One of the keys to productivity is project tracking. If you have a goal and a schedule, then the next step is to track how well you conform to that schedule as you make the effort to accomplish your goal. This helps keep you working and can be especially important on the days when your project isn’t going as well as you would like. Knowing that you need to report your progress makes you feel more obliged to make that progress.
Your first step toward tracking your progress is to break your goal up into measurable actions. For example, if your primary goal is to write a new novel, you might divide the effort up into the following:
If your goal is to write a book of poetry you could divide it up this way:
- Write New Poems
- Review Poems
- Edit Poems
- Look for Publishers
- Read Poetry
- Attend Poetry Circle
If your goal is to write a successful blog, your tasks might be:
- Write New Blog Posts
- Comment on other people’s blogs
- Add to Your Social Network
- Find Advertisers
- Research Upcoming Posts
Once you divide your major goal into smaller actions, you can then track those actions so that you can view your progress. One very nice way to do this is with a site called joesgoals.com. This site has a simple interface that allows you to assign yourself daily or weekly goals. You then put a check mark in every day that you accomplish those tasks or at least work toward them. The program can then graph your progress so that you can keep a record of how you are doing.
There are many ways to track progress, from a daily log to a list of milestones. Pick a system that works for you. It can be as simple as keeping a wall calendar or a pocket organizer. Whatever your method, you will find that tracking your progress increases your productivity and makes the whole project seem more manageable.