What can you accomplish in twelve weeks? Can you do something great, innovative, or even earth shattering? Those are some questions I’ve been asking myself. I have had great success in the past with setting 12 week goals. For some reason there is something magic about that time period.
Starting next week there are twelve weeks to the end of the year. It also starts one of the busiest periods for me in my work life. Projects are coming from different directions and all have the goal of completion by the time 2007 starts. This would be a good time for me to just give up on blogging, writing, and my personal goals.
But I’ve discovered something over the past couple of years that is a strange quandary. I do better at my personal goals when I’m busy at work. The increased focus of work related goals pours over to my personal life. As long as I can separate the time periods, the process of being productive in one area of my life translates to the others.
Twelve weeks seems to be a burst period that works for me. It’s long enough to accomplish a large and formidable task yet allow you to easily see the end of the tunnel. Twelve week goals easily fit on one sheet of paper. The twelve week timetable is easily divisible in half, thirds, and quarters.
So what is the secret to accomplishing a lot over this relatively short period? The number one thing is to find a balance between the different areas of your life. For me it means turning off the TV and spending quality time with my family and friends. It means working hard and playing hard. There is definitely stress but with amazing goals set forth it can be a great time of positive stress.
One of the key tools I’ve found is to work in 50 minute focused time periods. This has had an amazing effect of my productivity and has had the effect of turning negative stress into a positive effect. When you tune everything out and focus on one thing for 50 minutes the stress drops dramatically. Taking a 10 minute break at the end refreshes and helps you refocus on the next task or project. Doing two or three focused periods back to back means I can accomplish so much more than I used to in an unfocused manner.
This may give me an afternoon free to spend with my wife and family that would have been impossible before. The focused time periods help me see what I can really accomplish on an ongoing basis. I may have to cut back on things slightly to fit them in but the overall effect is a much better outcome.
Over the next twelve weeks, I’ve set aside a daily focus time for my personal goals and have begun scheduling focused time for my projects at work. My calendar is filling up with work and personal 50 minute blocks and some large chunks of unfocused family time.
Come take a journey with me over the next twelve weeks as I test this whole thing out.
What are the possibilities?