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01 Oct

Make it easy to check off

Datum: 2010-10-01 13:16

We who do our best to be struc­tured, do it because we want to move for­ward; we want a pro­gres­sive move­ment in our life, in our careers or in our business.

What this for­ward” looks like, is dif­fer­ent for all of us, but what we have in com­mon is that we decide to achieve some­thing and then work as smooth­ly as pos­si­ble in order to suc­ceed. ??That’s why we need to see if we are actu­al­ly mov­ing for­ward, as well as define things we can do active­ly so that we’re tru­ly tak­ing steps in the right direction. 

This means that it’s of cru­cial impor­tance how we set our goals and how we define the road to achiev­ing them. ??The more spe­cif­ic your def­i­n­i­tion is, the eas­i­er it will be to reach the goal and com­plete the task. Why? Well, it will be more obvi­ous if you are on the right track to achieve the goal or not. If you’re not, it’s eas­i­er to think of dis­tinct and spe­cif­ic things to do to increase the chance of reach­ing the goal, if it in itself is clear­ly and con­crete­ly expressed.

A fuzzi­er Olympics

Imag­ine if the track and field ath­let­ics in the Olympics would be as vague­ly defined as how we some­times define our objec­tives, mile­stones and tasks.??For exam­ple, take a look at the main event; 100 m sprint. What if the start was not set off by a starter gun, but the ath­letes start­ed at ran­dom around noon”? What if the win­ner was not deter­mined by using pho­to fin­ish, but the run­ner who won was the first one to run about one hun­dred meters, more or less”? 

If you didn’t win, what would you change to win next time? Are you going to start ear­li­er and if so how much ear­li­er? With­in what lim­its? Or are you per­haps going to run a short­er dis­tance? But, how much short­er are you allowed to run when the race is sup­posed to be about one hun­dred meters”? ??Every­thing will be very vague and uncer­tain, and it’s easy to lose inter­est. Some­how it doesn’t cre­ate the same excite­ment and the Olympic games cer­tain­ly hadn’t been a big suc­cess. ??Instead, it’s very clear­ly expressed exact­ly where one should be to be the win­ner (cross the fin­ish line), and if you don’t start at the moment the race starts, you’re hope­less­ly deemed to be last. The race will be deter­mined by pho­to fin­ish, mea­sured with­in the hun­dredth of a second.

Try this

Express your­self and define goals, mile­stones and tasks so it’s easy to check them off. You’ll make it pos­si­ble to check them off by being clear in you phrasing. 
Use the rich nuances of your lan­guage to your advantage:

  • Who should send what to whom when, and in which form? 
  • Who will get back to you with what before when? 

?You also make it easy to check off by quan­ti­fy­ing in var­i­ous ways:

  • three new customers 
  • ten times dur­ing the year 
  • four times in a row 
  • 9,2 mil­lion USD
  • 35% share of the mar­ket accord­ing to a spe­cif­ic def­i­n­i­tion of the market 

?You do this by set­ting a date:

  • At that” par­tic­u­lar point in time, this or that sit­u­a­tion will be prevalent
  • The bal­ance sheet is going to look like this at the turn of the year 
  • On the 1st of June, the new prod­uct will go into production 
  • In the sec­ond half of the year we’re going to have a turn over of X USD

Dis­tinct­ly phrased goals means clear­er results

It is only when every­thing is clear that you’re able to attain a result, or rather, it is only then you’re able to see that you do attain results. The result can be achieved any­way, since you’re in fact run­ning for­ward, but you can’t see whether you do or not, and if you don’t achieve it, it’s hard for you to know what to adjust in order to reach it the next time. 

So, if it is impor­tant for you to progress and you have cho­sen struc­ture and sys­tem­at­ic approach as the means to take you and your busi­ness where you want to go, make it easy for you to check things off.

How do you do it?

What do you mea­sure to make sure you bring your­self and your busi­ness for­ward in the right direction?

Leave a com­ment below.