Goal Digging: Tips for Productivity
Take a moment to think about some daily goals you've set for yourself or your child(ren). Do you guys accomplish these goals everyday? If not, take a moment to think about the rationale. Goals are subjective to individuals, personalities, and age ranges. For myself, I have a goal of exercising 6 days a week (still a work in progress). For a child, an appropriate goal may be to read for 30 minutes per day to prevent the summer learning slide, or the daily cleaning of their room.
Curating short-term, daily goals helps us to work more efficiently and objective-driven as we focus on taking steps towards completing the tasks at hand. Below are several steps to take in order to achieve short-term goals and to maximize daily productivity.
Step 1: Write Down Daily Goals You Want To Accomplish.
Take into account the flow of you or your child's day. What are some important tasks that you want to be completed? Think about all moving pieces from the morning to the evening. Write them all down and get ready to sort in the next step!
Step 2: Sort Goals By Importance.
When I am teaching math and have finished modeling the objective and I have given multiple checks for understanding, I then release students to complete math problems on their own. I decide what problems I want students to complete before-hand by selecting ones they must do, and those that they can do if they finish early. Use this same strategy when sorting you or your child's daily goals. What must be done? What can be done after all essential goals are met. Order these goals chronologically to support with the creation of a schedule in the following step.
Step 3: Create A Schedule With Time Stamps.
Creating a schedule helps to not only establish a routine, but it also gives a sense of structure to the day. Now that you have listed the goals from step one in order of importance, it's time to create! The most useful schedules have the task, description, and time it takes to be completed. Download one of the schedules at the bottom of this post and tweak it so that it's a great fit for you or your child! In order to keep this schedule throughout the week, you can print multiple copies, place one copy in a binder sheet (making it dry-erase), or get it laminated. Check out the examples below!
NOTE: Research shows that learning and productivity is maximized when our brains are in acquisition mode. This happens between 10:00am - 2:00pm, then again from 4:00pm - 10:00pm. Take this into account when creating a schedule in order to enhance productivity while working towards daily goals!
Step 4: Create A Space and Get It Done!
What space in your home are you or your child most productive? Would you rather be seated at a table or on a sofa? Do you prefer to alternate between spaces? These are all great options, but it's important to establish a preference before-hand. Once you have your schedule and preferred space, get settled and get started! Set a timer to stay on track and keep your schedule with you so you or your child can use it as a reference.
Step 5: Hold Yourselves Accountable.
You've worked so hard to create a schedule aligned to you or your kiddos daily goals, don't let it go to waste! Here are some ways that you can hold yourselves accountable!
Cross out tasks after they are completed.
Provide incentives after completing every two or three tasks (for adults this may look like a few minutes of a favorite show, for children this could be a few minutes outside or munching on their favorite snack)
Reflect: At the end of the day, think through what went well, and what needs to be improved for the following day.
Set reminders! Smartphones and tablets have many uses. My favorite features are reminders. Set alerts and reminders on a tablet or smartphone to hold yourselves accountable to accomplishing daily goals!
Step 6: Give Yourselves Some Grace!
Life happens! Sometimes when we are working diligently to accomplish our goals, things come up. This is normal and absolutely okay. Remember to give yourself and your kiddo some grace and to be kind to yourselves!
Step 7: Celebrate!
Creating a sense of consistency and normalcy during these unprecedented times is a struggle. At the end of the day, celebrate the productivity of you and your child by doing something that you both love. Watch your favorite movie, go on a ice cream run, or play your favorite board game.
Thank you kindly for reading. Check out the schedule templates below!