Research shows that writing down your goals (writing a blog post every day in November) and then telling people who can help you achieve them (all the readers who comment so I know I'm not just throwing stuff out there into the ether) makes you more likely to reach them.
At work, we have put this into action for the past year or so. At the beginning of every week, everyone I work with records 2-5 goals and the specific things we will complete to reach our goals. We make this record in a public forum—everyone can see what I'm planning to accomplish and I can see what everyone else is working on. At the end of the week we give ourselves a 1-3 score: no progress, progress but not finished, achieved. It does actually help me as long as I don't get too ambitious; I'm terrible about being realistic about what I'll be able to accomplish any week I'm traveling. If you have never really thought about goals, this Beginner's Guide to Goal Setting is a good place to start.
In my creative work, I have done this for many years by participating in the Productive Spinners group. For the past year or so, I've dutifully updated but made almost no progress. I enjoy seeing the diversity of projects the group members undertake, but I need to do a better job working on all of my projects.
My overarching theme for the rest of the year is to
Be less busy while to making forward progress on my creative projects.
Here is how I plan to get there.
1. Set weekly goals for work and home. Share the work goals at work and the home goals on this here blog. When I'm at work, start every day by focusing on one of my goals for the first hour or two of the day and the first hour or two after lunch. Get the big important stuff done before I start reacting to the incoming emergencies.
2. Reduce my screentime. Limit television to 1 show per weeknight and only the football games I care about on the weekends.
3. Spin or knit during that limited TV time rather than multitasking and reading Ravelry or Facebook at the same time.
This week's personal goals.
1. Write a blog post every day. Take a photo for at least 4 of them.
2. Spin for at least 20 minutes every day—on the merino-silk when I'm home and the Abby Batt while I'm in Seattle late in the week. This week, I'll remember to pack the spindle and one of the socks in progress to keep me entertained while I'm on the road.
3. Take care of myself by practicing yoga or doing back PT exercises daily—ideally first thing in the morning. If I get out of bed and do this the minute I wake up instead of dozing for an hour after the alarm goes off, it will be done before I'm usually in the shower.
4. Unpack 1 studio box or bin every evening I'm home. And this means unpack completely—find a home for the entire contents or get rid of it.
5. Move everything out of the guest room back in to the studio by the end of next weekend. Mom and Dad need a nice place to sleep when they visit for Thanksgiving.
If you want to join me in this exercise to be less busy and achieve more, leave a comment and share your plans on your own blog, or in the comment. We'll make a little community of friends commited to working on the things that matter and supporting each other as we do that.