How Cutting Your Goals Down Can Lead to More Productivity

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One of the biggest reasons people become more productive is to get more done in life. If you focus on productivity, you will be able to accomplish way more and have a richer, more fulfilling life, right? Well, not necessarily, as it can lead to one of the biggest traps out there.

If you spend your time trying to do more and more, using your increased productivity to squeeze more productivity into your day, you are entering a spiral of pain. All you are doing is working for work’s sake, and that never leads to happiness, only exhaustion and frustration at not being able to do even more. In the end, you don’t even end up doing more.

Let me illustrate using two fictional people, Harry and Steve. Harry is all about being productive, trying to start up as many businesses as possible, making a new product or business every week. At the end of the year, he has made 52 new products, and they have all done pretty mediocre, as he abandons each product as he begins working on the next. There’s no way he can focus on 52 products at once, and it shows.

Steve, on the other hand, spends a year building one thing. It may not be the best thing, but he is investing the time to make sure it’s the best possible version it can be. He does research, testing, asks for feedback, and keeps making changes to both his product and business all year, making it slowly better. At the end of the year, Steve has one extremely successful product that his customers are raving about, telling their friends without any involvement from Steve.

Although Harry likely put in much more effort, in the end he is much less successful and has much more maintenance to do just to keep everything running. All of his efforts being more productive have just ended up making more work for himself in the end. Not only did he put in the time, he ended up making everything more stressful for himself.
The key here isn’t trying to get more done, but instead focusing your efforts on the most effective things. Work to cut back on your goals until you have the few strongest ones that are worthy of your time. This is not easy to do. It’s so easy to say yes to everything, because it seems so appealing. However, what you say no to is far more important than what you say yes to, because saying no allows you to focus on the things you really want to accomplish.

Take some time now and do the following things to help cut down your goals and truly accomplish more.

Make a list of your goals

Write down each of your goals that you want to accomplish, all in one place.

Note the top goals

Make a star next to each of the goals that are most important. Focus on the ones that you truly feel like you will have failed if you don’t complete them.

Simplify as much as possible

How many of the remaining goals can you remove? It’s important to be ruthless here. If something takes up a ton of time and doesn’t make your life noticeably better, it’s not worth your time. Cut it!

Plan according to importance

Figure out the big important goal you want to focus on first. Now break it down into smaller steps to get it completed. Then break it into even smaller tasks. This should fill up your entire schedule, and it makes sure that everything you do is focused on accomplishing your big goals.

Complete things

As you are working to get things done, focus on completing things, not on getting a lot done. Don’t start on something new until you finish what you are working on. It’s easy to get distracted by other things that seem important, but they can wait for the things you have already declared the most important.

By cutting down your goals into what is truly most important, breaking them into doable chunks, and working hard to get them done, you will make far more progress and see much more success than if you are trying to do far more in the same amount of time. As you accomplish each step of your goals, make sure to take a moment to celebrate your win before jumping onto the next thing to accomplish!

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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