Don't get down on yourself if you can't meet your goal
You probably know that Bill and I have been renovating a home, which we were supposed to move into a month ago. Yep, a month ago. Right now we are exhausted, frustrated, and feeling the impact of 4 months of house hassles down to our toes.
We are goal oriented people, and we don't often miss our deadlines. So it's easy for us to feel antsy and frustrated over not meeting our goal to move in on our set date. But sometimes, you just aren't going to make your goal no matter how hard you push and shove. So what do you do?
- Keep a running list of what you have accomplished during your project or launch. We use Wunderlist (it's a free app) and sync our “house move list” on our phones. While the “house renovation” list still has 42 items on it, we can look back and see that we have accomplished (as of this morning) 1,029 tasks! That surprises even us, and helps us feel like we are at least running toward the finish line, even if we are weeks late getting there.
- Take breaks to increase your productivity. You can't keep an objective perspective when your head is down in the weeds of a launch or a big home project. You've got to come up for air. We took at least half a day each week to get away from the house project, step away from our regular work, and get outside for a complete refresh. Your instinct will be to feel guilty taking a day away. Don't feel guilty. I know it's counterintuitive, but when you can't meet your goal you need to step back. You'll come back more productive.
- Get lots of sleep. We've trained our contractor crews that while they might be on the job site at 7:30 AM (and want to knock off at 3:00 or so) we won't be showing up until about 9:00. We need rest and we have businesses to run. The house renovation is super-important to us, but we have to stay fresh for our clients, too.
- Be brutally honest with yourself and your team. We hired a top-notch crew, and we expect performance. When we see a slip up from a team member, we address it openly and immediately. And, we evaluate ourselves, too. We have slipped up (we ordered one faucet too few for our new master bathroom, which cost us a day of plumber's time). Team members appreciate honest, direct, and timely feedback.
- While you may be dying to get done, don't rush your team. Bill and I hired very skilled and experienced craftsmen for this huge renovation project. They know we are pressed for time and running behind. But we want their best work, not rushed work. Rushed work will just have to be torn out and redone. Let team members know your deadlines but be open to their suggestions and step back to let them do their magic. In other words, watch your team but trust your team. Our main crew member, Ron, was half-way through creating the new master shower according to the blueprint when he came to us with a design change suggestion that we would have never thought of. As a result, we have a larger, more open, well lit shower that we love much more than we would have loved the original design.
- Adjust your timeline to be realistic but not too loose. When things are running behind is exactly when you start to give up totally and decide what you're doing was a bad idea. Don't go there! Get out your timeline, adjust to your pushed out deadline, and let everyone know what the new goal is. You're the leader, not the follower. Put a new date to the end and stick to it.
- Take a good look at where you need more help. Even though we had a contractor's crew working on the master bath and closet area of our house, we were handling renovations elsewhere. After a week we knew we needed more team, so we found an experienced handyman to come on board and work with Bill every day. Together they were 3 or 4 times more productive than Bill and I alone. Although we didn't meet our original completion goal, we'd be even farther behind without the handyman.
It's not great when you don't meet your goal, but it is correctable. Take a breath, evaluate where you are, and reset your goal. Using the 7 steps above, you'll get done sooner than you might think. Here's another recent post that might help you with goals, too.
You can get my workbook, “Twenty Questions to Help You Expand Your Business Without Frustration and Overwhelm” by going to https://confidentmarketer.com.