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Optimizing Goal Setting and Task Management with Notion AI

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Achieving goals efficiently requires a strategic approach. Yet, many people still don't leverage Notion AI to help with goal setting and task management. In this article, we'll try to change that.

By leveraging Notion AI, you can define, categorize, and develop a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) strategy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Notion AI to achieve your goals effectively.

Step 1: Create a Goal Database in Notion

First, you need to set up a comprehensive database in Notion with (at least) the following properties:

  • Goal Description [Text]: A brief overview of what you aim to achieve.
  • Priority [Select]: Rank your goals (e.g., High, Medium, Low).
  • Category [Select]: Group similar goals (e.g., Personal, Professional, Health).
  • Status [Status]: Not Started, In Progress, Done.
  • Start Date [Date]: When you plan to begin working on the goal.
  • Deadline [Date]: When you aim to complete the goal.
  • Previous Experience [Select]: Any past experience related to this goal (e.g., None, Beginner, Expert).
  • Resources Available [Text]: Tools, materials, or support available.
  • Preferences [Text]: Personal preferences or constraints.
  • Constraints [Text]: Limitations or challenges you might face.
  • Resources [URL]: External resources you may need or use.
  • Achieved [Checkbox].

 

I will illustrate this article with a very popular goal: 

Step 2: Develop a Milestone Plan

Next, use Notion AI to generate a customized milestone plan that is realistic, achievable, and effective. This plan should include estimated time allocations for each milestone.

Prompt: “Based on the <@Priority>, <@Start Date>, <@Deadline>, <@Resources Available>, <@Previous Experience>, <@Constraints>, and <@Preferences>, generate customized, realistic, achievable, and effective milestone plan for the goal. Provide an estimated time allocation for each milestone. Detail how many hours a day, and how many days per week I should dedicate. Don’t need to use all the time available if it’s not necessary.
Include a description of each task necessary to achieve each milestone.”

Notion AI will break down your goal into manageable milestones.

And the magic begins:

Step 3: Granular task description

Looks like we´re drawing a clear path toward our goal but we can do it clearer. Now we ask for a more detailed list of the tasks involved in each milestone.

Prompt: “Break each milestone into customized, realistic, achievable, and effective tasks for the goal.”

This will be really useful for our next database, Tasks!

And last, to make sure that the proposed plan is reasonable and doable

Step 4: Create a Daily Schedule

Finally, ask Notion AI to generate a finely tuned daily schedule that balances productivity and rest.

Prompt: “Generate a finely tuned daily schedule oriented to complete these tasks for an entire week, prioritizing the synchronization of productivity and rest. Half of the daily time designated to work should be left for other tasks. Workday starts at 8 AM and ends at 6 PM.”

Notion AI will produce a schedule that might look like this:

Notion AI can significantly enhance your goal-setting and achievement process. By defining clear goals, creating detailed milestone plans, and developing balanced daily schedules, you can ensure your goals are SMART and within reach. Regular reviews and adjustments, along with integration with other tools, will keep you on track and motivated.

Now let me guide you through using Notion AI to create a task database, refine task descriptions, break tasks into manageable SMART subtasks, and estimate completion times under various scenarios.

Step 1: Creating Your Task Database

Start by setting up a task database in Notion with the following properties:

  • Task Description [Text]: A brief overview of the task.
  • Priority [Select]: The importance level of the task (e.g., High, Medium, Low).
  • Status [Status]: Current state of the task (e.g., Not Started, In Progress, Completed).
  • Start Date [Date]: When the task is scheduled to begin.
  • Progress [Rollup]: Will calculate the % of completed subtasks.
  • Deadline [Date]: The due date for the task.
  • Previous Experience [Select]: Relevant experience that can help with the task (eg., None, Beginner, Expert).
  • Resources Available [Text]: Tools, materials, or support available to complete the task.
  • Challenges [Text]: Potential obstacles that might hinder progress.
  • Constraints [Text]: Limitations or restrictions affecting the task.
  • Achieved [Checkbox].
  • Goals [Relation]: Relate each task with the bigger goal.
  • Blocked by [Relation]: Show tasks we need to complete first.
  • Blocking [Relation]: Show tasks we can´t complete until we complete the current one.

 

From the Customized Tasks proposed by Notion AI, we select those that really deserve our attention.

For example, “Add a link to your website or portfolio in your bio” takes 10 seconds (if you have a website or a portfolio) so I won´t overload my task list with such a thing.

Scheduling tweets however, is a very important task to gain followers and reach the goal.

Step 2: Refining Task Descriptions with Notion AI

To ensure your tasks are clear and focused, ask Notion AI:

Prompt: “Given the Task Description, and Challenges or constraints, refine the description of the task at hand.”

Notion AI will analyze the provided details and offer a refined, more comprehensive task description. This step ensures the AI fully understands the scope and requirements of each task, setting a solid foundation for planning and execution.

Step 3: Breaking Down Tasks into SMART Subtasks

Next, make your tasks more manageable by breaking them down into SMART subtasks. Ask Notion AI:

Prompt: “Suggest specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) subtasks to make the main task more manageable. Provide suggestions relevant to the user’s specific parameters. Briefly describe each subtask.”

Notion AI will generate a list of subtasks, each with a clear description.

Step 4: Estimating Completion Time Scenarios

Understanding how long a task might take under different conditions is crucial for effective planning. I myself always underestimate how long a task will take me and in the end, I find myself with more workload than I can chew. So, now I ask Notion AI:

Prompt: “Estimate 3 completion time scenarios for this task. Add how many hours a day, and days per week should the user work in each scenario to meet the estimations. Also add the total of weeks the task should require until completion in each case scenario. Predict if the user could meet the deadline in each scenario. Add a brief explanation of what could happen in each scenario.”

By leveraging Notion AI, you can effectively define, categorize, and develop a SMART strategy to achieve your tasks. This approach ensures that your tasks are well-defined, manageable, and aligned with your goals.

Regularly using Notion AI for refining task descriptions, breaking tasks into SMART subtasks, and estimating completion times under various scenarios will enhance your productivity and help you meet deadlines more consistently.

By following this workflow, you can harness the power of Notion AI to streamline your task management and achieve your goals more efficiently.

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