The Power of Micro Goals and Meticulous Planning

Stephen Covey may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on in the form of one of the most influential business and self-help books ever published. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” hit shelves in 1989, and while Covey outlined a septet of routine behaviours, there’s no denying that one in particular shone a little brighter than its counterparts.

Yep, you guessed it.

We’re talking about planning.

More specifically, micro planning…

When it comes to achieving large goals and long term objectives, planning is a critical element. There’s a time and a place for “flying by the seat of your pants” so to speak, but the entrepreneurial landscape isn’t one of them. From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, the brightest minds in the business all testify that in one way or another, ruthless planning is the key to success. If Zuck’s on-board, so are we! It’s one thing to have a plan in place, but delve deeper into entrepreneurial psychology and economic statistics, and research proves that micro planning is fundamental.

Why micro goals matter

Yes, it’s important to keep your sights set on the bigger picture. But in order to hit end targets, a micro-perspective is all-important. Why? Here’s three reasons why micro goals matter:

Creating a sense of urgency

Long term goals generally have deadlines that are months, or even years away. This can often cast entrepreneurs under the illusion that actioning steps to achieve this singular end goal is not a priority. With micro goals in place, a constant sense of urgency and accountability is bought to the table. These micro goals spark entrepreneurs into action, and serve as a constant source of motivation, even when long-term goals seem impossibly far away.

Seeing measurable results

One of the major reasons people fall short of their goals is due to lack of progress. The great thing about micro goals is that they offer an ongoing sense of achievement, throughout the entrepreneurial journey. Even hitting small goals serves as an instant morale boost, which encourages a subconsciously positive mindset (which coincidently has been proven to improve the decision making process!)  

Making progress feel more achievable

Rather than aim for one overriding goal that seems dispiritingly unachievable, try breaking a long term target down into bite sized goals. This tones down the ‘overwhelming’ factor and makes progress feel far more achievable.

Now we know why micro goals matter, let’s talk about how you can supercharge your planning game? One formidable weapon is the use of purpose built planning tools, like the free downloadable weekly templates available from AWS Create. Another technique is to break the planning stage into matrixes, and use your template to prioritise accordingly.

We’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from the legend himself…

“At the start of every week, write a two-by-two matrix on a blank sheet of paper where one side of the matrix says “urgent” and “not urgent” and the other side of the matrix says “important” and “not important.” Then, write all the things you want to do that week.”