Although getting things done is good, getting the right things done (or getting things done right? ) is even more important. So what are the right things?
If you’re one of the minority that have strong goals and purpose, this will be straight forward. If you’re like everyone else, this may be difficult.
Some literature advocates the creation of a rather comprehensive life plan and goals. Effectively this is classic up-front planning design. It feels good and helps you straighten things out, but without rigid adherence it may not be enough to change your life.
The classic self-help texts, no-doubt influenced by Calvinist views on the Bible, certainly advocate this approach. The theme is that there’s a divine plan of ages, so therefore must be a “best” plan for your life.
Napoleon Hill recommends daily meditation on your plan, which will bring those goals into your mind frequently, which will in turn cause these things to be. Now that’s cool, but it can be dull.
But things do change don’t they?
The book “Getting Results – The Agile Way” by J.D. Meier (http://gettingresults.com) is different to many self-help books in that it acknowledges that things change and incorporates this into the system.
The great thing about this system is that it can be adopted gradually, without a huge upfront design. It recommends simple practices that get you into the habit of setting objectives and meeting them, which in turn delivers results early. Those results give feedback that can be used to set even more meaningful objectives.
Meier states that “Mini-goals and actions go a long way towards your biggest and most impactful results”. It’s still planning, but in smaller, more achievable and more correctable chunks.
In the chapter “Designing your day” he says “If you remember nothing else, start your day with The Rule of 3. Know the minimum you want for the day—simply identify three results. These are your “tests for success.” It’s your chance to define your success, and you get a clean slate each day.”
Set 3 objectives at the beginning of each day. By doing this, and reflecting upon those 3 throughout the day (I use the “Sticky Notes” feature of Windows), it’s amazing how much you can accomplish.