Goalist Training 2

Please continue tracking your time

You need a bit more data before you can start drawing conclusions and move to the next stage. In the meantime we’ll discuss another important subject.

Pursue the goal – not the path


“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen.
Few in pursuit of the goal.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


In the process of working on achieving a goal it’s easy to fall into various traps. One of the worst is losing the initial intent. To get anywhere you need to choose a path. And at any stage you can only clearly see its short segment that lies before you.

Each path has forks, bends and obstacles. So if you follow the path without checking regularly if you’re still on the right one and if still leads to where you initially thought it does – you can get off the course. And you can lose a lot of time and energy if you don’t detect it early enough. But how do you do that?

Think & rethink – why & what for?

At the root of every goal there’s a WHY? For instance:

  • You start jogging and eat healthier because you VALUE the health of your body and good condition
  • You start meditating because you VALUE the sanity of your mind

Armies noticed long ago that detailed plans rarely work. So they prefer to use a “Commander’s Intent”. It’s a clear description of a purpose of an activity. It represents what the commander wants to achieve and why. It is expressed using effects, objectives and desired outcomes. Then whatever happens along the way soldiers are able to make appropriate decisions that help achieve the goal. They can correctly decide what to do even if the enemy completely thwarts the initial plans.

Similarly in life – various events and obstacles are constantly ruining your plans. You should not only not worry about it – but expect it and treat it as a normal part of the journey! Constantly review your WHYs, correct the course of action and make new plans that reflect the current situation you’re in.

Further reading

Brian Tracy, the Personal Development Guru, has a “proven system for defining exactly what you want and then achieving it”. He can teach you how to set your goals and objectives to maximize your performance and blast through your goals.

How Goalist helps you understand and remember

The structure of Values and Goals in Goalist is designed to help you understand what you value and why you want to achieve some goals and states in your life.

Because you value multiple things, Goalist lets you assign priorities to each value. Then based on the data you collect it helps you realize which domains of your life are neglected and which require most attention. And you can make better decisions on what to do next.

Goalist provides tools that let you get a big picture of your values and goals and dive deeper into details. Then it lets you set up monitors that notify you when you get off the course. You have means to decide what a “balance” means in your life and see if you have it.

Video Lessons with Transcriptions

We’ve prepared videos showing you step by step on how to create and use Values. Each one has a transcription below it.

Creating and editing Values

Video transcript:

To start working with Values use the drop-down menu in the top-left corner to navigate to Categories > Values & Goals.

Values are like folders that contain Goals. Goals contain Tasks. Tasks may be optionally grouped into Task Groups.

If you have just installed Goalist you may find here several example Values. You can keep them and adjust to your needs. Or you can delete them and create new ones.

You can create a new Value using Menu > New value OR the plus button.

  • Type in what you value.
  • Choose its importance. That’s a number between 1 and 100. For now you can leave the default 50. You can adjust this number later once you have more Values defined.
  • Choose its color. The color is inherited by all the tasks that will be part of this Value. The color is then used on the Day Plan. Colors will help you visually assess what Values dominate each of your Day Plans.

Go back to the list of Values.

To edit a Value just tap it and then tap its name to see the same interface as you used for creating a Value.

Go back to the list of Values again.

To delete a Value long-press it and choose Delete. I said a Value is like a folder. So when you delete it you also delete everything it contains – Goals, Task Groups and Tasks.

Data associated with Values

Video transcript:

Newly added Value has 0 Goals. Once you start adding Goals you’ll see a pie chart showing how many Goals you have and what is their state.

Grey color shows goals without monitor. Green and red colors show Goals with a monitor in a successful or failed state respectively.

The Health Score is initially 0. It will not change until you define Goals and Monitors.

The Health Score is a special number that reflects the state of the Value. It is calculated based on the importance of the Value and state of each of its Goals. It will help you realize which Values need the most of your attention at a given time. In another video I’ll show you how to sort your list of Values by this number.

Read more about the Value Health Score in the Forum.

You can configure your Pie Charts to only display Monitors. That is to not show Goals without a Monitor. To do that navigate to Modules > Goal Tracking & Monitoring > Settings and tick the first checkbox. Click OK, back and you won’t see the grey color any more.

Sorting Values

Video transcript:

By default the Values are sorted by name in an ascending order. To change the way they are sorted use Menu > Sort by. Here you can see you can sort them by:

  • Name
  • Importance
  • The percentage of goals with monitors in the OK state
  • The total number of goals
  • The Health Score

Each option has an ascending and descending variant.

You can use the last three types (OK percentage, Number of monitors and Health Score) to narrow down the Values that need the most of your attention at a given time:

  • Because they have much fewer goals defined than other values
  • OR because they have the biggest number of failed Monitors
  • OR because they have the worst Health Score

Would you like to see more videos?

Please let us know how you like the videos and what subjects would you like us to cover next. We value all suggestions and criticism. And we constantly improve the Training and the app based on them – so please write whatever comes to mind!

(This post is part of Goalist Training)

Goalist Training 1

What’s easier than “finding motivation”?

