8 Ways to Balance Long Term Goals With Short Term Tasks
When you’re running a business, it can be easy to lose sight of your long term goals. Each time a short term issue crops up, you can get overwhelmed, and feel like you’re constantly firefighting. Essentially, you can get bogged down by the day-to-day running of your company, and forget about your overall targets.
The problem is, for your business to grow and move forward, you can’t just focus on the short term. You also need to look ahead, and work towards the primary objectives of the business. There are lots of techniques you can use to keep your focus on long term goals – we’ve explored eight great ways to keep your eyes on the prize below!
1. Regularly Review Your Objectives
It’s hard to check in with your long term goals too frequently! Even daily check-ins wouldn’t be excessive, if they help you stay on track. Consider the most important things you need to do, in order to achieve your long term goals. For instance, if your goal is increasing revenue, these objectives could be to optimise your SEO, improve your site traffic, and boost your conversion rate. Then ask yourself, in your check-ins, what you have done to accomplish these objectives.
2. Check Your Progress
As well as reviewing the objectives themselves, it’s also important to review your progress as you go. Set reminders every week or month, to go through your goals, and see if you’re any closer to achieving them than you were previously. Work out what strategies are working and which aren’t, and adjust where necessary. You should also make sure to reward teams and individuals when their methods are proven effective!
3. Avoid Burnout
One of the issues many companies face, both in general and in relation to long term goals, is burnout. Spending endless hours each day working towards your business goals may sound like a good idea in theory, but isn’t healthy. Try to stick to firm business hours, and don’t work beyond them. This should hopefully give you some perspective – each hour will be spent wisely, as you’ll know how much time you have left in the working day to complete your tasks.
4. Prioritise Each Task
As tasks come in, it’s common to just prioritise them on a daily basis. Each day you’ll ask yourself what the most urgent thing to focus on is. But this can lead to even more important tasks being overlooked, as you weren’t prompted to do them that day. And they might not be urgent tasks, despite being of business importance. You should thus consider just how important each task is in terms of your company goals, not just how urgently it needs to be dealt with.
5. Break Down Your Goals
Your long term goals are likely to be more difficult to achieve than short term goals. This is often the reason why day-to-day tasks are prioritised – you can see progress and get quick wins! To avoid getting into this habit, you can break down your long term goals into smaller tasks, which need to be completed within a daily or weekly timeframe.
6. Share Accountability
Don’t take the responsibility of your company’s goals solely on yourself. Have at least one other person share accountability when it comes to long term goals and strategies. These individuals can also help you figure out the steps you need to take, in order to achieve your targets, as well as help with prioritising and measuring progress.
7. Make Your Goals Visible
If you don’t look at your long term goals very often, it can be easy to forget about them. It’s therefore a good idea to clearly display these goals, ensuring that they can be seen by everyone in the business. Lots of visual reminders can be incredibly effective – the more often you see something, the more likely it is to stick in your mind.
8. It’s Fine to Say No
If something won’t help you to achieve your goals, don’t feel obligated to do it anyway! Distractions are bound to pop up, and your colleagues will often ask for you to direct your attention to other tasks. But if you ask yourself whether these things will bring you closer to your goals, and the answer is no, you shouldn’t invest your time. In fact, some projects might need to be avoided entirely, if they won’t help the business move forward in any way.