We spend a lot of time working in various projects. We also have a ton of very important people and desires that pull us, often in competing directions. How do we choose what’s important now? And how does what we work on today affect us 1 month, 1 year or even 10 years from now? To answer this question, let me back up a little bit and take you through a journey my team and I went on during the end of 2015 called “Vision, Description, Metrics.” A number of people on staff full time at Aroma spent several long sessions hashing out how our jobs help accomplish the mission and vision of Aroma. Then, we focused in on how the success of our jobs can be individually and collectively measured through a number of important and often odd metrics.
This process, although long and often difficult, was extremely important. Your people are suffering for lack of vision alignment, and Patrick Lencioni’s not the only one to say so. Additionally, the process of alignment within our leadership helped us to make sure we were all on track and could measure the effectiveness of our work.
Now we see that in the day to day it’s sometimes hard to know how to focus. We know we’re doing extremely meaningful work, but it’s hard to know which work to be doing. Aligning our priorities and goals will help us.
What’s a priority? Something that’s important and meaningful today.
What’s a goal? A target you are trying to reach at some point in the future.
Our goals affect our priorities. And our priorities affect our goals. If you don’t have clear goals, it will be hard to prioritize. If you prioritize the wrong things, you’ll consistently fail to meet your goals. But how do they work together?
Effectiveness in the area of priorities focus on working on things that are important, but not necessarily urgent. Effectiveness in goals focuses on building blocks that move toward what you need to accomplish. Make sure priorities are refreshed daily in light of goals you have weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Do the hard work first. That means putting aside urgent tasks, or squeaky wheels, in favor of what will ultimately move you closer to achieving your goals.
Reach your goals by adjusting your priorities.