The One Goal A Day Strategy

There are a ton of books out there that will teach you all kinds of techniques and approaches you can take to be more productive and how to better manage your time.

For a consultant, especially one that works independently, staying on top on the ball and getting things done is key to success.

Yet even with so much literature on productivity, I continue to meet business owners and consultants that can’t seem to stay productive.

They may have bursts of activity, but like a kid jacked up on candy and soda pop, their activity flat lines rather quickly.

Is there hope for these people? I believe so.

Today’s post is dedicated to everyone that finds staying productive a real challenge.

The More Productive You Try to Be, The Less You’ll Actually Achieve

People that have trouble being productive and that often find themselves down on the ground and feeling that they have to yet again push themselves back up are usually trying to do too much.

What? How can someone that isn’t getting things done be trying to do too much, you say?

Here’s what happens…

You may be naturally unorganized. You have real trouble getting into a system and working through it on a regular basis. But there’s pressure all around you (most often coming from your own head).

Expectations are set. And now you feel like you have to do more and keep busy.

So you throw more things on your plate. But they are little things, not ones that actually move your business forward.

You trick your mind into believing you are ‘getting things done.’ And then what? Then your mind shuts down. It’s overloaded with all these to-do’s you’ve scheduled for yourself.

Flat line…..

You wouldn’t graduate a toddler from riding a tricycle to a motorcycle, right? So why torture your brain by throwing so much at it.

A Better Approach

The best approach I’ve seen work is what we call the “1 goal a day strategy.”

It is what it sounds like.

Set one goal for yourself each day. Now, before you get all excited thinking that you just need to do one thing and can then put your feet up for the rest of the day…let me be clear.

This goal needs to be important. Something that actually moves your business forward. It can be writing an article and submitting it to a publication, getting a press release out, writing and sending out a promotion for your services, and so on.

Timing Is Key

The best time of day to do this work is early in the morning. Before your brain goes into overdrive and gets stressed from everything else going on in your life. Before the phone starts ringing. Get your goal done as quickly as possible and early on in the day.

It feels great to get something important done each day. And then you have the rest of the day to work on other aspects of your business. And when things do come up…as they always do, you’ll have already done the most critical thing that you needed to do for your business that day.

Say goodbye to the “so many things just came up and I couldn’t get that done.”

The Simple Path to Realizing Goals

You don’t have to do 100 things a day to be productive. Start off by just focusing on one. Get it done. No excuses. No procrastination. Get it done early, get it out of the way.

You’ll feel great. Your confidence will grow. You’ll get more done and you’ll find yourself becoming more productive as time goes on…not to mention all the good it will do for your business.

Please Share This Article If You Enjoyed It:

  • Offlinecoaching

    Michael,
    Thanks for this wonderful post,I have been struggling trying to do too much in one day and then end up doing nothing.

    Ralph

  • Debbie

    This does work great – especially for those items that are not urgent but very important to the success of your business! The good feeling you get when you finish this one item will carry you through the rest of the day. Personally I choose two big projects per month (or per quarter depending on size) and then break them down so that I work on one of them Mondays & Wednesdays and the other Tuesdays and Thursdays which seems to work the best for me.

    Good luck!

    • Debbie – that’s a great approach. Having dedicated days for specific types of work really allows the mind to focus on the priorities and block out all the other noise.

  • Annatataruch

    Great strategy – I use it myself.
    It’s funny that after some time you find yourself doing more then one critical thing a day because as soon as you remove the pressure you become more focused and more creative.

    • Annatataruch – exactly. Once the mind and body are trained to focus on getting one thing done you find yourself getting a lot more done – and not just one.

  • Bart

    I subscribe to this strategy too. In addition to setting my goal for the day, I take it one step further and also identify what specifically I am going to do as the first step to achieving my goal, thereby setting it in motion both mentally and physically – this applies to all goals I set. Timing is indeed key, and since I am not really productive in the mornings, I choose the afternoon to complete my goal, as that works best for me.

    • Bart – good point. It’s important that everyone looks at when they perform best, when they have the most energy and can focus the most. That’s the time to use for moving the big goals forward.

  • Prakash Kapade

    This is an Excellent & Easy Way to Accomplish Things ! Thanks Michael

  • Michael,

    This is a great article, thank you! I find the more that gets thrown on my plate the less I can accomplish. Instead of trying and tackling everything at once, I will now try and focus on one key goal per day.

  • Allan

    Michael – good stuff, especially the aspect of making it an important goal. I personally find that even if the goal takes several days to achieve, the key is to keep at it.

    Allan

    • Allan – welcome! Definitely, that’s a good point. The one goal a day doesn’t have to be completed in a day. You can take a larger goal and break it down into bite-sized daily pieces. In fact, that’s usually the case.

  • Jeannette Carmody

    Thank you Michael for your reminder of the value of keeping it simple.
    Isn’t it interesting how it’s easy to see how to prioritize efforts for a client who may be spinning with doubt and confusion, but challenging to continue to take the modest steps of self-discipline to move towards our own goals; those non-urgent, but important matters. For me, taking time for what’s important requires reflection and ongoing commitment. And when my efforts begin to droop, being open to inspiration that picks me up again.

  • Ken

    Thanks Mike. Sometimes simple is better. I’ll put your plan into action immediately.

    • Nice one Ken! Be sure to check in and let us all know how that goes.

  • Roger S. Rayla

    Hi Michael, thanks for this article. It’s the first time i posted my thoughts and reaction to your so many consulting and marketing tips sent to me. This is exactly related to what i teach my sales & marketing colleagues to CFS themselves…C for change of mind set, F for focus to get things done and S for speeding up what’s to be done. One goal a day strategy will be a new mind set for me and them, then focus and speed up in getting that goal done within the day.

    More power to you and keep sharing the good tips around…

  • This is the strategy that I use except I have ‘categories’ 1 goal as a wife/mother, 1 goal for myself, and 1 goal for my business. I started using this approach about a year or so ago when I was feeling very overwhelmed all of the time. It has worked well thus far and I end most days feeling accomplished.

  • Manju

    One goal a day is a great concept and attempting the goal as first thing in the morning is definitely the best way to do. But identifying the goals or the steps to go from where you are to where you want to be to suit your circumstances.. well that is another challenge.. I feel.

  • Ron Greene

    Greetings. The idea of having one goal a day is excellent. I do that, but I also incorporate a list of goals I need to attend to on a weekly basis so that I’m attending to weekly as well as daily goals. When things come up I make the necessary adjustments accordingly, but I’m kept on target daily and weekly.

  • Emerald Taylor

    Although I see that this is kind of old I needed this.. I read it over and over again so I won’t make it seem as if it were to good to be true… Thank you