Direct Marketing Article
The High Achiever's Guide to Getting Things
By Joelle Jay, Ph.D.
High achievers... go-getters... type-A personalities... Whatever you call
them, one thing is certain: these people want to do it all, and they want to
it all...right now.
While having many lofty and simultaneous goals is a good thing, doing too
many things at once can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. There
just never seems to be enough time to make everything happen. But that
doesn't stop high achievers. They are determined to make everything happen,
even if doing so ruins their day and everyone else's in the process.
Realize that the answer to getting everything done isn't about doing less,
especially since high achievers gain great happiness from getting many
things accomplished. They're determined to do whatever it takes to meet
their objectives. Rather, this is about having a system in place that can
simplify the process of doing many things fast—one that will bring you
progress as well as peace.
If you're ready to supercharge the completion of your 'to-do' list without
becoming overwhelmed or alienating others, the following five-step process
will help you get it all done, with less stress and greater results.
1. Make a mess.
If you're like most high achievers, you likely have numerous sticky notes,
lists, files, piles, papers, and a host of other items spattered around your
office, on your desk, and in your computer. Each one is meant to help you
move forward to reaching your goals; however, as the piles and files grow,
they become overwhelming, no matter how neatly you may have them organized.
Therefore, begin by getting all of your ideas and notes in one place. Make a
big pile of all the papers and items in the middle of your office floor or
on your desk. Don't leave anything out.
2. Sort and purge.
Now it's time to roll up your sleeves and start digging. Go through your
pile of "stuff" and look at each item to determine what you should keep and
what you can toss. For each item, ask yourself,
• Is this idea or information still important to me?
• Can I retrieve this information from elsewhere should I ever need it?
• Is this information duplicated somewhere else?
• Will this information or idea help me reach one of my goals?
As you decide which items to keep, put them in separate piles or files as
they relate to a particular goal or task.
3. Organize your list.
Look through all your "keep" papers and ideas to get clear on which goals
are truly important to you and what steps you need to take. Put all your
ideas and action items into one organized list, preferably on one page. You
don't have to painstakingly detail every action step at this point; the
objective is to simply create one coherent 'to-do' list rather than have
multiple ones floating around your office.
4. Rank the list in chronological order.
Redo your list one more time, now paying special attention to the order in
which you feel you should do things. At this point, you can also add more
detail to your action items. In other words, you can list not only what to
do, but also how to do it, who to call for help, which resources you may
need, etc. You may feel as if you're wasting time here by going over the
same tasks, but trying to rank your initial ideas in chronological order is
difficult until you can see them all on paper at once.
5. Get going!
Now that all your ideas are organized, all you have to do is take action and
tick off the tasks as they're completed. No more thinking, planning, and
organizing; it's already done. And most important, no more confusion of what
to do when. Just look at the list, take the top task, and knock it out. What
could be easier?
This process works for a variety of scenarios, including special event
planning, home and family goals, work and business projects, as well as
long-range strategizing for professional and personal objectives. And while
it's designed for high achievers who tend to have many high priority tasks
going on at once, it works for anyone who simply wants to end the stress and
chaos of having incomplete tasks hanging over their heads. By taking the
time to complete this five-step process, you can finally meet all your goals
and achieve the results you want.
About the Author:
Dr. Joelle K. Jay, Ph. D., is an executive coach and the senior managing
partner of the leadership development firm, Pillar Consulting. She
strategizes with business leaders to enhance their performance and maximize
business results. Her clients include presidents, vice presidents, and
C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies. Joelle is the author of "The
Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership." For a free Sample
Chapter, go to www.TheInnerEdge.com or email Info@TheInnerEdge.com.