Tag Archives: Goals

Do You Know When You’re Done?

I was just plowing through a few household chores, feeling effective because I could see immediate results as things were put in their proper place, wiped down and such.  I felt like I accomplished something – a feeling that is hard to come by in our modern world.  Particularly at work.

 

Back when we were mostly an agrarian society, it was easier to see when we were done – animals fed and given clean stalls, garden weeded, wash on the line to dry.  A person could end the day with a sense of accomplishment.  Most of these tasks would still have to be repeated the next day, but a person could rest knowing that the job was done for that day; stability had been maintained.

public domain image

public domain image

 

Now there might be a quota of orders to fill in a warehouse, or parts to be made on an assembly line or projects to be worked on in an office but done is a bit harder to see and feel.  So what if I made and received a lot of calls plus dealt with many emails, I didn’t get done because there are still more.  That quota in the warehouse or plant might have been met, but there are still more behind them that the workers can see.  The quota is lodged in a computer somewhere.

 

We need to feel a sense of accomplishment, but we’ve made this nearly impossible to achieve.  That stability that previous generations could build seems nebulous to us.  How do we capture and nurture it again?

 

I wish I could say that I have an answer that works for me.  Even as I was whipping through the straightening and minor cleaning of my house this morning, there were glaring hints of the larger jobs that have been neglected for one reason or another (time, know-how, money).

 

One thing that I can say, since I have been aware of this accomplishment deficit, is that I make a point of reviewing what I have completed every day.  Even if it wasn’t something that I intended to do, or is very minor.  By consciously focusing on these checked off, crossed out tasks I can somewhat counteract the weight of all the partially done tasks in front of me.

 

What about you, do you know when you’re done?

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Accumulating Small Triumphs

Big wins are fabulous, splashy feel good moments, but give me a succession of small wins any week and I’ll take that option every time.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to big wins – indeed, bring one on, I could use it.  The thing is that the excitement and joy fade away into the everyday and then you are left with a nice photo.

 

We like to see our lives as a progression forward and toward something better.  The big wins then should give us a jump to a higher plain where we will then stay and continue to progress upward from that point.  But the truth is usually that the big win is a spike and then we come back to where we were previously and continue our progression after the interruption.

 

I haven’t even gotten into the other side of things, those difficulties – both large and small – that impede this progress.  I’ve mentioned before that over my life I have tended more toward the melancholy so these difficulties always loomed larger than any triumph in my perception.  Except in these last few years.  The difficulties are still there but I have consciously changed my perception.  (As I began to write this post in my head, my computer refused to start properly on the first try and I had to force a shut down all the while afraid that I would lose details of the idea with the delay.)

 

Look at what people accomplished without all of our modern machinery! 1875 August Menken photo credit: Wikipedia commons

Look at what people accomplished without all of our modern machinery!
1875 August Menken
photo credit: Wikipedia commons

If triumphs and difficulties left some sort of mark, sort of like the graphs in black and red that show earnings up or down of the center line, as we look back objectively at our lives these would probably be pretty even.  But in perception, I have found that if I make an effort to be aware of the small triumphs and give a moment of thanks then everything gets colored differently – and better.

 

We had many difficulties and challenges in the office last week but we ended on a small triumph which made it all worthwhile.

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Success Over Failure

Success and failure could be seen as two ends of the same continuum.

 

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”

~ Bill Cosby

 

Of course, you need to make certain that you know what your success is supposed to look like.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach, All rights reserved

Making Things Happen

We all start out with dreams of our adult lives.

 

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

 

We need to remember that advancing in the direction of our dreams looks very different at various stages of our lives, but we shouldn’t stop advancing.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach, All rights reserved

Experience, Our Life-long Teacher

We can hope that we get fairly balanced between benefit and cost as we proceed through life and gain experiences.

 

“If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us we’d be millionaires.”

~ Abigail van Buren

 

Perhaps as writers we get more benefit from our experiences, good or bad.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach, All rights reserved

Learning How and When to Revise

One of the benefits of experience as a writer is the ability to improve upon our revision skills.

 

“It’s never too late – in fiction or in life – to revise.”

~ Nancy Thayer

 

Small corrections or large ones might be tedious, but can create greater material.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach, All rights reserved

Identifying Your Progress

We tend to think of progress as a steady upward line, and so we don’t always recognize our own progress.

 

“The human mind always makes progress, but it is a progress in spirals.”

~ Madame de Stael

 

Adjust your focus on your expectations for progress to measure it correctly.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach, All rights reserved

Understanding Your Muse

Writers can be born or created with great effort, it is determination that ultimately decides.

 

“There was a moment when I realised that great writing requires both clarity and imaginative embellishment in equal measure.”

~Greg Barron

 

Awareness, practice, and understanding plus dedicated time also play a part.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach

Define Yourself as an Artist

For some reason we fear defining ourselves as creative.

 

“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it (all of it, the work, the process, the feedback from those we seek to connect with) personally.”

~ Seth Godin

 

Creativity is broader, deeper and more accessible than we seem to initially think.  And adds just that extra something to a life.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach

Getting Back on Track

We write ourselves into a corner, our thinking goes off course and then what?

 

“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.”

~Roger Babson

 

We should spend a moment or two pondering whether the content that just came up has some validity, for now or later, and then start back at the point where we went wrong and get busy.

 

© 2013 BAReed Consulting | Business Writing Coach

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