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Is the Goal to Reach the Goal?
In this fast and crazy world, we want to multi-task at every given moment. After all, how else can we accomplish all that needs to be done in only 24 hours? We've been taught that if we reach all of our goals in a day, week, month, or year, we are successful. What we haven't been taught when achieving goals is that quality counts and so does the amount of effort exerted.
Our tendency is to set many goals especially at work for any given day or week, and then we feel discouraged or disappointed when we don't achieve all of them. In fact, we usually have to carry them over to the next day or the next week. The first step in feeling a sense of accomplishment and completion is to set only 3 goals for a day, for a week, for a month that HAVE to be accomplished. Why only 3? In an average day, we can't anticipate all of the other things that will snag our attention. We get called into a meeting, we get a time-consuming phone call, we get a request that requires some searching, we notice an article of interest that we want to read, etc. If we don't allow for these other time-consuming things, then we're not being realistic about what we can accomplish in a day. Same goes for a month - unexpected family situations, travel, illness, new projects, etc.
So, how do we accomplish 3 goals in a day and accomplish them well with little effort? It's better known as focus and undivided attention. The keyword is undivided - our attention remains TOTALLY on the task at hand. The distractions, the pulls, the unimportant but more interesting, don't take us away from what needs to be done at that moment. If you attend to the task in front of you and don't allow the distractions to interfere, you will notice how effortlessly the task is accomplished. Even if it's something you have been putting off and dreading - just simply setting aside the time and concentrating on it, will result in one less thing on your plate. Ironically, the more attention you give it and the more focused you are on the task at hand, the less you will feel any effort in its completion. If you allow any of the distractions to interfere and you believe you are multi-tasking, what you are really doing is flitting between many different things and not giving any one thing your undivided attention. The result: a little of this and a little of that gets done with mediocre quality and it feels as though a lot of effort is needed.
Invitation to Experiment: Set 3 or more goals for any given day, for a week, for a month of which 3 HAVE to be accomplished. That may mean letting the answering machine pick up, turning off the cell phone and Instant Messaging, going to another desk or conference room. Totally focus your attention on one thing at a time and notice how they are accomplished - and see if it feels any different than it usually does.
Marion Franklin - is a Professional Certified Life Coach who coaches individuals and groups regarding personal and professional change, focus, human relations, and conflict management. Marion has coached managers at major corporations including PepsiCo, Toys'R'Us, and Reader's Digest. She conducts and help clients design workshops and presentations, has been a featured presenter at meetings, retreats, and an ongoing Women's Workshop Series, has been cited in The Journal News and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on local Cable Television. http://www.lifecoachinggroup.com
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