Following A Goal Setting Program


Dear ETR reader, Back in January I wrote you about ETR’s editor Charlie. He was new on the job and working as hard as he could – but still felt overwhelmed. It’s not surprising… my philosophy is to have new hires “hit the ground running”. Among other things, it let’s me see what they’re made of pretty quickly. We discussed his productivity problem.

It’s the same problem I see in employees over and over, whether new or old. He was bouncing around from emergency to emergency, fire to fire – with no clear goals other than to do as much as possible each day. He had a To Do list but it wasn’t prioritized. We talked about my Goal Setting program and he agreed to start using it.

That was 5 weeks ago. You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse overnight but I can report that things have definitely improved. Charlie’s learned to focus every minute of every day on the few key issues that are most important to making the business a success. He’s learned that other requests may be easy, fun or quick to accomplish, but if they’re not a priority, they’ll just have to wait.

He’s learned an important lesson: Most of the time, these things will just disappear anyway as others realize they are not important also. He’s still trying to cut down on the two hours (!) each day when the time is not really accountable for (15 minutes on email here, 15 minutes walking around the office there). I meet with Charlie every morning and I can tell that when he used to walk in with excuses and apologies, these days he is more likely to walk in with a stack of work to review and plans for the day to discuss.

Last month I wrote that if Charlie followed the Goal Setting program, he would soon have a sense of satisfaction that he couldn’t even imagine. I can see on his face each morning that what used to be dread now is more often pride. He is on the way. I’ll keep you updated on his progress. If you interested in increasing your productivity and personal effectiveness, then sign-up for the Goal Setting program:

Remember there is a giant difference between a to-do list… the kind you can get at any book store or from any mail order scheduler…. and this one… Unless you have a built-in way to assess how much you can actually do every day, prioritize it according to your personal goals and then attack it accordingly, you don’t have anything that can possibly work. I’ve personally coached dozens of people on this…. and I’m always amazed how many people think they are organized but never get the important stuff done…. If you feel that way you owe it to yourself to at least check the program on a risk-free basis.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]