It feels like it is impossible to stay focused when you work online. We get distracted by social media, email, and cat videos all of the time. When my computer isn't distracting me my iPhone is. I expect you get distracted too. I found a simple productivity tool that works, which I have made available to you here. It's the new and improved, 2016 Daily Goals. Prepare to conquer your to do list, rock your goal setting, and achieve your personal goals and business goals.
I have used countless apps and software to help me get the work done, but I fail too often. The main problem is each time I have to open an app, I get distracted by something else on the device. I'll see a notification, status update, or my mind will wander and force me to open Reddit.
Last year, I came up with a solution to help me stay focused. It involves three ingenious innovations: paper, pen, and coffee (coffee is optional).
My Daily Goals worksheet is simple. You print a copy for each day of the week from Monday to Friday and use a slight variation for Saturday. Print it, fill it out, and keep it in front of you all day. That's the most important part (next to filling it out) - keep it where you can see it.
How to use the Daily Goals
Here are the eight steps to using your Daily Goals Worksheet.
1. Sunday night decide what you need to achieve by the end of the week. Fill in this main goal for each day. This should be the same thing on each page.
2. Decide what your main goal is for the end of the month. Keep this the same, so you can be laser focused.
3. Add each day of the week. The main document is for Monday - Friday, the other is just for Saturdays.
4. Add a dollar sign in the box on the left if this item will earn you money. This helps you stay focused on what feeds your family (and buys you coffee).
5. Notice the "P"? The P stands for "personal". Each day of the week, add two personal goals. For example: exercise for thirty minutes, read for one hour, play soccer with junior, write a chapter, cook dinner.
6. Try to introduce two people in your network each day. Everybody knows someone who is looking for a job or is hiring. Perhaps these are people who should know one another because of similar interests. Look at your email and LinkedIn for ideas.
7. The "B" stands for "business". Each day of the week, add six business goals. For example; follow up with John Doe, update expense report, review analytics.
8. The tick boxes on the right are for ticking off what you get done. Feel the complete satisfaction of using a pen to check mark this area when you get the work done. You will get the work done.
On the Saturday page you will notice a slight variation. There are two business goals and six personal goals. Focus Saturdays on yourself. There is no page for Sunday. Go outside and play, get to a new movie, watch football. You have earned your free Sundays.
I know we all get interrupted. Distraction happens even with a printed daily goals worksheet in front of you all day. When you do get distracted, look back down on your desk, or up to your whiteboard or mirror (or wherever you stick your daily goals worksheet). Focus on your goals and get back to work.
Let's make 2016 your most productive year yet. If you find this helpful, please share it with your friends and colleagues.
Now go download your daily goals worksheet to get started.