Small Steps to Big Wins: How Micro Goals Can Improve Your Team's Performance - risely newsletter

Small Steps to Big Wins: How Micro Goals Can Improve Your Team’s Performance

Do you find yourself staring at tall piles of work but unwilling to move? If the answer is yes, then today’s edition of The Top newsletter is the panacea you have been looking for!

Pretty much all of us have found ourselves waiting for motivation to strike until we start working. This act of continuously postponing or delaying the work you set out to do is called procrastination. It can include not completing tasks on time or not making decisions when needed. There are many reasons why procrastination may happen. 

For instance, a manager is delaying a crucial decision for their team’s strategic direction. At the back of their mind, they fear the adverse outcomes that can occur because of the associated risk. Thus, the manager avoids deciding for as long as possible not to confront the feeling of fear. 

On the other hand, we can have another manager who has an offsite planned for their team. Throughout the planning process, they keep on postponing decisions whenever the team members preparing the event ask about it. Generally, the responses leave them uninspired and confused. The manager could be doing this because they do not consider this event important for their team. The manager believes the team should focus on working instead of organizing this event which distracts everyone. The perception of team-building activities as unnecessary and distracting makes them think the associated work is a burden. So, it keeps on getting deflected day after day. 

Apart from health-related issues, people procrastinate because they might be anxious or overwhelmed. The fear of outcomes, an environment full of distractions, and a lack of purpose can also drive procrastination high. But that’s not all, and managers often procrastinate when they are low on motivation or do not see value in any particular task. 

You can read more about procrastination here to understand how it manifests for managers at work. 

Managers are not the only ones cornered by feelings of anxiety or demotivation. Similar issues can strike your team members too. However, team members caught up in procrastination and resultantly delaying work are more likely to be termed lazy. One often ignored and underrated cause of procrastination among employees is overworking. As ironic as it sounds, having a list of tasks that piles up just too high can make people push it away too. 

How can you identify an overwhelmed employee on your team? Take note of the following signs: 

  • There are visible changes in their mood, especially signs of distress
  • Their productivity might be going down 
  • Engagement seems to be falling, as they are disinterested in work 
 If these signs are present in your employees, they might feel overwhelmed. As a result of this feeling, team members may lose interest in their work, and thus their performance falls. The impact can spread further than procrastination and become health issues. 

Read more here to check how managers can help overwhelmed employees at work.

Escaping the feeling of overwhelm and getting back to work can seem complicated. But there are ways out for sure. One slow and steady but smart way to overcome procrastination is setting goals. However, huge and ambitious goals sound like too much. Hence, start small with micro goals. 

Micro goals are small, actionable steps that lead to more significant success. Think of them as the stepping stones to your dreams across the bridge. Micro goals are great for managers because they provide clarity and a sense of accomplishment to keep doing things regularly. You can think of them as a to-do list. It’s an excellent way to stay organized and keep track of your progress toward the larger goal. Plus, they help create and sustain positive momentum!

For example, if you want to increase your team’s productivity by 20% by the end of this quarter. You can create some micro-goals such as: 

  • Identifying and eliminating the main productivity blockers at work in the first week 
  • Providing additional training and coaching to team members who need it afterward
  • Establishing clear expectations for your team members 
In this way, the road to higher productivity might be more straightforward! 

Check out the blog here to learn more about micro goals. 

Procrastination is one of the significant productivity killers that managers and teams struggle with. Yet, it often goes unnoticed as its blame is shared by the assumed laziness of the people fighting it off. Nonetheless, there are ways out of these time-consuming loops, with micro goals just one of them! 

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