There are times in everyone’s career when we get bogged down in the day to day. When it seems like our to-do list is too long, and too full of tasks that don’t matter. When we feel helpless against the neverending slog of menial work.
It is precisely at those times when we need to execute a purposeful prioritization of our time.
Time management is key to becoming successful. It is key to ensuring you continue to have a positive impact on your company.
Reconsider Your To-Do List
The first step in breaking out of this struggle is to have an honest conversation with yourself about your daily tasks. Chances are, you have taken on more and more items over the weeks and months, without ever questioning them, and without ever removing items that were already on there.
That is a surefire way to over commit yourself.
Now is the time to consider them one by one. Is this something that has to get done? Is this something that I should be doing? Is this something that can be automated?
Asking yourself those questions should expose some of your daily tasks as frauds and time-wasters. Eliminate them until you get to a more manageable list, which gives you room to grow and have a larger impact – personally and professionally.
Define Your Goals
Next, you have to consider where you can have the greatest impact. Your time is the most valuable thing you have. You need to learn to use it wisely.
What are your specific goals? I like to bucket these into two different groups – personal goals and company goals.
Personal goals might include items that will help your career, your earning potential. Company goals are the areas you are responsible for when it comes to growing the business.
Clearly defining these goals – even to the point of writing them down – will help you identify those tasks you should be working on in support of your goals.
What’s Your One Thing?
Do one thing every day that brings you closer to your goals. This is not the same thing every day, but rather a new thing each day.
For example, if you goal is to improve the ROI of your email marketing programs, today’s one thing might be rolling out a new split test. If your goal is to learn data science, today’s one thing might be watching a 30 minute lesson online.
Whatever it is, make sure you make time for it. Accomplishing just one thing each day that matters will do two things for you.
First, it will help you get over the feeling that you’re not making progress. Suddenly, you will be able to see and experience the impact that you are having on your life and on your company’s performance.
Second, it will help you identify other areas where you can have an impact. You will find that there are ways to optimize your schedule and your routine to free yourself up to accomplish even more.
Commit to doing one new thing every day that takes you closer to your goals, and you’ll rediscover your sense of purpose.