Spring is here and that means it’s time for deep cleaning! This type of reset is good for more than just your closets or garage. It’s also a good time to “clean up” your professional goals and make sense of the clutter. I know I have high expectations for myself and my ability to advance on my objectives. Whether it’s big steps or small, I always want to be working toward something. With so many projects in progress, organizing my business goals helps me boost productivity.
Organize your professional goals
Do you ever feel like you have so much you want to accomplish, that nothing actually gets done? You’re not alone. It’s common to have numerous goals, feel overwhelmed, and not know where to start. That’s where organizing comes in to kick your efficiency into high gear! Clear goals that have been organized and prioritized can help identify a path toward completion, which will then improve your productivity.
Here’s how to get it done.
Six steps to get organized goals
Brainstorm all of your goals and write them down. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a mix of small goals that can be done in five minutes and big goals that are aspirational. Put them all on the same list and just get them out of your brain and onto paper, a Word document, a whiteboard (my personal favorite!), sticky notes, or whatever works for you.
Now that your goals are written down, group them by quick to achieve, long-term efforts, and aspirational. A quick goal might be sending an email to check in on a client. Long-term goals might be tackling a rebrand or starting a website refresh. Aspirational goals can be things like doubling revenue or moving your company to a nicer office space. Categorize them in a way that makes identifying your goals clear. You might choose to color code, assign a letter, or use symbols.
Break up items into steps
Putting an email on your list is a simple thing to accomplish, but larger items need to be broken out into sub-steps. This will help you tackle big projects one piece at a time. Space out your quick and long-term items so that a little bit gets done each day. For example, you might complete five quick tasks, and take one step toward the completion of a long-term task. Aspirational tasks might only need weekly or monthly action depending on what they are.
Find a tracking solution
You always hear people swear by their favorite organizational tool. A notebook-style organizer, to-do lists, mobile calendars, and online productivity tools like, Clockify or Harvest are popular suggestions. The truth is you have to find something that works for you. Someone else’s productivity strategy can be a good place to start, but finding a tool that helps you stay on track must be personalized to your work style and goals. Once you pick one, start assigning yourself tasks to complete. As mentioned above, I use a whiteboard, as well as color-coded sticky notes.
In order for this to work, you need to hold yourself accountable for the tasks you’ve assigned and the timeline you’ve allotted. That means checking your tracking solution each day to see what needs to be completed, and continuing to assign yourself tasks as you move through your list. If you don’t get something done, reassign it with a reasonable due date.
Make time for rest
Burnout is real. The last thing you want to do is to put all this effort into organizing your goals, only to overtax yourself and give up. Then you won’t be productive at all. Make sure to account for breaks. This could mean scheduling 15-minute water breaks, longer breaks that give you time to complete a workout or even vacations. Just make sure that you take self-care into account when working on your goal setting and organizing.
These six steps are a good place to start. Each person’s goals and productivity needs are different, so be sure to personalize your own strategy to fit your business structure, organizational preferences and work style.
Now… get to spring cleaning!