Planning and Organization

Planning and OrganizationAs we begin a new year, it’s good to analyze what did and didn’t work well for us last year. One of the hot topics is planning and organization. How can we do what we do more effectively, efficiently, and successfully? While it’s not wise to plan every minute of your time–because we can’t control traffic, weather, or other people–we can plan with flexibility built in to our days.

While you should always allow part of your day to work with people, support your co-workers, or help the company problem-solve, it is also important that you allow for some solo time. This is time that is for whatever you need to do. This can be your time for emotional and physical health in your private life, or your most productive work time.

During your solo work time, if someone says, “Do you have a minute?” Simply answer, “Not right now. Can it wait until eleven?” By that time, most people will have solved their issues themselves.

Some tips for handling interruptions:
  1. Rearrange your office so your desk is out of the line of sight from people walking by.
  2. Remove extra chairs from your office if possible. Position any necessary chairs as far away from your desk as you can. When people need to make an effort to pull up a chair, they’re more likely to stand (and deliver) and stay a shorter amount of time. NOTE: If they’re standing, you stand up, too. There’s a different energy to the conversation.
  3. Place a large clock where you and your visitor can clearly see it. Make a point of glancing at it when interrupted as if you’ve just started a countdown clock as to how much time you will give them.
  4. When someone walks into your office, don’t look up right away. This can be challenging to do at first, but if you stay focused on finishing an email, reading a page, or something else similar, and if the other person’s issue is nothing serious, most people will simply walk away. This may sound a bit cold, but if you can’t get your work done, it’s going to cause your clients to receive less service and you to receive a lower income. Beware, there are people in every company who just like to walk around and visit.

To get started on minimizing this challenge, keep an Interruption Log for a couple of days. In it write:

  1. Who is interrupting you?
  2. What time they came and left.
  3. How much time was wasted.
  4. What you will do about it the next time.

If someone is a habitual interrupter, have a heart-to-heart conversation with them about your work schedule. Rather than risk offending them, ask that they make a list of what they need to discuss with you and schedule brief meetings on a regular basis.

Handling Crises

When an occasional crisis comes up that throws your schedule off , deal with it quickly and then go back to your schedule immediately. I’m not suggesting that you become anti-social, but I am saying that you may be surprised at how much more efficient you can be when you begin to take back those stolen minutes. I’ve heard of a salesperson who had a sign made for the back of his chair that said, “If you’re not a buyer, schedule a time to meet with me.” He only let buyers interrupt his schedule.

If you’re still struggling with getting your goals for 2018 set and in writing, invest 27 minutes of your time with me on my goal setting webinar by clicking here. I’ll help you plan your days to achieve those goals!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Setting Realistic, Achievable Goals

Realistic, Achievable GoalsWhen it comes to setting realistic, achievable goals, there’s definitely a system involved. Once I gained a clear understanding of how goals should be set and what they could do for me, I studied everything I could find on the subject. I went so far as to draft up a document that looked like a legal agreement to write my goals on, called it my Proposal and Agreement. I would fill out the form, “approve the paperwork,” and read my list of goals every morning and night. Once a goal was completed, I would write the word “Completed” and the date across the document in red ink. Then, I would put the document into a binder for safekeeping. Whenever I had a down day, I would pull out that binder and review all the goals I’d already accomplished. Seeing those documents always gave me a mental and emotional lift. They also reminded me of what happens when you stay focused.

You are welcome to download my Proposal & Agreement form here:

Read through it. Then, take your goal setting practices seriously. Goals aren’t meant to be a glorified “to do” list. They’re way more than that. However, once your goals are set, you will find yourself adding items to your daily “to do” list that help you move toward the achievement of those goals.

Why are goals important

Goals help you to discipline yourself to achieve those things that you desire. Desire, without discipline, leads to disappointment, disillusionment, and depression. And no one wants to go there. So, let’s talk about setting those achievable goals.

There are two types of goals: 1. Short term – no longer than 90 days, and 2. Long term – starting with 20-year goals then breaking those goals down to 10-year, 5-year, and one-year goals that are stepping stones to your large goals.

I discovered several criteria for setting achievable goals. I’m happy to share them with you here. Your goals must be:

  1. Better than your best, but believable. If you can’t even imagine achieving them, you won’t take the steps necessary to do so.
  2. Worth committing to. Don’t set a goal for something frivolous just to set a goal. You ARE going to commit time to achieving them so make it worth your time.
  3. Clearly defined. Don’t write that you’ll buy a new car with cash. Write out a detailed description of the car including make, model, color, and any other option you want.
  4. Vividly imagined. If you can’t close your eyes and see, hear, feel, smell, and taste the object of your goals, keep writing until you can. Be so descriptive that another person could read the description and know exactly what you’re talking about.
  5. Ardently desired. I happen to love that word “ardently.” It’s about having an intense passion for your goals. You don’t just “want” them. You “have to have” them.
  6. In writing.

Set goals for what you want to be, do, and have in your life. Give this some serious thought–perhaps a couple of hours the first time you do it. Or, let the ideas percolate for a couple of days before starting to write. Just be sure to do it.

What else to consider when setting goals

Another important element to setting realistic, achievable goals is that they’re your goals, not goals that others tell you that you should have. If everyone else you know says owning a Mercedes is the ideal car to have as a goal, but you prefer Jaguars, don’t let them influence you. You won’t work hard for goals that aren’t your own.

