This fifth principle may seem logical, maybe even ‘easy’, but honestly, if you take a step back and look at what you are doing everyday… how are goals set at your company? Can you influence them? Would you or your line manager (yes, many of us still have those) feel comfortable with an exercise of cutting the ‘goal for this year’ into monthly or even weekly goals?
And your non work related task? Adding to the calendar to ‘prepare the garden for the spring’, oeefff, that’s gonna cost me the whole weekend? Or, this week – plant seeds, next week – cut back those trees, the week after – maw and seed some more grass, …?
It may often be a little awkward to start doing, though I’ve found out that taking little steps – and telling myself that it was good to take that little step – helps to make more progress faster, and eventually complete the larger tasks and goals at hand.
PRINCIPLE #5: THE ZORRO CIRCLE
How Limiting Your Focus to Small, Manageable Goals Can Expand Your Sphere of Power
One of the biggest drivers of success is the belief that our behavior matters; that we have control over our future. Yet when our stresses and workloads seem to mount faster than our ability to keep up, feelings of control are often the first things to go, especially when we try to tackle too much at once. If, however, we first concentrate our efforts on small manageable goals, we regain the feeling of control so crucial to performance.
When the challenges we face are particularly challenging and the payoff remains far away, setting smaller, more manageable goals helps us build our confidence and celebrate our forward progress, and keeps us committed to the task at hand. By first limiting the scope of our efforts, then watching those efforts have the intended effect, we accumulate the resources, knowledge, and confidence to expand the circle, gradually conquering a larger and larger area.
“Don’t write a book, write a page” – Peter Bregman (Harvard Business School professor)