manage my time, productivity, set goals, goal setting

How To Write Better Goals

The best way to get ahead and have a better year than the last one (or a better month than the last one) is to have a sense of direction. Goals are the way to make that happen. Yet many people are not aware of how to write empowering goals that talk to your brain, thereby ensuring your subconscious is working for you to look for ways to achieve those goals.

In this short session you’ll learn what beleive are the four key elements of hwo to write a goals to increase your chances of success.

Working in the Cloud

In a recent survey, 95% of respondents used a laptop and over 80% used a Smartphone as their usual out-of-office, road warrior system to keep connected.

So, what about the cloud, the place where your files reside?

There’s iCloud although restrictive at the moment and Google of course as well as other specialist suppliers.

By utilising cloud technology you gain:

  • more productivity
  • more comfort and
  • security – less chance of losing that USB Drive with all your data on it!

From a client or colleague perspective, you can cooperate, collaborate and accommodate different time zones or working hours. I know there are times where I’ve been caught short without a file to send to a client when I’ve been on the road. (Warning – if you want to use GoogleDocs to give clients a link to a file, the client needs to have a GoogleDocs account as well ).

Cloud technology lets you control the outside world and your interaction with it better than being on-demand and always available. If you manage it well enough, you can go and play in the outside world!

What’s the biggest bonus?


The normal working day is like a pipeline – incoming, process, outgoing. The challenge is that the tube gets clogged with inefficient processing and an endless stream of incoming!

How To Use The Cloud

As soon as stuff comes in, file it in the cloud so when you process, it’s already there and available from all devices. (Having had a failed external storage drive recently, there is an appeal to storing it on a more robust virtual server).


  1. Email
    • big part of overload
    • rule – keep inbox empty by filtering incoming mail, eg A1 Delegate A2 QuickResponse A3 DoToday A4 DoThis week A5 DoLater, A99 Pending, FAQ Replies, Networking, Reading,Subscription,ZZZ Old Stuff  Work out a filing system that nakes sense to you.
    • go through your sent folder and retain what’s necessary, delete the rest.
  2. Documents
    • Use Dropbox for filing material to access on the go eg downloaded audio, pdfs, ebooks etc Use Carbonite or similar for backups and store a backup copy on disc.
    • Use Evernote – eg capture article pics to use, book project, reading, reference, travel. writing
  3. Articles/Blogs to read
    • Google Reader – blog feeds – and use FF with ReadItLater plugin to store bookmarks
  4. photos – dropbox or evernote
  5. audio – dropbox or evernote

Just decide on a system of what generally goes where, make sure you backup your dropbox folder and have what you need at your disposal when you need it!

Check out dropbox and other providers in terms of size limits eg Dropbox standard is 2gb.

Who’s Job Is It Anyway?


I was reminded today in a post by Denis Hitchens of an old fable that still today has a disturbing ring of truth in it in some organisations. 

Once Upon A Time,

in a very common enterprise, there were four people named Everyone, Someone, Anyone, and No-one who all had an important job to do.

  • Everyone was sure that Someone would do it.
  • Anyone could have done it but No-one did it.
  • Someone got angry because it was Everyone’s job.
  • Everyone thought Anyone could do it and that Someone would do it.
  • But No-one realised that Everyone wasn’t going to do it.

In the end Everyone blamed Someone when No-one did what Anyone could have done.

noone For me, the moral of the story is to take responsibility.

If something is important, either do it yourself, or if it’s possible for you, delegate it to someone else but never assume someone will do it without confirming. If you can’t delegate and you are unable to do it, ensure it’s brought up at a team meeting to make sure it’s dealt with by the most appropriate person.

“It’s not my job” or “it’s not in my job description” doesn’t cut it. 

I’ve seen people spend so much energy and time in skirting responsibility for a task that they could have had it done and dusted in a quarter of the time.

If it’s important, get it done and take the credit where it’s due.

Motivating People

Daniel Pink is brilliant in this exposition of what motivates people. And the graphic facilitation is way cool, too.

So, if we know this stuff, why do we keep sticking to the old paradigms thinking they will work?

We have to get the message out there. Use some of that strategic planning time to look at the proven research and work out how to apply it to our businesses rather than stick with what we think we know (and learned at uni twenty years ago based on what research said fifty years before that!).

I agree with Pink. Obviously, as Herzberg said, remove money as a dissatisfier first. Then, how can we engage people by helping them to satisfy their sense of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose?

Getting More Things Done


No matter what our role, it’s increasingly a challenge to fit everything in.

Multi-tasking is great but it often means we get less done even though we manage to start and attend to a lot of things that need progress.

I was reminded today of Charles Schwab’s enduring formula for managing productivity:


productivity, managing time, getting things doneThe “Big 6”

1. Make a list, before the start of each day,
   of the things that need to be accomplished.

2. Identify your "Big 6" and put a star (*) by them.
   Commit to accomplishing the top six that are
   CURRENTLY most important to your goals . 

3. Begin work on the one that is most important.
   Continue working until that task is completed
   (or something else became more important).


So as simple as it sounds, it is effective.

1. Write your list

2. Prioritise your "Big 6"

3. Take Action !


The difficulty for most of us is getting the undisturbed time to focus on those six things. That might mean scheduling them one by one. Maybe even start with just your most important four tasks.


The trick is to not make the tasks mammoth projects in themselves. Making progress on a major project by completing 10 tasks this week is way better than fiddling around the edges and not getting any concrete results towards it.  The old ‘chunk it down’ principle.


Personally I’d rather reach the end of the week and have definite progress that I can ppint to than lots of analysis and ideas that I still haven’t got off the ground.


What do you think of the big 6 system?

Thought for the day …. Allow Time

Success is like the natural timing of the seasons – each season lasts for three months and a lot happens in that time. So, give yourself 90 days of applied planning and action to start to see results… sow the seeds, tend the fields (I think that’s what Bagger Vance said!).