It’s feeding your inner drive with simple data!

To manage anything you first need to observe and take notes. Then based on the collected data you can adjust the course of action and introduce changes and tweaks. Making good decisions should never be guesswork. Wrong guesses can waste an awful lot of your time.

So first you should start collecting data on how you use your time, which is easy with Goalist. Just this process of observing yourself will already result in positive changes. “The very act of observing influences the observed subject.”

For instance, let’s say that in the evenings you learn a language and use Facebook to read news and chat with friends. Using Facebook is easy and enjoyable so time flies when you do it. Then you learn the language, but it requires effort so you feel like it takes a lot of time. At the end of the day, you may “feel” that you split your time between the two quite decently.

But then you start measuring the exact time you spend on each. The first evening you see that you’ve spent 3 hours on Facebook and 30 minutes learning the language. It’s practically guaranteed that the next day you will not be that comfortable doing the same. Even if you give up 30 minutes of using Facebook and learn the language for 30 minutes more – you already achieve 100% improvement in your time management.

Isn’t that sweet? And you don’t even need to find any motivation for it. Your subconsciousness will find it for you if you just feed it with some simple data.

Further reading

Brian Tracy, the Time Management Guru, has a great book titled “Master Time, Master Your Life” – “The breakthrough system to get more results faster in every area of your life”. It’s a fantastic lecture and today you can download and start reading it for free from his website.

Data in Goalist

Goalist is versatile and lets you collect various types of data. You can also choose which parts of the app you want to use and how. So don’t feel overwhelmed seeing many features. You can take it one step at a time and still draw a lot of value from it. E.g.: you don’t need to plan your days, you can start with only tracking your time usage.

So we propose you’ll begin with collecting data on your time usage in the evenings when you have the most time. It’s really simple and only requires you to open the app when you finish one activity and start another.

In this lesson, we’ll show you the simplest way to do it and in subsequent lessons, we’ll teach you how to do it better step by step to improve the quality of data collected and get more and more insight.

Video Lessons with Transcriptions

We’ve prepared videos showing you step by step how to begin. Each one has a transcription below it.

Creating a task in Goalist

Video transcript:

Reuse existing tasks

Goalist keeps your tasks in simple Categories or a more advanced structure of Values & Goals. So a task can exist in Goalist even if it was never scheduled.

To start tracking you may use the default “Unassigned” category. You’ll be able to move the tasks into other places later if needed.

To have proper stats you should reuse the same task on each new schedule as much as possible instead of creating a new one. E.g.: if you record using Facebook with a task named “Facebook” the first day, then the next day use the same task. Don’t create “Using Facebook”, then “Chatting on Facebook” and so on.

You can create a task either by going into a Category and pressing the plus sign (or choosing “New task” from the menu). Or directly from the Day Plan by pressing the search icon in the top right corner.

Type in the name of the task, tap “New 5m task” and it will be automatically created in the “Unassigned” Category and added to the Plan.

Basic settings for time tracking in Goalist

Video transcript:

Configure notifications

Goalist will notify you when you don’t have anything put in the Day Plan at the current time. First configure when it should do it.
Navigate to “Settings” (from the top-left corner drop-down) and down to the “Notifications / Reminders” section.

If you decide to start tracking your time after work configure “Notifications allowed from” 5pm and “Notifications allowed to” 11pm.
Then scroll down and do the same for “Planning reminder from” and “Planning reminder to”.

You need the “Planning reminder” to notify you about the end time of the last task you added to the list. This means that you reached the end of the plan and should either extend the current task or mark it done and add the next one.

Goalist can notify you only once or keep repeating the notification (nagging) until you react to it. We recommend you let it nag and set the “Nagger frequency” to 10 minutes.

Also set the “Notification sound” to something pleasant so that you don’t get annoyed by the Nagger!

Time tracking using Goalist

Video transcript:

Here’s the simplest method to track your time during the evening:

In Goalist you can’t have gaps in the Plan. So to start tracking in the evening you need to add a task like “No plan” first. It will fill in the gap between the beginning of the day and current time.

Click the magnifying glass and start typing “No plan”. The task will show up on the list. Click it and it’ll be added to the plan.

Then click MORE, “Mark done” and let the system adjust the duration for you.

To start a new activity tap the same icon again and start typing the next task name. You may also dictate it instead of typing. Your keyboard should have a button with a microphone icon. If not check out the SwiftKey Keyboard or a similar app.

Set the duration to what you expect the task to last. Tap the task to bring up the bottom toolbar. Use the (+) & (-) buttons. If you long-press them you’ll see an interface for making bigger adjustments. That way if you forget to add the next task when you switch to the next activity you’ll be reminded about it at the right time.

Repeat the same process for each subsequent task.

Now start tracking!

That’s all you need to know to start. We’ll teach you other ways and more advanced functions in next lessons.

Would you like to see more videos?

Please let us know how you like the videos and what subjects would you like us to cover next. We value all suggestions and criticism. And we constantly improve the Training and the app based on them – so please write whatever comes to mind!

(This post is part of Goalist Training)