I highly recommend that you set goals in at least four areas of your life for starters:

  1. Financial independence – this would be a specific net worth amount.
  2. Emotional stability – this is about understanding what makes you happy and gives you a sense of mental strength.
  3. Physical fitness – there’s no sense in achieving in other areas of your life and losing your health along the way.
  4. Spiritual fulfillment – if what you believe in doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter what you believe in. I’m not saying that you must be religious. Just understand that we are spiritual beings and feeding that spirituality is important to living a life of balance.

Once you have your goals set, plan your days around their achievement. Review them at least once every morning when you rise, and every evening before going to sleep. Use them to set the stage for how you’ll live each day.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Balance is Critical

Balance is critical to success in business and in life.

Being off-balance for just a few moments can be exhilarating. Some instances that come to mind are when we first realize we’re falling in love; when we receive great praise from someone we admire or respect; or even when we enjoy a roller coaster ride like those at Disneyland. In those moments, little else can capture our attention. We are “in the moment.” Those are wonderful feelings that everyone should experience often in their lives.

However, being off-balance for longer than those moments can create the opposite of those positive feelings. Being off balance can be dangerous to our relationships, to our physical beings, and to our careers. It’s no fun to give everything you’ve got to your career and gain material wealth, but sacrifice your health or the love and respect of your family along the way. No one sets goals to be wealthy and unhealthy, or successful and alone. We all strive for balance, but sometimes we fail to take that step back and figure out what a good definition of balance is for ourselves.

That’s why I stress the importance of investing time each month to review your goals and be disciplined with your time. And it’s wise annually to invest at the very least a solid hour asking yourself qualifying questions about your life so you can make adjustments in your goals.

  • How are you investing your time now?
  • What do you enjoy most about how you invest your time?
  • What would you choose to alter or change about your life?
  • Is there someone else you feel you should consult before committing to changes?
  • What solutions make the most sense if you do commit to changes?

A well-lived life is a balancing act. If you’re out of balance, it will show in your demeanor. You’ll not handle personal or business situations as best you can, and that will have a negative effect on your bottom line as well as your enjoyment of life. Don’t risk it! Step back now, or at least within the next few days, to consider where your life may be out of balance. Then, set a goal to even things out — starting immediately! You will never regret the investment of time you make to improve yourself, your health, or your relationships!

Balance Your Life

Get What You Want in 2012 by Wendy Lipton-Dibner

It’s the time of year when people all over the world launch their annual process of goal setting.

I’m going to work out every day! 

I’m going to send ‘Thank You’ notes to everyone! 

I’m going to spend one hour a day cold calling! 

THIS is the year I hit the Million Dollar Club!

Yep. Every year we set our goals for the next 12 months. The question is: What can you do now that will assure you’ll actually achieve your goals in 2012?

Would you believe you’re only 3 simple steps away from getting everything you truly want? And would you be surprised if I told you those same 3 steps could help you double your sales in fewer than 30 days? I’ve seen it happen over and over. So now let’s make it happen for you and then you can make it happen for everyone else! [Read more…]

The Art of Achieving Your Goals

Listen to an interview with Tom on blogtalkradio
on the topic of goals and achievement.
Listen to internet radio with Phil R Taylor on Blog Talk Radio
Official Guide to Success

Beyond the Comfort Zone

The average human being has the ability to achieve almost anything.  Lack of basic capability is rarely the problem–we all have great reserves of untapped power. The problem is almost always in finding out what we want.  Before we go any further, let me define how I’m using the word “want” here.  I’m not talking about mere wishes. I’m talking about wants that gnaw at you.

Maybe you think you don’t have any gnawing wants.  If you think that, you’re wrong. You have the wants. But, they’re bottled up where you can’t get at them. They’ll stay there, too, coming out as blind resistance to change, refusal to put out extra effort or the insistence that all your problems are the cause of others.

[Read more…]

Planning the Achievement of Goals

This is the time of year most professionals invest effort in being better than last year. New goals are set. More efficient ways of doing business are sought after and implemented. Goal setting and time planning go hand in hand. I don’t believe you can effectively plan your time without goals. And, I don’t believe you’ll ever achieve your goals without effectively planning your time.

Since numbers are easier to work with than ideas, I’m going to demonstrate how time planning and goal setting work together to help you achieve your financial goals. The same system can be applied to any other goal, but this is the easiest way to demonstrate it. [Read more…]

What is a Goal?

The average human being has the ability to achieve almost anything. Lack of basic capability is rarely the problem, but rather, finding out what you want and being willing to sacrifice, change, and grow to satisfy that want.

Here’s a step-by-step system of goal-setting to help you achieve your wants that can be applied to all walks of life. [Read more…]

Setting Realistic Sales Goals

Achieving sales goals for your business is one of the biggest challenges any owner or manager faces. There are so many factors that can affect that final number.

Hopefully, you have a staff of people who are dedicated, professional and motivated to help you achieve your business goals. If you do not, read no further. Instead, read up on how to hire the right people to sell your products and services.

Let’s assume for now, though, that you do have the right people in place. How do you set the sales goals you want and need without being pushy and demanding of your sales team? Some businesses ask every person on the team to meet the same sales goal equally. That’s the easiest thing for a busy manager to do. The challenge with that is not everyone is capable of achieving at the same level. Some salespeople are better with a certain product. Others work best with a certain type of client. Again, those darn variables. [Read more…]