When we set a goal it has to be a challenge. A goal that’s set too easy has little motivational impact; there’s little reward from achieving something that’s very easy and so there’s not much to motivate us.
On the other hand setting a goal that’s too hard is also demotivating. If we don’t believe we can achieve a goal then we won’t put any determination into getting them done.
Setting a goal is therefore a balance between setting it too easy and setting it too hard. This is where the A (Attainable) in SMART goals comes into play. We have to believe we can attain a goal and yet not set that goal too easy; it has to be a challenge.
How do you know when you’ve set a goal that’s too easy or too hard? Leave a comment and share your experiences.
In my last posting on attaining goals we looked at maintaining an All Projects list and a Current Projects list. However even my Current Projects list is too large to be easily manageable with eight projects on it, six of which are active.
To be really productive you have to be focussed and this means concentrating on one project at a time. Every time you switch projects it takes some of your productive time to get into the mind set for that project, pick up the tasks and get yourself organized. All this is time that is not actually moving the project forwards. If you spend your time doing a bit here and doing a bit there then you’ll make little progress across a broad spectrum of projects. This can rapidly become demotivating as seemingly little progress is made on any front.
With the index card system it’s easy to maintain the focus. Every morning, as part of the morning routine, review the Current Projects list:
- Has a waiting project become active? Then mark it as active.
- Is an active project now waiting for something? Then remove its Active sticker
- Which project is needs to be focussed on now? Mark this project with a different colour.
Here’s my Current Project list for this morning:
This immediately puts me into the mind set I need to do focussed work on this project and makes the project stand out from the rest. Every time I glance at the Current Projects list I know just where I must focus my attention. Once I’ve completed all the tasks I can on this project then I’ll move the Focused Project sticker to the next most important project and start to focus there.
Soon we’ll look at breaking goals and projects down into the individual tasks needed to get them done and looking at how these fall into the organization structure.