Focus on these 3 Buckets to Reach your Goals
When you are moving toward your big goals, it helps to break work into three buckets: planning & visioning, deep work, and clearing the deck. While we usually think of planning and deep work as the things that get us to our goals, we need that third bucket too.
Clearing the Deck
Clearing the deck means strategically scheduling time to get the nagging tasks off your list that are cluttering your to-do list and your brain and making it hard to get the more important work done. Clearing the Deck may not seem to move you toward your goals, but this bucket clears mental space and energy for other work and may help replenish and refresh you to do your deep work and visioning.
Clearing the Deck is taking time now to set yourself up for better focus later:
- Clean up your desk
- Call and schedule appointments
- Order new supplies
- Follow up on invoices
- Read that book that you can’t wait to finish
- Empty your inbox
- Writing a note to a friend
- Fill out forms or complete other paperwork
- Decluttering or clearing space
Clearing the deck might be a mix of business and personal stuff that’s piling up. Clearing the deck items are often the things that go on your to-do list without getting scheduled. Schedule a block of time and check them off.
Taking some time to clear the deck can improve focus and energy for the new projects you want to start!
Planning and Visioning
Most of us don’t take enough time to do CEO-level thinking about the big picture that moves our businesses and life goals forward. We come up with a million ideas for projects or offers or content … but without a vision, we can spend a lot of time doing things that don’t move us in the right direction.
Schedule some time to think big.
What is your purpose?
Why are you doing this?
That foundation of your business should be stable, no matter what is happening in the world.
What is the impact you want to make? That is: What is the change you want to see in the world in 12–18 months?
This kind of visioning work comes before you set any goals or choose projects. If you haven’t done this in a while, set aside time for visioning— turn off notifications, put on ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode, clear your head, and think big!
Let your vision marinate and then schedule a separate time to plan out how you’ll get to your vision. This is when you set goals, choose projects, assign tasks and start to figure out how you’ll make an impact.
Planning and Visioning could look like ideating, journaling about goals or ideas, project planning, Post-it note mapping, or even meditation. You might do some of this process alone and some with your team.
Deep work is the creative work that leads to the big impact you want to make in your business and your life. This is the work that moves you forward. Deep work requires concentration or uninterrupted thought. This is where you’ll get into that ‘flow state.’
Deep Work could look like writing a sales page, creating course content, drafting a chapter in your book, even taking a long walk in nature and journaling.
I use these three buckets in my VIP DAYS too as a way to structure our time and do the things that really matter. You can use them to structure your own time — or join our GROUP VIP Business DAY for focus, flow, and accountability.