To create a life you will love, you must take small steps every day to get closer to your definition of the ideal life. This implies that you need to find how to achieve your daily goals despite life getting in the way.
Setting smart goals is easy. The hardest part is working on them when life gets busy. The good news is that with the right strategy, it is definitely possible!
This blog post will discuss 12 tips that will help you achieve your daily goals and stay motivated despite a hectic schedule.
Implement these time management tips in your daily routine and see how much easier getting things done and crushing your goals get!
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This may seem like a no-brainer, but having a clear vision of your goals and what needs to get done during the day is essential.
The very first step to getting organized is to set daily goals that support your medium and long-term goals.
Setting long-term goals is essential to creating your dream life. If you struggle to define your goals and identify the changes you need to make in your life, I highly recommend doing a life audit.
This powerful exercise will give you a clear image of where you stand in life and the gaps between your current and ideal life. Daily goal-setting will be much easier after figuring this out.
Once you have set your goals for the day, create a list of all the things you need to do to achieve them.
You can either write this list down the night before or early in the morning.
The idea is that, in order to stay productive and reach success, you need to start each and every day with a clear plan.
Make sure to schedule time for these tasks so you can stay on track. If you prefer to write a to-do list without having to define a fixed time for each of the activities you need to complete, schedule at least the most important ones.
Setting a time for them will give you a sense of urgency and motivate you to get them done.
Writing down your goals should not take you too long; 10-15 minutes of goal-setting per day will be enough to make a huge difference in your life.
Keep your planner with you
This is a great way to stay on top of your tasks and avoid forgetting about any of them.
Whenever you have a minute, check your planner and see if there is anything you can do before starting a new activity.
Optimizing your time will help you increase your productivity.
You can either decide to go with a paper planner or a digital one. I personally use both of them.
This strategy might seem complicated at first, so it may not be suitable for you.
Test different things: notebooks, apps, and digital planners, and see what works best for you! If you can implement a system and stick to it in the long term, you will be on your way to success!
Implement the 2-minute rule
The 2-minute rule is a simple but effective method that allowed me to explode my productivity.
This rule is also super easy to implement: whenever you have something to do, if the activity will take you less than 2 minutes to complete, do it right away.
Do not add it to your to-do list, do not write it down in your planner, and do not schedule it. Simply get it done.
This tip might seem trivial, but it is one of the most powerful ways to increase productivity.
Getting these things done right away without scheduling/postponing them will give you a great sense of achievement. And that is the best way to boost self-confidence.
This simple trick has so many benefits that you should definitely give it a try.
Eat that frog
This phrase was supposedly popularized by Mark Twain over 100 years ago and is still very relevant today.
The “frog” refers to the most important task of your day that you dread doing.
Eating the frog means starting your day with this task so that you can get it out of the way. This will give you a huge sense of accomplishment for the rest of the day.
Tackling your biggest goal first thing in the morning will give you the motivation to keep going and complete all of your other tasks.
So it can be considered a great way to start your day.
However, in some cases, you should not eat the frog, or at least you should not start your day with it.
It will depend on the urgency of the other goals you have set for the day.
If you have many small activities on your daily to-do list that are far more urgent than your frog, then you should definitely start with these tasks.
Achieving many small goals fast can but just as motivating as crossing out a larger goal on your list.
This is why eating the frog is not always the best option. The time management strategy to implement is directly linked to the urgency of the activities you have to perform on that day.
Review and adapt your schedule during the day
Things come up, and sometimes we need to adapt our plans accordingly.
Be flexible and review your schedule throughout the day to see if there are any tasks you should move around.
This will help you stay on track while also being able to accommodate anything that comes up unexpectedly along the way.
Being able to understand when you need to adapt your plans is key to being successful.
Things will rarely go as planned, really. So you better learn how to adapt your plans if you want to reach long-term success.
Time management skills are important in the long run. One of the main differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that people who reach success value their time.
Optimizing your daily schedule and using your free time to work on your goals will help you get there so much faster.
Use a priority matrix
Some tasks are more important than others and should be given priority.
When you have a lot of tasks to complete on the same day, having an action plan is essential.
Make sure you complete the most crucial tasks first, so if you happen to run out of time, you will at least have completed your most urgent tasks.
You can then reschedule the tasks you did not complete and make them a priority for the following day.
This will also help you stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed by too many things to do.
A priority matrix is a great tool to help you figure out which tasks are the most important.
To use this tool, list all of your tasks in one of the 4 squares depending on the urgency and importance of each task.
Here is an example of how a priority matrix might look:
The priority matrix has many benefits. Using it will help you identify which tasks are to be completed asap and which ones can simply be abandoned (not urgent, not important).
Using this matrix after setting daily goals will positively impact your productivity and ability to achieve them.
Use a timer
If you have tedious tasks to complete during the day, using a timer might help you stay on track.
Sometimes it can be hard to stop doing something before we’re actually done.
