Our mission requires us to use our time wisely, be efficient and to get all the little things done to win big. I try and spend the last weeks of the year getting organized – This year it even ran into the first month of the new year... I clean, purge, plan, schedule, set goals, and created dashboards – it’s my happy place. As a planner by trade, I find great joy in doing all of this.
I have done hundreds of strategic plans, and I know two things for sure:
1- If the plan is out of sight, it’s out of mind. The plan – and planning – needs to be part of your everyday conversation.
2- If the plan isn’t measurable – you will never be able to keep track of where you are. You don't know if you are winning the game unless you are keeping score.
As I work hard to keep committed to my personal and professional goals and resolutions, I use lots of resources and tools to keep me organized and efficient. Anything that saves me time is an asset to me. Anything that keeps me focused on what’s important and allows me to advance my mission is worth my time.
Here are 7 tools I have been using to ensure success and help me crush my goals:
1.) Tracking business mileage.
I am using an app to keep track of my business mileage – the one I use is called MileageIQ – that actually prints my mileage reimbursement forms for me, from my phone, after it tracks "automatically" my business trips. Doing this by hand, after the fact, can take me hours and often I forget where I went.
2.) Time keeping process.
We are using a program called Harvest that merges time keeping and projects. It allows for easy time study’s, collective planning and keeping on track with milestones and tasks.
3.) Collaborative platforms.
We use Quip, Slack and Google Docs to work on collaboration, in unison and in alignment. We plan staff meeting agendas, create systems, and shared to-do lists using these tools and do our best to “work out loud”
4.) Streamlined and consistent calendar.
Our office has gone to a “single calendar” – gone are the days of a yearlong planning calendar on the wall, a different on one our phones and an event calendar on the back of someone’s door. We all use one tool, Outlook, and all calendars are shared and collaborative.
5.) No lost paper.
I’ve also eliminated paper to do lists, scraps of paper and sticky notes taped to my computer monitor – I use one, Tasks – through Outlook, accessible anywhere, that pings me when things are due, helps me prioritize, allows me to instantly turn an email into a task and assign tasks to other staff members – and tells me when they have marked it complete.
6.) Password security.
I use a password keeper – the one I use is called Dashlane – and I only have to remember one password and it remembers all of my other ones.
7.) Tangible milestones and accountability.
Schedule weekly or monthly check ins with your "accountability partner". This might be a co-worker, spouse or friend. Ask these questions: What did you do last week to accomplish your goal? What went well? What didn't? What challenges will you face next week and how will you overcome them? What help do you need?
I’d love to hear your methods and ways that you keep track of what’s most important to you.
Want to have a conversation about about establishing goals and identifying tools to help you crush them?
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