A day in the life of an executive can be hectic with a lot of firefighting. When you finally do have the time to think about the long term strategy, it can feel like a bit 'too much' -- sometimes it's better to think of the long term in short term sprints. That's why it's important to set small goals for yourself.
Small goals let you tap into the satisfaction of crossing something off of your to-do list. That feeling of accomplishment keeps you motivated to work on the large projects. When you go home at the end of the night, you can say to yourself “Well the dev team still hasn't finished the new software, but at least I sent out a newsletter and made three new connections on LinkedIn today!”
Here are a few ideas on how to make little goals work for you:
- Look for things that you can finish in a day. In fact, give yourself one or two small goals that you can complete first thing in the morning. I find that when I start the day off by getting one thing completed, I am inspired to tackle the rest of my to-do list without any hesitation.
- Small goals can be either simple one-off tasks, or you can take your big projects and break them down into more manageable chunks, which makes it easier to mark and track your progress on your over-arching goals. You know the old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
- Use productivity apps or a bullet journal. There’s something inherently rewarding about tracking your progress. Many apps use gamification to provide you a sense of leveling up as you achieve goals. Other people prefer to use a journal because having a physical way to mark things down feels more tangible.
- Build a culture of small goals into your workforce. When everyone feels like they’re accomplishing a little something every day, they’ll be more motivated than ever.
- Just remember to leave time for the big tasks, too. It’s so satisfying to complete 20 small things in a day that it can be easy to load your to-do list with easy things while putting off the more daunting tasks. Give yourself time to tackle the larger problems, then check off a couple more small tasks as a reward at the end of the day.
Over time, these little goals will add up to big results for your business!