Over the coming weeks we’ll be bringing you some tips to help you stay focused on achieving your goals. Topics will cover motivation, productivity and on occasion philosophy. To kick it off, we are starting with a simple idea that when carried out can have an enormous impact on your day to day motivation. It’s called the Achievement vs Routine tasks equation.
Quite simply, it is about breaking up your day in a way that ensures you are moving forward in your life, rather than just trying to keep your head above water. As you may have guessed from the title it is about balancing the mundane (and non goal related) activity with the uplifting (goal related) activity. It’s very easy when faced with a mountain of day to day routine tasks (like doing the washing, picking up the dry cleaning, picking up the kids from school, cleaning the bathroom, mowing the lawn or paying a bill online) to miss out on the tasks that are most important i.e. the ones that relate to your goals.
Therefore, one simple rule needs to be followed: When determining what your to do list is for the day, make sure it is interspersed with “achievement” tasks and not just “routine” tasks. Let’s look into it a bit further…
There’s a reason routine tasks are so demoralising. It’s because no matter how often you do them, they always need to be done again. Therefore, here’s another tip on how to ensure your achievement tasks get the attention they deserve: skip your routine task for the day. There are certain things in life that can wait a day or even a week and maybe at the time you might think you should really get it done, but the reality is that even if you do, it will need to be done again and you have to start all over. So don’t stress about it. Instead focus your energy on doing something that will give a positive feeling when you are done, not just the feeling of getting it out of the way.
Achievement tasks don’t always have to be associated with goals either. But they are in their own right, achievements. Therefore, when they are done you will get that sense of achievement. It’s the kind of task that once it’s done – it’s done. Perhaps you wanted to make a feature in the garden or put up some new curtains or visit a particular museum or watch a certain documentary. As you can tell, many of these things may not be related to goals at all, but they do in themselves allow for a sense of accomplishment.
So what are you waiting for? Go and work out what your achievement tasks are now and get them on your to do list as a priority. You’ll know what they are by the sense of satisfaction you get from completing them. Soon enough you will be feeling better about your day, even if half of it is made up of the “mundane”.