One of the biggest problems marketers face in their daily lives is how to Get Things Done, often known as GTD. Seems like it’s too easy to be distracted and, before you know it, the day is nearly over and those important tasks remain unstarted.
Up until recently I was hoping my brain would sort this out all by itself. Big Mistake! No matter how high your commitment to Get Things Done, you can’t trust your brain to keep to what needs to be done as a matter of urgency.
On top of that, I’ve learned that we should be making new habits if we wish to achieve our goals in the shortest time possible. Staying focused on what you need to do each day to take the right steps along the path to reaching your goal is practically impossible if you just think or promise yourself that’s what you’re going to do.
Some people create To-Do Lists. Others make calendar entries. All well and good but the problem with these is that there is no one to nag you into doing them.
So, all too soon, you’ve logged on to your E-mail Inbox, or jumped into Facebook or YouTube and a couple of hours swing by without you muscling up to the Get Things Done list!
I’m going to solve that for you with an App I’ve been using (available for IOS or Android) that not only lets you set goals and the tasks you need to action each day to achieve them, but also nags at you to get them done.
The App is called Success Wizard and you can get it on the IOS App store as ‘Success Coach’
and on Google Apps as ‘Goal Setting Daily Planner’
Here’s how it works…
First you set your Long Term Goal in the initial Wizard setup. This could be as simple as a financial goal, or income from your business, or replacing your salary and leaving your job. If a number of individual goals, for example Financial plus Health plus Relationships, combine to make your Long Term Goal a reality, set them up now.
Next you create Milestones which are Short Term Goals that you can focus on. I recommend that you set a yearly goal, a three month (90 Day) goal and a 30 Day goal.
The point of Milestones is to give you an initial target on which you MUST focus for the next 30 to 90 Days. When you achieve each Milestone you can pat yourself on the back, give yourself a reward, and bolster the belief that you WILL get things done. Milestones also allow you to chart your progress and make sure you stay on the right path to your goal.
Of course you won’t reach these Milestones unless you take action. So the next step is to create Activities. These can be something you need to do by a certain date or recurring Activities.
Recurring Activities can be Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Annually. Naturally, the Daily Activities are the ones to concentrate on as these are the key to Get Things Done. After setting these you can move on to the actions you need to take weekly or monthly.
Schedule your Activity
You can add an Activity by tapping the Activities icon in the bottom menu and then tapping the screen or clicking the + icon.
Give your activity a meaningful name like ‘Write Email’ or ‘Create FB Live’. Then you can choose whether this is a recurring activity or a one-off.
If you choose Recurring you can schedule Daily, Weekly or Monthly and the number of times your activity recurs.
Set the Duration
When you create an Activity, whether it is Daily, Weekly or Monthly, set the Duration to 25 minutes, even if you think it will take longer. Here’s why…
The natural time for 100% focus on any task is 25 minutes. After this, if you continue to work on your Activity, your productivity will fall and you’ll easily be distracted.
So set the duration to 25 minutes and, at the end of the time, stop working immediately, get up and go and do something completely different. Either get a drink of tea, coffee or water or take a short walk or do some press ups; anything which is not Work.
Do this not-work activity for 5 minutes and certainly no longer than 10 minutes and then return to your Activity for another 25 minutes or until you finish it if that’s within the next time slot.
If you want to know more about this I’ve summed up the research that led to this in my Daily Routine post. But, basically, that’s the technique as I’ve outlined it above.
If you set your Activity to High Priority you’ll automatically get a reminder at the start of the day, as well as towards the end of the day if you haven’t completed it.
Alternatively, if you have set a specified Time for starting, you’ll get a Reminder to start at that time.
You can also add one-time Activities to your device’s Calendar or Google Calendar to remind you of your schedule for that date.
Either way, these are all excellent prompts to Get Things Done, which is what you’re really after.
Morning and Evening Routines
It is important to get into the habit of completing Activities at certain times each day, (I talk more about this in my Daily Routine post).
Success Wizard suggests that you commit yourself to entering your plan for the day under Morning Routine. I recommend that you jot down any New Ideas or To-Dos that have occurred to you when you wake up. Otherwise, you should follow the Activities that you’ve set in the Evening Routine.
It’s highly valuable to get into the habit of reviewing your day and setting out the Goals and Activities for the next day using the Evening Routine. This is best done before bedtime, when you can reflect on what you did and didn’t achieve that day and then make a promise to yourself that you will do better tomorrow.
Or pat yourself on the back if you made a massive leap forward that day and Journal it.
Success Wizard’s Evening Routine is expressly designed to help you learn from your mistakes, discover what easily distracts you and provides aids to help you figure out why you didn’t focus on your tasks.
Be ruthlessly honest with yourself.
Getting Things Done is not about being a slave to your Success Wizard task master! Rather it is about improving your focus by learning how to avoid distractions that are stopping you getting to where you want to be in life.
If you can be ruthlessly honest with yourself then Success Wizard will help you improve your life by refining your capability to focus on what needs doing to achieve your goals.
All you have to aim for is to get better and better by 1% each day. Now that’s not too much to ask is it?