Here’s the scenario: You had a meeting with your manager about your overall performance and how you can get better with completing tasks. You realize that you need to be more productive with your workload, but there’s just one catch; You don’t exactly know what to do or how to do it. This post will give you a different strategy to organize and plan your goals better. Determining what your macro goals and micro goals are will help you perform more effectively.
Macro goals are the big goals. The goals that may be a bit more complex or require more time to complete than the average one. Examples of a macro goal can be:
- Launching a new program
- Obtaining a certification
- Reaching a sales quota
- Finishing a long-term project
- Writing a proposal
- Completing and analyzing a report
In order to fully complete a macro goal, micro goals must be completed first. Micro goals are the steps that are required for you to actually reach your macro goal. The best way to get things done and reach your overall goal is to reverse engineer the process of completing it. This means working backward from your end result (macro goal) and figuring out all the steps that need to be done to get there (micro goal).
Here’s how to do this:
1. Write down the macro goal:
You must know and be clear on what your end result is.
2. List all the steps required to reach the macro goal and be specific. These are your micro goals:
For instance, if your macro goal is to write a proposal to implement a new customer satisfaction program, your micro goals may look something like this:
- Research customer service trends (internally and externally)
- Create customer feedback survey
- Determine deadline for survey
- Promote survey
- Review survey results
- Prepare customer feedback survey report
It’s important to list every possible micro goal that you’re aware of. If others come up at a later time, be sure to add those to the list as well.
3. Consider the depth of each micro goal (how long it will take to complete):
The micro goal examples provided in step #2 gives you an idea of how complex one macro goal can be. Doing the research alone may take 4 to 8 hours depending on how much data you want to include. Thereafter, it may take you another 4 hours to create the customer feedback survey. This is why understanding the depth of each goal is important so that you can create a reasonable and realistic time frame to complete each of them.
Once you have all your micro goals listed, it’s time to plan and prioritize them.
4. Organize your micro goals:
Outline which steps have to be done in a particular order to reach your macro goal. This ensures that you’re planning your tasks for the right time frames and not wasting or duplicating your efforts.
5. Don’t plan to do all the micro goals at once:
The purpose of identifying micro goals and their depth is to ensure that you’re planning them effectively and setting yourself up to be productive, not overwhelmed. The last thing you need is to commit to completing a macro goal in a week when in reality, it will take you 3 to 4 weeks to complete it effectively.
6. Don’t plan to do more than 3 to 5 micro goals in a day:
This step is very important for productivity (and sanity). A mistake I’ve made in the past is planning to complete a to-do list with 6 or more action items, which got me nowhere. The purpose of planning is to actually get things done and when you have too many in depth items on your list, it’s impossible to do that. Don’t make this mistake. Limit your micro goals to no more than 3 to 5 per day (less) to ensure that you don’t compromise your other obligations.
The purpose of planning is to actually get things done and when you have too many in depth items on your list, it’s impossible to do that.
Categorizing your goals as macro or micro goals will help you to create a system and actionable plan to reach your performance goals.
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