Special Article: "Super Bowl Time Management Tips"

HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (January 16, 2004)—What does
time management have to do with Super Bowl football?
Everything! Football pros competing in the Super Bowl
use great goal-setting techniques. By studying the game,
you too can learn a lot about how to set objectives.
Successful football teams devote a great deal of thought
and time to planning how to move the ball down the field.
And successful people devote time to planning what
they’ll accomplish in business and in life. Ask the coaches
who’ve led teams to the Super Bowl. They know you can’t
win without a good game plan.

The term “SUPER BOWL” describes nine components for
making touchdowns in your life:

S = Specific. Progress in football is measured a yard at a
time. Similarly, you’re wise to measure your progress
toward a goal in numbers, percentages, milestones, or
dates. “Learn software program” isn’t specific, but “Spend
five hours a week learning software program” is. “Lose
weight” isn’t specific, but “Lose thirty pounds at one
pound a week” can be measured by simply stepping on
the scale. “Make more calls” isn’t specific, but “Make five
new outbound prospecting calls a day” is.

U = Us. The quarterback doesn’t attempt to score by
himself; he hands off the ball to other players. Individual
players can’t win without help from their teammates.
Reaching a goal requires an entire team of people to be
accomplished. You’ll experience limited success if your
department or family doesn’t buy into your goal, so
understand your strengths and know when to delegate
pieces of the task to others. Where can you save time by
passing the ball to others qualified to do the task?

P = Plan to succeed. Top teams don’t go out and just start
playing. They prepare, plan, and study the playbook.
They determine in advance what will be effective and how
to spend their time. Similarly, don’t tackle a job without
drawing up a plan of attack. List all the steps it will take to
execute your plan in a logical sequence. Each night, draw
up your plans for the next day so you are focused and

E = Effort. Teams get to the Super Bowl through effort, not
luck. Yes, you might reach your goals through sheer luck,
but the odds are much better if you work hard. Injuries can
put the very best team out of the playoffs, so players put
effort into staying healthy. Scoring a touchdown isn’t easy,
but it’s attainable with effort. Similarly, your goals should
challenge you without being unrealistic. Don’t set yourself
up to fail, but do force yourself to stretch. When you
experience success at reaching “stretch” objectives, you
gain confidence. Also know when to take a time out and
rest, so you don’t burn out or get fatigued.

R = Reward. Players have unique ways of celebrating a
touchdown—through a gesture, a dance, even a back flip.
Have a plan to celebrate your accomplishments, too.
You’ll stay motivated to work toward your objective when
you know the rewards. The vision of earning a Super Bowl
ring keeps players pushing toward that end. What will be
your reward once you’ve accomplished your goal? What is
exciting enough to make you want to shoot for it? A
vacation? A massage? A round of golf? Rewards can also
be intrinsic, such as increased self-esteem, more
confidence, or the pleasure of a job well done.

B = Belief. Football players have a burning desire to win,
and so should you. Have confidence in yourself! Picture
yourself in the moment you achieve your goal. Determine
how you will feel. Use positive self-talk and hear what
others say when your goal is achieved. Enlist your friends
and create your own personal cheering section. Your fans
help you maintain your enthusiasm, and you’ll rise to the
level of your own self-esteem. When you’re having a slow
day, call your fans and ask for encouragement.

O = Obstacles. Teams spend a lot of time studying the
competition and determining how to beat it. What
obstacles do you face when working on your goal? What
might prevent you from obtaining it? Consider early in the
process what could go wrong, then put contingency plans
in place and anticipate problems before they occur.

W = Written. Many people dream about what goals they
want to accomplish, but few actually write them down.
Coaches don’t have all the plays memorized; they refer to
their playbooks. Written objectives are tangible and
concrete. Make them uplifting and phrase them in a
positive way. Review your progress at regular intervals
and track it as you go. For example, measure your weight
each week, summarize your sales calls every day, or
determine how many pages you wrote each day.

L = Limits. Football games have four 15-minute quarters, a
framework in which players have to succeed. Break your
goal down into manageable pieces with well-defined start
and stop dates. Many goals will have multiple action
steps, each with a target date. Don’t think of a project as a
10-hour task; think of it as 10 one-hour tasks. A goal is a
series of first downs—mini-goals that help you see your
progress and keep you motivated.

Remember, you don’t have to move 100 yards all at once.
Take small steps toward your goals every day or every
week. Get moving, and you'll soon feel the positive effects
of the change. And every little bit of change can lead to
long-term healthy habits, which last far beyond the Super
Bowl party!

Make it a productive day!

(C) Copyright 2004 Laura Stack, MBA, CSP. All rights
reserved. Portions of this newsletter may be reprinted in
your organization or association newsletter, provided the
following credit line is present:

"Laura M. Stack, MBA, CSP, is "The Productivity PRO," (R)
helping people leave the office earlier, with less stress, and
more to show for it. She presents keynotes and seminars
on time management, information overload, and personal
productivity. Contact her at 303-471-7401 or
[email protected]."