Your Ad Hoc PA’s Time-saving Tip #2: Set Your Goals

Katie Laine-Toner talks Time Management in her monthly tip – be sure to keep up to date via her website

Over the past year, my life has changed dramatically. I’ve gone from full time office-based work to being self employed. I got married and became a first-time mum (not in that order).  All this change has made it critical that some long-term plans were put in place to make sure that we –my husband Ben,  my daughter and I – got where we wanted to go when we wanted to get there.

We currently live in Fareham (just about halfway between Portsmouth and Southampton).  After a recent holiday in Lyme Regis on the western edge of Dorset, we’ve set a goal to move to that area. It’s a five-year plan, but I’m sure it will take far less time than that. But it does mean that we need to have things in place that will enable us to make the move.

For example, in the area we want to live, jobs are scarce. This means Ben and I need to cultivate clients and ways to make money that don’t rely on us being in a specific place. Thus, the ‘virtual’ aspect of the work I do will really come into play. We’ve also got to save money for things like a deposit and moving expenses, and really think about what we want to have in our next home (a dishwasher , or at least space for one, is at the top of the list!).

What does this have to do with time management? When you have clear goals for the future, making decisions about what happens in the present becomes fast and easy. I know I want to have clients that I have strong relationships with but that don’t need me to be with them every day. Therefore, when an opportunity comes along that doesn’t fit this pattern, I can easily say ‘no’.

We know that the next place we live is on the Dorset coast. Recently, we had the opportunity to move to Winchester. A few years ago, Winchester was our dream living destination. To say that Ben and I love Winchester is a vast understatement! It was a great opportunity but – it didn’t fit in with our goal to move to Dorset. We’d be paying out on moving expenses that aren’t part of the plan. It was a bit sad to say no to this move, but it certainly saved us a lot of time and money on something that just doesn’t fit in with our plans.

It’s so true what they say about goals being like maps. If you know your destination, it’s a lot easier to get there, and you don’t waste time going in the wrong direction.

Need some help with setting your goals? Sheryl Andrews of Step by Step can help! Sheryl is an expert in listening skills and helpingpeople get what they want from life. Visit Sheryl’s website to learn more.

Kate Laine-Toner runs Your Ad Hoc PA and paperkatie, and co-owns Benk Creative with her husband Ben.

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  1. Jayne Gossling
    September 7, 2010 / 5:19 pm

    Great read look forward to reading more

  2. Sheryl Andrews
    September 9, 2010 / 8:09 am

    Thank you Kate, this article is ringing so true, I worked recently with Tasty Marketing to get my marketing goals clear. I now have my map and I know to say no if the work I am doing is not working towards that goal. One of the hardest things people do find hard and especially women/mums is saying no. Remember a NO to someone else is a YES to you and often a YES to your family and business. There is a lot of Power in the word NO and when you have a map, you can say NO for the right reasons and in the right way without guilt. For eg Kate you know in the long run you would be letting down a client if you built a relationship with someone who wanted you in their office 2 days a week and you could not do that when in Dorset so No is in fact the right answer for you and them.
    love the article thanks for the mention Sheryl