Aligning tasks and goals

Find out how I’m using annual themes to align my tasks to goals, maintain focus and get stuff done.

At the end of last year I took part in some reciprocal coaching. During the time I spent with my coach, I worked on ways to maintain focus and make progress towards my business goals. A lot of what we discussed I’ve put into practice since returning to work after Christmas.

One of the biggest shifts comes from a small addition to my daily planning — scheduling specific tasks on my calendar. The other is borrowed from Matt Ragland. He uses annual themes to align quarterly goals and weekly/daily tasks.

Thinking and planning in this way has helped me to set a direction for the year, choose some goals that will help me to get there and break down the tasks I need to do to achieve those goals.

Here’s an example:

Theme: Build a sustainable business
Q1 goal: Plan and promote series of workshops
Tasks: Set dates, book venues, plan activities, create marketing plan etc.

The part of this that I find the most effective is linking every task I add to my to do list to a specific goal. I’m using labels in my task management tool to do this. If I can’t easily link a task to a goal I ask myself how it will help me move forwards in support of my annual themes, and ultimately whether I really want to spend time on it.

For the details of this method, check out Matt’s 2019 planning video.

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