Isn’t it great – You’ve got your social sharing down to a science don’t you?
You log into Hootsuite once a week, or even monthly, and set up a series of
daily messages that broadcast out to all of your followers at specific times
You are just so efficient, right? Good for you!
There’s just one problem.
I actually wanted to have a conversation with you and perhaps build a
business relationship. However, I know you aren’t there.
You are on autopilot. Every single Facebook and Twitter post shows that you are
using an automatic service to spread your message while you are out and
about working on something else with someone else.
I’ve figured you out through my stealth observing. After all, you are doing
the equivalent of running down the hall broadcasting what you know, want and
What do you know about me? What do I like?How do I feel? What do I have to
offer you? How much am I willing to spend when I find a product that I like?
Do you know?
You may think you know, but let me assure you…you don’t.
Right now I am moving further and further away from your business even though I’m
still slightly curious. It’s kind of like you are the popular guy or gal and I just can’t help myself, but in reality it just won’t work. Our values are different. We have different interests. We treat people differently.
It isn’t just your loss. It is my loss too.
We might have been a good fit.
You might have had a product that I would like and that I could share. Or, you might have
liked what I do and wanted to introduce your friends to me.
So sad. Our relationship is dying and the bad part is that you didn’t even know
it existed. You were just so busy automating that you didn’t notice that I wanted to
We will now part ways.
If we could talk, I’d end this all with a popular phrase with a bit of a
“I’m sorry. It’s not me. It is you. It really is.”
Today in our Nudge Village Group, one of the “villagers” asked about what template I used in the graphic I showed in an earlier post (The To Don’t post) I was sharing.
I have an entire personal management approach that I won’t put entirely in this post, but here are two elements of it.
The yearly goals that are leading me toward my greater purpose, but they aren’t really checklist worthy. I reserve that more for the monthly, weekly, and daily goals and activities.
But, I do create this handy sheet to remember the “big rocks” as I pursue those daily tasks. Yes, I took an extra hour to make it “pretty” because I wanted to enjoy referencing it frequently! Note – it is purposely a bit fuzzy. After all, these are my personal goals. (-:
For monthly goals, I do need something that I can write on and reference on a daily basis. Plus, I’ve added the “To Don’t” row to that template because I’ve had to discard some things to make room for something better!
Here’s a copy in MS Word – Goals_2013_samplebreakdown or in PDF – Goals_2013_samplebreakdown if you’d like to replicate it. I’ve actually made mine for six months across the page and I copy it out on a legal or larger size paper. Perhaps I have too many goals! But, I enjoy variety!
This is working for me right now for two areas of goals – yearly and monthly. I have an entirely different method for vision, mission, and life goals as well as my daily tasks and notes. Being a full-time employee and a part-time entrepreneur means there is a bit of juggling between systems, processes, and personal note keeping because some of my personal management tools aren’t available at work.
But, feel free to share and use. Keep modifying your approach to work for you. Our brains all work a bit differently.
Are you a BIG planner! Life goals, yearly goals, monthly goals, daily to do lists!
List mania? Perhaps.
It feels great to get ideas out of the head and on to paper. But, it can be overwhelming – so many ideas, so many opportunities, so little time.
Years ago a friend gave me a pad of stationary that actually had a “To Don’t” list beside the “To Do” list. We had a good laugh about it, but both realized the importance of NOT doing certain things.
You must be intentional in determining what NOT to do. It doesn’t just happen. Some of the “To Don’t” goals will actually be legitimate personal goals.
One goal I’ve had was to obtain a certain level of certification in a field I work in, but it is just not obtainable without giving up something else that is more important to me!
Choices must be made.
In this case, instead of getting level three certified, I will be satisfied at level two. It is still a great accomplishment.
What will giving it up give me?
It will allow me to move forward on some entrepreneurial ideas I’ve had FOREVER. It will allow me to focus on learning something else. It will help my family focus on getting healthy vs. spending that time sitting in another 400 hours of training!
How to “To Don’t”
So, how is this done?
There isn’t a hard and fast rule, but there are a few tips to keep in mind.
Assess new goals weekly
Recently I had a bright idea! I’d go into work early and do some personal and work “stuff” in a private conference room before going to my desk. I actually got the idea from the book Quitter. This would provide the necessary alone time before I hit the ground running with meeting mania.
It backfired on me.
Starting too early actually had the unintended consequence of me staying later at work! Not cool. I have no idea why, but it resulted in more work and…less exercise! So, after a week or two, I had to drop that goal. Now I use that morning time to exercise and go into work later. I get something very important done (exercise) for myself before dealing with a full day of meetings.
Add a “To Don’t” or “Dropped Goals” section to your list
It seems minor, but it is important to track what you have decided not to do.
Because you forget! Seriously, I was starting to forget what I promised myself not to do!
Think of it like a diet. You decide not to eat sugar and no kidding – most of us will grab and eat something sugary right while we are in the process of thinking about the goal! Human nature, anxiety, whatever it is, we do it.
This week I added a section to the bottom of my monthly goals list and wrote down those decisions that I decided not to follow.
Every time I look at my monthly goals I am reminded of what I am not going to do. It re-enforces my conscious decision to not take further action on those items.
Remember – YOU are in charge, the world will keep adding “To Dos”
At my day job, I generate two or three pages of “To Dos” daily. A lot of them are tasks I need to assign to other people, but that still takes time! A lot of time!
The world will continue to fling opportunities, experiences, and activities your way. It is YOUR responsibility to determine what fits into your life. There will be a never ending parade of options, and some may appear very shiny and pretty at first, but actually detracted from your purpose and goals.
Take the time to remind yourself that you are in charge of your actions and don’t need to take on all that comes your way.
Reflect and Re-visit
Life has a way of going by quickly. It is made up of numerous small decisions day-to-day. Years can go by before we realize that we are WAY off track with how we intended to live our lives!
We all keep our goals for life, each year, each month and each day in a format that works for us – paper, electronic, in our head (not recommended).
Take time each week or month to re-visit these. A few questions to ask:
Do my daily activities lead me toward the weekly, monthly, yearly and life goals I claim I’m after?
What activities detract from those goals? Should they become a “To Don’t?”
Do I have a new purpose? If so, what needs to come off the plate to ensure I take the actions necessary to fulfill this newly found purpose?
Am I too busy? Why? Are there some good things that need to be replaced by better options?
Can some of the goals be moved to a “To Don’t” list for now and be re-visited in a different season of my life?
It is a constant balance, isn’t it?
So many ideas and not enough hours in the day. As you go about adding to your to do list, be patient with yourself. You are in a constant process of finding out who you are, what is important, and what just isn’t working. It is hard to give up on something that you wanted badly for something that might be a better fit for you!
Now, get out there and scratch something from that list!
Periodically we’ll post a nudge from our “Daily Nudge” series. This is nudge #17!
Sometimes when I’m really focused and plowing forward on a project, I jokingly say that I’m in “bionic mode.”
Have you had those moments where you are full of energy, focused, and stay on task for a full one, two, three or even 12 hours?
It is amazing. You feel great because you typically have something to show for yourself at the end of this bionic sprint!
In prior nudges, we talked about just taking 15 minutes a day to work on your idea. That’s great for the day in and day out, but long-term you need time to get some “bionic mode” time to truly do the hard work of creating and moving forward your idea!
Let’s be realistic. You can’t get there every week.
Here’s a nudge – schedule one full day sometime in the next 30 days as your “bionic mode” day.
Do what it takes to make this happen. Get a babysitter, go to the library or Barnes and Noble, sit in your car with your computer, go rent a hotel room for a day!