1. Break goals into bite size tasks. Putting “get a new job" at the top of your to-do list is a good way to make sure you never get it done. Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less. Search employment possibilities on line, write a resume, make a phone call, etc. Then you can actually succeed in crossing them off your list.
2. Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day apparently makes your IQ drop by an average of 10 points.
3. Be radical about eliminating distractions. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone. Go to a quiet area and focus on completing one task.
4. Control your email. Pick two or three times during the day when you’re going to use your email. Checking your email constantly throughout the day falls in the multi-tasking category and wastes time, reduces IQ and kills productivity.
5. Use the phone. Try not to reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead and get the dates/details/issues settled in that call.
6. Work your own agenda. Don’t let something else set your day. For example, many people go right to their emails and get sucked into time/energy consuming responses. They end up at inbox-zero, but with little accomplished. After you wake up, drink water so you rehydrate, eat a good breakfast to replenish your energy, then set prioritized goals for the rest of your day. Make certain that it is you taking charge of your time.
7. Take Breaks. Research indicates that our brain uses up twice as much glucose as other cells in our body. If your day involves a lot of 'thinking,' then get up, go for a walk, stretch, do push ups, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. (Research also indicates that those who exercised for 30 minutes prior to an exam did better than those who read quietly for 30 minutes.)
8. Six Things. Pick 6 things that need to be done each day. Choose them carefully to ensure that all six are doable and necessary. Then start at number one and work your way through the list and make certain you do them all each day. You will feel a huge sense of accomplishment. "Six Things" was the answer to the question "what made you successful?" when asked of a CEO in a multi-million dollar business
And... as always.... if you try and try and you just can't seem to do this on your own... then call me. There may be some meaningful barriers and blocks that are sabotaging your goals. I can help.