How to Conquer Your Long Term Goals On Time

How to Conquer Your Long Term Goals On Time

“I am busy”, “I don’t have the time”, “I would love to but I cannot make it.” Are these words common in your routine life? If your work consumes all the hours in your day, how will you live the life of your dreams?

In this article, you will understand how to be productive working for fewer hours. You will no longer be busy working for long hours. It is possible to achieve better results reducing the number of hours you work. All it takes is a little discipline and you will easily get the hang of it in no time. Achieving your long term goals becomes much easier with this approach.

This article is ‘Step 8 – How I started meeting my long term goals on time‘ of the final phase: Transforming into a productive superhuman of the 3 phase transformation into superhuman productivity. You can begin right from step 1 by accessing the index here – 3 Phase Transformation into Living Your Dreams.

To understand the purpose behind the activity I recommend you to read through the article. But, for the busy bees, you can go directly to the exercise.

You begin your day, you start working, barely waste any time and keep yourself busy for whole day. Yet at the end of the day, you end up not knowing where exactly your efforts went by. Or even if you felt you spent a lot of time working, you still do not see the results. Does this sound familiar or seem like an experience that you have often?

The myth of Long Hours = Productivity

Here is some news for you. Just because you are busy does not mean you are productive. Just because you spent 16 hours working today does not mean that you made progress towards your goals.

In fact the more busy you are and more the number of hours you work, the less likely it is that you working on things that matter i.e your long term goals.

working late

It is quite common these days to spend time working on tasks that add no value in the long run. 

Are you attending multiple meetings every day? Ok, so how many of these meetings drive action or provide useful information? 

Are you working on a report for 2 hours every day? Ok, who reads the report and what decisions or actions are taken based on its content?

If you think hard enough about the above two scenarios, you should at least get an idea of where the time you spent is going. 

How to differentiate being busy and productive

busy vs productive

Here are a few signs to indicate you are being busy rather than being productive. Keep a count on how many apply to you.

1. You have many important things to do in a day. Productive people have not more than 2 or 3 important things to accomplish in a day. There will be other routine tasks but just a few important tasks.

2. You take the day as it comes on an ad-hoc basis, going one task after another. Productive people go by a plan. They may not have a step by step plan for the day, but they do have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish on that day.

3. You always mention to people you meet about how busy your life is. Productive people do have busy lives but rarely do you see them mentioning that in public. 

4. You multitask on various things. Productive people focus on one thing at a time, complete it and move to another.

5. You are super active in checking emails and chat at work. Productive people close emails and chat when they are working on an important task. They check email and chat only a few times a day.

6. You continuously work on a task for eternity until complete it even if it is not a priority. Productive people spend time on a task until a point after which they evaluate if spending more time is necessary. If not, they move to work on other important things. 

7. You never say no to a task coming your way. Productive people are quick to deny jobs which they believe add no value. They say yes only to a few chosen tasks coming their way.

What’s your score?

How many of the above 7 points match with you? If 4 or more match with your style, consider yourself more busy than productive. In simple words, by being more busy than productive you are needlessly stressing yourself with no apparent benefit. Sure, it might keep you in the good books of your boss and hell it may even fetch you a promotion. But your growth will stagnate sooner or later.

How people are evaluated higher up

All the benefits of long hours have a saturation point which is far below the point of success.

Early in your career people see your long busy hours as “putting in a lot of effort”. When you are lower down the hierarchy or in the early stages of your career, working your ass off with long hours will produce good results and benefits. You will even move higher up the ladder.

The higher you move up, the more efficient and productive you will need to be. With every step that you rise in the hierarchy or running your business, the tempo changes. You will realize, the higher you are, the more you are evaluated for your results than your effort in hours.

You might still be spending the same number of hours working like before or maybe even more, but things no longer feel the same. The results/benefits/appreciations seem to have vanished. At this point, you will need a paradigm shift in the way you operate if you have to continue achieving results. Since your work style is being more busy than productive, at that juncture, it will be a tough mountain to scale.

So the essence is: the sooner you learn to be productive, the more efficient you will be in the long run. I do not mean the more you grow the less you will have to work. In fact, you might need to work long hours even after you grow. But if you work long hours without being productive, you will hit a brick wall after a point, saturate and decline.

The biggest harm of being busy always

stop working long hours

If that was not sufficient to convince you to work towards being productive, here is the sneakiest peril of being busy all the time.

By being busy always, you have no time for your long term goals. Your day goes by attending one crisis after another. You are running on a treadmill where some days you run at moderate speeds and some days you run at very high speeds.

You are sweating, you are tired, you are exhausted and seem to have done a lot of work. But you have failed to realize that you are exactly where you are. Which is right on the bloody treadmill without moving any distance ahead.

Get out of the hellish treadmill of attending one urgent task after another. It is only giving you an illusion of work done without any progress to your long term goals. The faster you run, the more tasks will be thrown at you. Hit the stop button and get off it right now.

Exercise: How to transform from being busy to productive

The first step towards being productive is consistent progress towards long term goals. Every working day!

Yes, you read that right. Every working day.

achieve long term goals

As an exercise, set a daily minimum time limit(hours in a day) for yourself to work towards your long term goals. Calculate how much time can you manage to free in a day. You can exclude weekends based on your idea of life on weekends. Read the article on tips to make time for your long term goals.

The only thing you should not do is wait for time to free up and then start spending time on it. Start with a moderate 1 hour if you are not sure and gradually work towards adding an additional 15 minutes. Do not aim for a large number of hours when you start off. If you do, you will fail to keep a balance between your regular routine and your long term goals.

Leave a comment on how many hours do you plan to allocate for your long term goals.

Finishing progress towards long term goals in the first half of the day

Now that you have a reasonable target, commit to spending the allocated amount of time on your long term goals every working day no matter what. Unless there is a natural calamity, you will stick to the schedule. The easiest way to do so is to finish the crucial tasks early in the day. You do not have to finish them as the first thing in the day, but preferably within the first half of your day.

If you finish your long term goals early in the day, you will have limited time left in the day. You now have to force yourself to prioritize the right things among other things to attend in the day. If you intend to complete tasks related to your long term goals later in the day, you might not have time for it or be too exhausted to do it.

People who are more active later in the day are exceptions to this suggestion, so use your own discretion. The important part is to ensure you spend your allocated time either which way you like.

I personally prioritize my progress towards long term goals as the most important thing to accomplish in the day. It is only on rarest of the rare occasions during a real unexpected emergency that I skip it. This happens maybe once in a month at most.

I would rather make progress on my long term goals and face the consequences of not completing my routine tasks than go about only the routine tasks. Trust me, no one will fire you if you focus on your long term goals. In fact, you will end up with way more growth.

How to achieve your goals on time

Conclusion

To summarize, being productive is far better than being busy. It is good from your growth, health and leisure perspective. The sooner you attempt to get out of a busy schedule, the sooner you will be more efficient.

Finally, I will scream at the top of my lungs from the peak of the mountain that daily progress of few hours on long term goals is imperative to long term success. Even if you have to compromise something on your daily routine to accommodate it, go ahead and do it. And yeah, once you see the results, do not forget to thank me a few years later.

This article is ‘Step 8 – How I started meeting my long term goals on time‘ of the final phase: Transforming into a productive superhuman of the 3 phase transformation into superhuman productivity. You can begin right from step 1 by accessing the index here – 3 Phase Transformation into Living Your Dreams.



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