But if you want to be able to achieve the goals you have set for the day, you need to ensure you do not get stuck on one activity in particular.
This is why using a timer can be so beneficial.
I used to waste a lot of time cleaning around. Home chores are productivity killers. Especially when you have a busy schedule because you can always clean more.
Yes, having a clean home is important to your well-being but imagine all the things you could be doing if you did not waste 10 hours cleaning around every week.
Setting a timer and moving to another activity once the time is up is a really effective way to ensure you do not waste time on activities that do not serve your long-term goals.
This simple trick will help you focus on tasks that will add value to your life in the future.
Using a timer can also help you figure out how your time is currently being used. If you are always running out of time or never hit the gym because you “do not have time” using a time or a (screen) time-tracking app can be an eye-opener.
You would be surprised by how much time you spend scrolling on your phone or binge-watching Netflix!
Set a realistic number of goals
Setting a realistic number of goals is important to ensure you get things done.
Having too many goals for the day is counterproductive because you will not be able to achieve all of them.
This will probably also cause you to spend too much time on activities that should not be part of your priorities.
Being able to prioritize is an essential time management skill, whether it is in your personal or professional life.
This is another reason why using a priority matrix should be part of your new daily habits.
Another thing you should be realistic about is your bigger goals.
If you have an important activity to be completed during the day, you might either want to schedule it and set a reasonable amount of time to complete it or even break it down into smaller tasks to be completed throughout the week.
Setting a huge amount of goals every day will be very frustrating and demotivating if you are never able to achieve them. Hence, setting a reasonable amount of goals every day is key to staying motivated in the long run.
Turn recurring goals into routines
Routines are amazing to help us structure our lives and get things done.
This is why including recurring daily goals into routines is the best way to ensure you get them done.
For example, if one of your goals is to work out for 30 minutes every day, you can turn this goal into a routine by working out at the same time every day before going to work.
Routines are powerful because they can turn any activity into a habit.
By implementing a new routine, you will work on your goals on auto-pilot without even realizing it. And that’s the best way to work toward your goals.
Many apps can help you in this process since using apps make habit tracking much easier.
If you need help finding apps that will support your goals, this article about 37 apps to help you track your life will help you in this process.
Use a to-do list app
Another way to stay super productive during the day, if you don’t want to carry a paper planner with you, is to use a to-do list app.
My favorite one is To-Do List – Schedule and reminder. This app offers a lot of functionalities and many cute themes. I have tried almost every app on the market, and this one is by far the best for me.
Still, there are a lot of alternatives out there, so do not hesitate to test several of them to find the one that suits you the best.
To-do list apps are great for staying productive because they allow us to check, whenever we want, the tasks we must complete during the day.
They are also perfect for setting recurring events. This is the main advantage of to-do list apps and digital planners: it is super easy to create tasks and make them recurrent.
If you want to create routines, apps are definitely the way to go. They will save you a lot of time compared to the old-school paper planner.
Wake up earlier
You saw this one coming, right?
Sometimes, when life gets really busy, all you can do is wake up earlier.
Becoming a morning person is a simple but effective way to get more things done since it allows you to start working on your goals before getting to work.
Working on your goals first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure you actually achieve them.
Indeed, scheduling these activities at the end of the day might be too ambitious for some people.
A lot of people crash on their couches as soon as they arrive home. Hence, planning to work on important tasks at the end of the day is probably not the best idea for them.
Unless you have heroic discipline, getting as many things as possible done before the end of your workday is a safer bet.
Waking up early on a daily basis will transform your life fast. This is a habit successful people share, and it is a real game-changer.
If you want to turn your life around, you must focus more on your personal growth and health.
Waking up early every day is a great way to ensure you take time for yourself. Waking up just 45 minutes earlier daily equals over 5 additional hours of hard work.
And that’s enough to make a lot of changes to your life!
Related read: 15 tips to become a morning person
Last but not least, avoiding distractions is essential to staying productive.
If you want to achieve your daily goals, you need to focus on the task at hand and avoid anything that might disturb your concentration.
You will need to put away any potential distractions and focus only on the task in front of you until it is completed.
It can be hard at first, but it will become easier after a couple of days. You will be able to focus better and get things done quicker.
The easiest way to avoid distractions is to keep your phone away while working.
This means turning off your phone or at least muting it to avoid checking social media apps every other second.
If you want to check your phone, decide to take a 5-10 minute break every 2 hours and only check it during this time.
This simple trick will considerably reduce the time spent on your phone, which will greatly impact your overall productivity.
Achieving your daily goals is essential to creating the life you want. You need to be productive and work on your goals to ensure you are one step closer to your dreams every single day.
By following these tips, you will be able to increase your productivity, stay motivated and achieve anything you set your mind to.
You need to have a clear strategy and focus your energy on activities supporting your goals if you want to reach success. Good time management skills will be imperative.
If you need help getting organized and improving your time management skills, the free 19-page planner below will help you!