Here’s Why Digital Tools Don’t Always Work
Over the years, I’ve tested dozens of digital productivity tools for setting goals and managing to-do lists. Although digital tools are useful, paper-based daily planners are becoming more popular.
MiGoals is an example of an Australian company that sells paper daily planners online.
Founder Adam Jelic and his team created a series of daily planners and journals to help entrepreneurs and creative professionals and executives accomplish more each day.
A former soccer player, Jelic started his business as a side hustle in 2010 while working full time selling photocopiers.
Jelic felt motivated by a book he read called the Heroes Journey by the regarded Australian Football League player, the late Jim Stynes, who encouraged people to get out of their comfort zones, face their fears and do things that matter.
So Jelic set a goal of leaving his full-time job to work at MiGoals full-time and support his family.
So, I asked Jelic how he turned his business goals into reality.
Clarify What You Want (And Why)
Before setting a personal or professional goal, Jelic recommends establishing a long-term vision that you’re working toward creating. This vision should encompass your career, finances, health, business and personal growth.
“If you don’t have that enticing vision, you’ve got nothing really that you’re aiming towards,” the entrepreneur said.
In other words: The aspiring entrepreneur must consider today what type of business he or she wants to run or sell in five years, just as the budding executive should determine his or her career path now.
“Get into good rituals, good habits, where you take action on that long-term vision,” said Jelic.
Writing all of this down is key to making it happen according to Jelic. Much like Stephen Covey, the entrepreneur also advocates working backward from what you imagine success to look like.
“I develop a clear action plan on what it is I need to do. I constantly question, ‘What is it that I need to do to take me closer to that end goal that I set?’,” he said.
Don’t Get Greedy
I’ve used goal setting frameworks in the past, set dozens of goals and felt stressed and anxious about my lack of progress. Jelic said I should reduce the number of goals in progress at any one time.
“Anywhere from three to five [goals] is a good number,” he told me. “If that sounds overwhelming, set one goal, and then take action on that and start building that momentum and belief in yourself.”
Example goals include starting a business, building a career within your industry or something more personal like running a marathon.
Reflect On Your Progress Regularly
Reflection is the cornerstone of any good productivity system, paper or digital. Jelic includes a section in his daily planners for entrepreneurs and executives to write about where they succeeded and failed.
“Get into the habit of reflecting on the month, reflecting and acknowledging the wins, the losses, the lessons learned and then replanning for the month ahead,” he said.
As an example, consider the entrepreneur who wants to work with a business coach to overcome professional challenges but lacks the financial resources to hire one.
“If you see a coach once a month, they will say, ‘Tell me how it went this month? What were some of your wins? What were some of your losses? What can [you] improve on?’”
He then advocates asking and answering these types of questions in a journal.
In short: If you can’t afford a business coach right now, use self-reflection to become your own coach.
Practice Saying No
Many entrepreneurs are guilty of “look-squirrel” syndrome. They discover a shiny new tactic and add it immediately to their to-do lists. The list grows until it becomes overwhelming.
“We overwhelm ourselves. We end up just doing tasks that control the situation or control the environment. We get busy for the sake of being busy,” said the MiGoals owner.
Instead, he suggests breaking a to-do list down into control-based tasks, progress-based tasks and belief tasks.
Control-based tasks relate to administrative tasks, such as processing email. Progress-based tasks are habits like training at the gym. Belief-based tasks describe getting outside of your comfort zone, e.g., learning a new skill.
This practice of refining to-do list items requires cultivating self-discipline and deciding what to say no and yes to.
“If you want to grow your business…you might have to decline some clients…otherwise you will overwhelm yourself,” said Jelic.
Reflect To Expand
Today, MiGoals products are sold throughout the world at renowned retailers such as Liberty London, Asos, Selfridges and Virgin megastores. The goal is continue to grow its international presence and make MiGoals the brand of choice when it comes to buying personal grwoth stationery.
“It’s become so noisy out there, and it’s really hard to stand out. So…we’re always thinking, ‘How can we add value to our customers?’” said Jelic.
“If we can answer those questions for ourselves, then that’s a good thing.”
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