I’ve started listening to Brian Tracy’s audiobook “goals” in my free time. I highly recommend it, especially for ambitious people who want to get ahead in life.
While I’ve known for sometime that goal-setting is one of the key principles in getting ahead, I’ve always struggled with implementing a system that isn’t a complete waste of time. Tracy has some suggestions (mind you, I’m only on chapter 9), such as following the 80 – 20 rule and setting SMART goals.
For those who aren’t familar, 80 – 20 just means that you should spend 80% of your time executing and 20 % of your time planning goals. Apparently for every minute you plan, you will save 10 in execution. It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve had a mentality “think smarter, harder” for some time now.
SMART goals are from psychology. Basically you want to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable (but difficult), relevant and time-bound. There are many variations on this, feel free to wikipedia them.
The problem with any of these systems is the great time and effort it takes to track and manage your goals, and to fit them into your current system of managing and accounting for your time. You probably have many friends who are vying for your attention, family members who need your advice, and business colleagues who need you to get things done last minute. Who know what your sitch is, the point is, life often gets in the way of your goals. On top of all that, you’re tired, you may have other peoples’ goals in mind (or pets’), or you might have level of addiction to coffee or weed or alcohol or video games or something else that is eating up your time and your energy in a way that doesn’t bring you closer to meeting your goals.
So when you do finally get around to working on your goals, there are a million reasons why you’re too busy or tired, and you can spend the energy to finish tasks you probably won’t complete anyways. Sound familiar?
While my life’s goals were never THAT unreachable that I couldn’t motivate myself to work on them, it was always unnaturally difficult.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve been taking my problem-solving approach and applying it to various areas of my life. And boy, did I find one gem of a product. I’m not trying to sell you, I’m just trying to share.
It’s called “hiTask.” I’ve done my homework, checking out basecamp, microsoft project, remember the milk, producteev and others. hiTask was the best I found (not to say the others don’t have their merits). It integrates with Google tasks and calender, it is simple, efficient to use, intuitive, and very very very useful. It allows you to set the priority of your tasks, input multiple tasks at once, categorieze the tasks by project, create sub-tasks, input time estimates (and track your time), assign tasks to others and generate reports. The best part is, all of this is free under their basic membership option!
I spent about 3 hours migrating my tasks and to-dos for my business over there, and I know it will save me a world of time!