In a previous article, I discussed accomplishing goals with a WIN list. Another method of achieving goals is by writing a P.O.E.M. (planning, organizing, executing, and managing objectives).
What is it you are trying to accomplish? What tools do you need to accomplish this goal? These are questions you can ask yourself in the planning stage. You may already do this when you arrive to work each morning. You sit at your desk and review your to do list, but there is more to the planning stage. In addition to looking at what you have to accomplish, jot down a summary of the process it will take to complete the task; this also helps in prioritizing the workload. The planning stage calls for more in-depth evaluation of your time and efforts, which is a valuable process because you will find out that you can get more done because you spent more time in planning the steps.
After the planning stage is complete, organize the tasks/goals. What can you accomplish immediately, in the next hour, two hours, or by the end of the day? Do you need to consult with someone or do you need additional information? If you can complete the task immediately, put an identifier by the task, such as a 'star' or '1.' You may find that you have more stars and can reduce your task list tremendously. If you need additional information, put a question mark and identify what is the next step you need to do to complete it.
|Task #1: prepare for weekly team meeting|
|* -Create minutes from previous meeting – 1 hour|
|2 - Order refreshments (based on RSVPs) – email catering service and F/U with phone call|
|* - Reserve room – email request|
|?- Get agenda from team lead – email request|
In the example, the starred items can be completed immediately; all that is required is an email or effort on your part (constructing the minutes). The next items require input from others, these are indicated with a '?.' Then once the question marks are removed (responses are received), they can become starred items, and all that is left is to send the announcement and order the refreshments. You may use your own indicators, it is your P.O.E.M; use what works for you. In summary, starred and items marked with question marks are addressed first, followed by the numbered sequences.
Now it's time to put the task in motion to completion. Using the tools you have, complete the task according to the indicators from the organizing stage.
Once you have completed the task, follow-up with the appropriate parties who have been notified (supervisor, team leader, team members, etc). Did you mention deadlines for responses? Is it time to follow-up with a reminder email or phone call? The longer you wait for others, the longer the to-do list will be. Managing the task is the most important step in the P.O.E.M.
Writing a P.O.E.M is a great way to accomplish goals. It is an evaluative method that can be used to help prioritize the tasks in question so that they are completed in a timely manner, plus it sharpens organizational skills. Remember each time you cross off a task from the to-do list, you receive a rush of endorphins. Now how's that for a legal high!