7 Steps to Creating a Goal Tracker

 

There are seven days left this year. There is still plenty that you can do starting today! I am creating a 7-step goal tracker to help you optimize your time and maximize your output. Below are the December time management series articles:

Happy December, there’s still plenty to do:

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/happy-december-theres-still-plenty/

Three Things to Do with Three Weeks Left:

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/three-things-three-weeks-left/

Two Things to Do with Two Weeks Left:

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/two-things-two-weeks-left/

Ten Things to Do in Ten Days

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/ten-things-ten-days/

Time is your most precious commodity. It is essential to effectively track your time, resources and progress. Below are the seven steps towards to creating a goal tracker.

  1. Determine what are your definitions of success and progress

These two definitions are indispensable towards creating the goal tracker. Your success definition is what your outcome will be. Your success definition answers the question of what you want to accomplish. Your progress definition is your quality policy. When you measure progress at each milestone, has your product met the quality standard to go to the next phase? If that product does not meet the quality standard then progress has not been met. You cannot advance forward.

  1. Know your resources and people

You have to make sure that you have all of the people and resources needed to execute. If anything is missing, then you must create a contingency plan.

  1. Add milestones

The milestones are the beginning of creating the tracker. You need to start filling out the schedule.  The milestones are the points where you evaluate if the product or work in its current form has met the quality policy.

  1. Write down change management procedures.

A change management plan is necessary because the one thing that is certain is uncertainty. Usually, people create the goal tracker first. However, I think that accepting that change is always going to happen, creating the change management plan first is imperative. For instance, a change management plan tells you how to respond when a product does not meet the quality policy. Some of the things that this plan answers are how do we incorporate changes? When and where do we flag them? Who can approve changes? Creating the change management plan gives you a ready-made answer.

  1. Use 3-point estimation to create contingency plans.

I am introducing a project management concept. The three-point estimate takes the most optimistic (MO), most likely (ML) and most pessimistic (MP) and divide them. Here is the formula:

MO+ 4(ML)+ MP

6

This formula gives you the most likely goals tracker. Another reason why I introduce most optimistic and most pessimistic is because of change. What if you are advancing ahead of schedule, how do you respond to this? The most optimistic schedule will help you. Remember, that only thing that is certain is uncertainty.

  1. Monitor the progress.

Once you create your tracker and start working on your goal, you need to monitor progress and make adjustments accordingly. Consult the change management plan if necessary.

  1. Have a lessons learned section.

A lessons learned section details what has gone right and wrong during this time period. It is very important to assessment what has just happened because you can rely on it in the future. Don’t reinvent the wheel every time. A lessons learned section helps you with this.

Reference: http://www.pmi.org/passport/mar09/passport_mar09_seven-tips-on-how-to-build-a-solid-schedule.html

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Ten Things to Do in Ten Days

 

Welcome to an all-new installment of December’s time management series. Today I will be discussing the ten things that you can do in ten days towards accomplishing your goals. If you have missed this series, here are the other three time management articles:

Happy December, there’s still plenty to do:

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/happy-december-theres-still-plenty/

Three Things to Do with Three Weeks Left:

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/three-things-three-weeks-left/

Two Things to Do with Two Weeks Left:

http://positivitychange.com/2016/12/two-things-two-weeks-left/

Below are the ten things to do in ten days. These ten tips will guide you through completing your goals, decluttering your environment, increasing productivity and morale plus building future momentum.

  1. Don’t Panic, Get Organized!

This is not the time to freak out! You have a short time period to accomplish something. Besides panicking is a time waster that you can ill-afford with a deadline right around the corner. Getting organized is a much better way towards spending your time. Organize every outstanding task regardless of time period. Right now during this stage, you just want to acknowledge everything around you.

  1. Focus on the now!

Now we are whittling down on what to do in a time crunch. You have only ten days to complete something; therefore, anything over ten days needs to be abandoned immediately. You need short-term wins right now.

  1. Make lists

Take all of the short term tasks and list them. You want to know all of the outstanding tasks that you still have to do during this ten-day time period.

  1. Prioritize

List these tasks in order of importance with the ones that have the biggest consequences (positive or negative) first. This helps you see where you should throw your attention.

  1. Break it down even further

Many people stop at prioritizing because they feel like listing all of the tasks means that they have accomplished something. That’s wrong because even though something will take less than 10 days does not mean that it is a priority. Some tasks can actually harm your progress towards the most important tasks out there. Eliminating the non-essential short-term tasks save time which you have very little of to begin with.

  1. Schedule down time

You are not a machine! You are a human who eat and sleeps. Oftentimes, when creating the schedule, people leave these things out and the results are disastrous! Remember, that on average a person works 6 ½ hours of an 8-hour day incorporating lunch and scheduled breaks. Be realistic when creating your schedule.

  1. Build in a buffer

Just like you have built in breaks for the people, your schedule needs a buffer too. A buffer gives you leeway just in case something takes longer than expected. I recommend having a 1-2 day buffer on a 10-day schedule just in case. If you are under the gun, you don’t want to create a schedule with no wiggle room. One thing is for certain: there are always surprises which is all the more reason why you create a buffer to protect you from uncertainty.

  1. Set up a goal tracker

You do have to measure your progress in real time. A goal tracker keeps everyone honest by tracking how many milestones and tasks are completed within the allotted time.

  1. Reward Yourself for Progress

This is a morale booster. Reward yourself and your team whenever you have completed a milestone. You are celebrating progress; but also it boosts the morale of your team because you are closer towards your goal.

  1. Kill the Inner Critic

Last but not least, kill the inner critic! Negativity has no place here. Regardless of who did or did not do whatever, you have ten days remaining to accomplish something. The last thing you need is negativity and infighting. Killing the negativity and dissension are two ways towards ensuring that you complete your tasks in ten days.

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Source: https://www.communicaid.com/communication-skills/blog/communication-skills/new-years-resolution-manage-time-effectively/