Recently the Mind Tools newsletter ran an article on how to get the best out of people who work for you, using performance agreements. You may not having anybody working for you but you can use the same method to help you get your own work done. The steps of the process:
1: Clearly identify your goals and what you will do to reach it. Put this in writing.
2: Build in milestones and, when possible, attach dates to them, to help yourself notice if you get off track. If you do miss a milestone, figure out why and what corrective action you might need to take to make sure you don’t miss the next ones.
3: Schedule regular times when you will check your progress. Put them into your calendar at the start of the project.
4: Build in rewards and penalties attached to the milestones.
5. Sign and date this agreement with yourself to remind yourself to take it seriously.
It can help to involve someone else in making sure that you stay on target—maybe find a friend who is willing to do this with their goals, and agree to check in with each other once a week to report progress.
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