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Purposeful Living: My Foray Into Personal Management Techniques

Confident student pointing at yellow paper on whiteboard while looking at groupmate and voicing her ideas

This week, I took on the challenge of implementing personal management techniques in our Purposeful Living Program, in an effort to set myself clear goals and tackle them with purpose.


More about our purposeful living program:

12 Steps To Living Purposeful Living In 12 Weeks
Purposeful Living Principle 1: Mirror Principle
Purposeful Living: An Honest Take On The Mirror Principle
Purposeful Living: Personal Management

At the beginning of the week, we discussed various techniques to help with goal setting, time management and techniques to avoid procrastination and our life-coach, Bianca, set a homework assignment that has taken me on a journey to discover the steps that I need to take to achieve my goals.

Personal management homework

At the start of the week, I drew up a document that began with my goal-setting. My goal for 2021 is to grow the Essential Millennial’s audience and turn this very blog into a success. This is how I broke my goal down into SMART goals:

  1. Goal setting

“I want to grow my blog”

S – Specific

Who? – myself What? – I want 30,000 views a month When?  – by the end of the year Where? – irrelevant/online Why? – I want to have a reliable income & build a platform to propagate my ideas/inform people.

M – Measurable

  • 30,000 views p.m. by end of December

A – Achievable: Can you accomplish this goal? (using concrete resources, time money, talent)

From December 2020 to January 2021, my weekly page views have more than tripled, so yes.

R – Relevant: Is this goal relevant? (consider your objective, why do you want to achieve this goal?)

Yes, it can help me follow the career path that I’ve always wanted to.

T – Time-Bound

What is the timeline? (Create achievable deadlines, review and provide feedback)

  • 10,000 views by second quarter (April)
  • 15,000 views by third quarter (July)
  • 20,000 views going into 4th quarter (October)

Then I had to spend the next day figuring out which quadrant on the Time management matrix the majority of my activities fell into.

2, 3 & 4. Time management

My original thought was that the majority of them fall into quadrant 3 and my starting notes for that read like this”

“Q3: Tweeting/Social media for growth – Not important, but urgent – Research, answering emails/attending meetings”

However, when I spent Wednesday taking not of where I’m spending my working hours, it looked like this:

Personal management
I was incorrect in my assumption, when I realised that my biggest, most time consuming tasks fell into the important, but not urgent category (Q2). This felt like I have been doing the right thing most of the time, but I can still improve by Moving the following into Q2, and I’ve noted, “I can stop using social media in ways that don’t grow brand and stop relaxing to put more time into scheduling/drafting social media posts with planned content… just adding links reduces time.”

5. Procrastination

Finally, I took a look at procrastination techniques and chose the “rewards” category and decided that I would “reward myself with regular breaks. Rest my eyes, drink water, spend five minutes in the sun and get back to my desk rejuvenated by cutting out Q4 activities and shifting Q1 to Q2.”

Writing down how I’ll do my homework is one thing, and actually pulling it off is another. My feedback has been somewhat less than favourable in my assessment.

I won’t lie, at the beginning, when I started rewarding myself every time I wrote an article. I’d go make a cup of coffee and drink it while standing in the sun outside. Going back to my desk 15 minutes later and repeating the process three of four times a day, gave me that additional kick of productivity that I needed. But, over time (and a very short amount of time, indeed) those breaks would turn from 15 into 30 minutes, I’d be taking them more frequently and ended up spending more time in Q4, with my Q2 activities fading over to Q1.

While my initial strategy has failed me, however, I can attempt another strategy and plan to continue to do so over the following ten weeks while covering new principles.

If you’d like to join the personal living course with Bianca van Wyk, contact her via DM on Twitter or send her an email at [email protected] Next week we will be covering “Considerations, Fears & Obstacles”.

 

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