Feeling overwhelmed at work? Maybe you’ve set too many goals for yourself. Studies show that humans perform better when they have one big goal to focus on.
Ever bitten off more than you can chew at work? It’s no surprise – humans might be adept multitaskers, but we can only handle so much. One of the most common mistakes professionals make is setting too many huge goals, resulting in them not achieving their targets and feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
One of the most common mistakes professionals make is setting too many huge goals for themselves.
The British Journal of Health Psychology conducted a study recently in which they discovered that participants who actively set out parameters for when, where and how much they would exercise were 2x to 3x more likely to actually do it, compared to those who didn’t.The research showed that implementation intentions work best when you focus on only one goal at a time.
What can we learn from this in relation to business?
Setting one goal
Rather than attempt to reach a number of difficult goals, author and leadership development figurehead Sean Covey suggests that executives and their teams each concentrate instead on one ‘wildly important goal.’ This approach gives every member of the team a tangible objective, keeping them focused and encouraged by their progress.
There might be numerous goals across the organisation, but each team or individual should have one overarching aim that they plan to dedicate their energy to. When figuring out what these wildly important goals should be, leaders must also ensure that all the objectives added together will collectively help the company reach the overall goal (whatever that might be).
It’s best to focus on one important goal at work rather than a number of smaller ones.
Each team or individual should have one overarching aim that they plan to dedicate their energy to.
Another key component of this strategy is setting timeframes on the goal rather than leaving it open-ended, allowing your team to tangibly measure their progress and results. Research conducted by Columbia Business School professor Rita McGrath shows that the most successful companies plan out their year on a quarterly rather than annual basis.
“The accelerated pace of their operations allows them to be extremely responsive to changes in their environment, catching the need to make changes and adapt earlier than companies with a more rigid, annual process,” she stated.
By actively choosing to set an important, singular short-term goal for each team, organisations can improve performance and moral while driving the growth of the company forward. For more information about productivity and leadership, check out Reo’s blog!
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