Whatever your thoughts are on goal-setting, I’ve found that starting each day with a clearly defined and well-structured achievement process, invaluable.

I know there’s a lot of “blah, blah” out there about self-help and positive thinking but this is one daily performance improvement strategy I will never be without.

At the start of 2016, one of my eight goals was to be more active on LinkedIn and to publish a post each month. My objective was the same as many who do likewise; to provide regular, helpful information for people to consider applying and in doing so create interest about what I do. For the first six months of this year, I aced it. I was particularly proud of the post I published in May, “How happy people sell”, but it was the one I wrote a month earlier that would have a profound impact on my life…

My post, “Three of the best sales tips from three of the best” ended with a reference to a book I would write at the end of 2016 and whilst the paltry view count of that post confirmed that no-one cared, it did at least provide me with the get-out clause to not deliver. However, that personal statement put onto Tim Berners-Lee’s tinterweb back in April started a chain reaction. Want to set a goal? Tell the world and hold yourself to account!

In July 2016, I decided to write my book and in doing so, said No to writing monthly posts on LinkedIn. You see to take on this or indeed any other task of significance, space has to be cleared in one’s diary and stuff has to be dropped. I’m as busy as the next guy but after a quick refresher on my notes from a distant time management course (the classic 4D’s), I started saying “No” to lots of things of lesser importance, I approached everything with a ‘will it make the boat go faster’ mindset and hey-presto, five months later, my book is finished and on sale!

So, my question as we head towards the new year is this; when you say Yes, what are you really saying No to? We all have fundamental tasks we do each day, but are you really maximising your time doing things that are really worthwhile for you? Are you making a quantifiable and measurable return on energy or are you just being busy? Are there some No’s that could take your performance up a gear or three but you don’t realise it because there’s too many Yes’s going on right now!

Could you simplify your life and drop some stuff? Rather than a To Do list, what about creating a Don’t Do list? What time could you buy-back and what could you do with that new time? I meet many people each year who pass through our training and most admit that have no clarity on what they want to achieve in life, plenty admit that they are aimless and all claim that they waste time – well change it!

Write your Don’t Do list. Add up the new time it provides you with and start to think about how you could spend this gift. What you could achieve as a consequence? Blimey, you may even decide to set some goals or even write your book!


About the author: Matt Sykes is founder of Sales Training company Salescadence. He works predominantly with Personality-led Business Owners to help them convert more of their leads into customers via transformational products which improve Mindset, Ability & Process.


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