Browse Tag: goals

Self-Improvement For Small Business Owner – Part II

This is part II of the series (read Part I of Self-Improvement for Small Business Owner).

When you talk or read that goal management is good – you are not making any real progress. Even more so – the more you talk, the more you waste your time. So if you really want to start going – here’s a first step at organizing your goals.

Remember how I talked about dividing your goals into three categories? Hope you do, because, being a geek I have done half of the work for lazy you. The following link will open a Google Document in a new window (you can click on the picture as well for the same effect):

Goal Matrix by
Goal Matrix with Color-Coding

This colored thingy is already broken down into 9 color-coded areas. Once you write your goals in each of the areas, you should start associating your goals with these colors. Now, I am not saying you should use these colors to brain wash yourself, however, if you feel certain colors would represent your goal/priorities better – feel free to copy this chart into Excel or Calc and change them around. The idea is to have three colors for each priority and distinguish between a long and short term by intensity (saturation, if you will) of the same color.

Why? Good question. Ideally, your short term goals must lead you to achieving your long term goals. So by coding short-term goals in the same color as your long terms you implicitly suggesting to yourself that that’s why you are doing this. As an example, take running 10K distance (that’s one of my long term goals for now). I know that I can’t just get up and run 10K, because somewhere around 3 – 4K distance I break down. So I set a short term goal to get an extra 5 minutes to run every week. During my workout yesterday I had a 30 minute run instead of 25 as of last week and I have successfully broken my dreaded 4K barrier. Maybe I stick to 30 minutes for the next week or maybe I will increase it to 35. In any case – running an extra 5 minutes makes a perfect deep-blue colored short term goal, at the same time reminding me that colored in sky blue goal of running a 10K run is getting closer every time I achieve my “+5 min run”.

Aside from that there is one more use for this matrix, which I will talk about in the next part of the series. Stay tuned.

Self-Improvement For Small Business Owner – Part I

Self Improvement and Time Management - Recently I had a chance to take couple of instructor-led courses. One was on time-management, the other was on managing your goals. Even though I had a pretty good idea on how to do both, I still heard a bunch new things and another bunch was definitely a welcome refreshment. I already wrote about my new strategy in this post, so it all falls into places steadily.

Let’s start with time management. One of the most important things about owning a business is knowing how to manage your own time. If you got to the point when you don’t have time to solve the problems that take all your time – you know you’re in trouble. Take it from the person who’s been there, done that and haven’t even got a T-shirt. And it’s a pretty obvious thing – no matter how hard you try there’s still same old 24 hours in each day, so you have to make do with what you got. Twice harder if you have a family. That’s when goal management kicks in.

Classic goal management approach is simple – you divide all your goals into short-term and long-term goals on a time scale and into “must-haves”, “should-haves” and “nice-to-haves” on priority scale. This matrix should give you an idea of where you must be, should be and rather would be in short and long term. As I’ve said – pretty simple.

Now comes the tricky part – you have to stick to it. If you have never done this before – it’s twice as hard, because you keep forgetting what you have to do because you’re doing something that you’d rather do and it’s much more fun. Again – I know because I’ve been there too.

All this brings us to a simple conclusion – any entrepreneur must have nerves of steel to impose a very strict time and goal discipline onto himself. There is plenty of tools to help you do that, but for me most of them didn’t work – I had to come up with my own way of doing things. More on that – in next posts.