A December 2005 study by executive search firm Korn-Ferry revealed that 70% of executives plan to make a career related New Year’s resolution. Yet experience shows that more than 80% of them will be significantly off-track before the end of the first quarter.
Why? Distraction - the number one enemy of success.
Here are some tips to beat the odds and make your resolutions stick this year:
- Set Inspiring Long-term Goals. Short-term objectives are fine, but don’t often provide the necessary inspiration to stay the course. Keep in mind this classic quote from Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich, “The starting point of all achievement is desire. . . Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. "
- Create a Path. Even the best goal-setting system isn’t enough. You need specific action steps to follow. When you create a blueprint for your objectives, you give yourself a path to run on. If you get sidetracked, as you undoubtedly will, it’s simple to pick up and restart where you left off.
- Link Your Activities to Your Goals. Identify your top priorities in every area of your life: career, family, health, friends etc. Then link all of your activities to your goals. Goal-directed behavior is what enables successful people to achieve their objectives in record time.
- Stop Multi-Tasking. As management guru Peter Drucker said, “If there is one ‘secret’ of effectiveness, it is concentration. ” Focus single-mindedly on one thing at a time. By simply doing this, you can reduce the amount of time you need to complete any task by 50-80 percent.
- Use Technology Efficiently. Technology is great when it enhances productivity, but it can also become a major distraction. Remember, cell phones, e-mail and the Internet, were designed to be used as tools. Don’t let them become your master.
- Beware of the “Open Door. ” Of course, you need to be accessible at work; but you also need to maintain control of your accessibility. An open door policy only works well if you set time limits and stick to them. Your time is your most valuable resource. If you allow others free use of it, you’ll pay a steep price in stress and lost productivity.
- Manage Information and Idea Overload. Every day you’re bombarded with more information than you can possibly handle in a week. One key to managing it is to be very selective about what gets your attention now, and what you save for later. Link your reading, viewing and listening activities to your goals as much as possible. And always keep a notebook or voice recorder handy, so you can manage ideas and potentially profit from them later.
© 2005 Dr. Robert Karlsberg & Dr. Jane Adler
Dr. Robert Karlsberg and Dr. Jane Adler are founders of PsychologyofPerformance.com, and authors of The Road to CEO: Psychological Strategies for Getting to the Top .
This new, digitally delivered book reveals psychological strategies that can help you get promoted faster, gain respect and recognition and become virtually indispensable to your organization.
To find out more, visit http://www.TheRoadtoCEO.com .
Reach Robert and Jane at info@PsychologyOfPerformance.com