals down are more likely to reach them. I agree. But just writing down goals is not enough. You need to track them and even analyze your actions if you are working on the right things or if you are doing busy work and getting nowhere.
We are living in a great time, where there is a tool for almost everything. Task managers, habit trackers, Kanban boards and many many more.
You can use them to visualize the state of your goals and review your priorities, goals, and even your progress at any time with every device. If you are not the digital kind of guy, then there are also paper planners for this.
Also for that, there will be an extra article, on how I use these described tools to keep myself on track.