We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but in our generation of increasingly short attention spans, achieving even a common lifestyle goal can seem overwhelming. Whether you want to get in shape, be more successful in your career, or win a gold medal at the Olympics, simply changing your perspective makes all the difference. Try these mind tricks and tips to help you keep focused and on track.
When you have a big project to tackle, spread out the work over several days so that it only takes a few hours each day. This is a fail-safe way to avoid burnout from over-working. It also helps to set up a calendar and schedule either in your notebook or Google Calendar. Streaks is an app that helps with daily goals. It lets you set up to six daily tasks and you notch up “streaks” after finishing each project. If you like to see your progress in the form of charts and graphs, you’ll love Way of Life, which also keeps you on track with daily reminders.
Work on the Go
With Smartphones, it’s easy to have the office at your fingertips, especially with the Google Drive app. This can be a great time saver for those inevitable moments when you have a few minutes to spare, whether it’s at the airport terminal, on your coffee break, or on your morning commute (unless you’re driving!). The calendar function also helps track your progress and gives you reminders for deadlines, events, and appointments.
Let Ideas Marinate
In his 1961 memoirs “Travels With Charlie,” the great American novelist John Steinbeck describes how he would think, ponder, and “marinate” on an idea for several weeks before sitting down at the typewriter. This was integral to his two-part creative process that ensured his concepts were well thought out before he started all the hard work. You’re more likely to stay on track if your intentions are planned out and clarified in advance. Take a break, bake some cookies, jot down your ideas to revisit later, or go for a walk. When it comes to creative ideas, thinking is 50 percent of the work.
Love the Project or Goal
Maintaining the daily discipline necessary to complete a goal isn’t easy, so make sure you have enough passion and drive for the project before you invest your time and energy. Consider the challenges you might have to face and set realistic expectations for yourself so that you can avoid any unnecessary frustration from setbacks. While it’s always good to dream, try to keep a healthy balance of attainable and practical goals so you can see results as you go.
More than likely, there are lots of people tackling similar projects, so if you ever feel stuck, take your frustration online and you’ll be amazed at the treasure trove of useful information. Chat rooms, message boards, how-to articles, and videos are all fast and easy ways to stay motivated with a like-minded community. It’s also another way to expand your contacts through networking. Coach.me is a leading habit tracking app that offers personalized coaching and the opportunity to get involved in the community.
Keep a Close Eye on the Competition
Keeping tabs on your competitors allows you the opportunity to learn about the latest innovations, advancements, or new methods related to your project or goal. Even if they set a bad example, at least you’ll know what not to do. Cautionary tales could save you the trouble and keep you ahead of the curve. There are several apps that make spying on rivals easy, including Splunk, a website analytics tool that tracks keyword success on both your website and your competitors’.
Be More Efficient with Your Time
If you find that you’re wasting too much time and not getting enough done, ATracker is an app that tracks how much time you spending on daily activities. The main screen includes a list of tasks for the day and an overview of the day’s time spending. The app is also simple to set up because you simply tap the name and icon to start and stop recording time spent on a task. For help maintaining a healthy work/life balance and getting the most out of the present moment, Balanced offers simple and supportive reminders to enjoy life and be healthy by encouraging things like working out, taking photos, meditation practice, or other personalized activities.
Recreation is one of the seven steps of survival outlined by the Alaska Marine Safety Association (AMSEA), so don’t forget to treat yourself to a day of fun after you’ve finished your work. Whatever your happy place is—fine dining, a movie, a holiday at the beach—go ahead and splurge because you’ve earned it. These rewards also help motivate you by warding off an existential crisis. With rest, relaxation, and delights to look forward to, all your diligence and determination will be well worth it.
Emily Post once wrote, “Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed,” so don’t get discouraged if your goal isn’t manifested right away. All great things take time to evolve and develop, and the longer you wait, the sweeter the outcome. Whatever happens, never give up and always aim high.