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There are three types of people in the world:

1. People who get stuff done.
2. People who don’t.
3. People who believe that shit.

Yeah…I’m gonna have to call BS on that one.

The ability to get things done – what we call productivity – isn’t all-or-nothing. Like many things, productivity exists on a spectrum.

Some days there’s a line-up of can’t-miss football games or a Law and Order: SVU marathon, and you spend 12 hours curled up under a blanket on your couch.

Other days you’re like a machine. You go to the gym, clean your whole house, and wash (AND fold!!!) all your laundry by 2pm.

But more often are the days in between, where you make the most of some time and waste the rest.

Pin me to come back to this post later!

Productivity also changes throughout different phases of your life.

In college, I could not be TOUCHED, okay? I was a master balancer and organizer. Grades were tight. Extracurriculars were on point. And I had plenty of time to play.

And then, there was 2016-2017 right after I had my son when I felt like I was doing 50 things at once and doing none of them very well. (#MomBrain is the realest.)

Can you think of times in your life when you were more productive than others?

Productivity is fluid. It changes, and that’s normal.

But in order to live the multi-passionate life you want, and live it well, your productive days have to outnumber the unproductive ones. Otherwise you become…well…a lazy millennial.

Time is a limited resource, but that doesn’t mean we have no control over it.

We can’t get rid of time, but we can waste it. We can’t create time, but we can maximize it.

So if you have lofty goals that you want to achieve and creative energy that you want to spend and share, you’ll need to figure out how to make the most of the time you have.

The best way to do that is to make sure every single day is as productive as it possibly can be.

Making each day as productive as possible means setting micro-goals that fit in with your larger goals. It means building in time for rest, breaks, and self-care. It means making sure you have time for the things that pay the bills and the things that fill your heart.

In this post, you’re going to learn how to use micro-goal-setting to help you increase your productivity so that you can make time for the things and people you love and reach your long-term goals.

Enjoying this post? You’ll love this video on how to get stuff done when you REALLY don’t feel like it.

What is Micro-Goal-Setting?

Have you ever planned a wedding? High school reunion? Baby shower? These are big events and if you’re the person in charge, you can easily become overwhelmed.

For large-scale projects like these, there’s a process:

– First, figure out what you want the overall outcome to be or look like.

– Then, break the process down into manageable steps that don’t cause you to rip your hair out, have a mental breakdown, or slap somebody. I just planned a wedding – can you tell?

– Lastly, complete all those steps.

This process is the essence of micro-goal-setting.

Micro-goal-setting is a way to take large goals and break them down into tiny micro-goals that you can wrap your head around and realistically accomplish – in other words, working backwards. As you accomplish your micro-goals, you get closer and closer to achieving your ultimate goal!

It’s like putting together a 1000-piece puzzle. You start small, and eventually, bit by bit, the final picture comes into view.

Why is Micro-Goal-Setting Necessary?

Micro-goal-setting has saved my sanity, and I’m confident that it can help you too.

There are tons of benefits to micro-goal-setting. Here are a few:

 1. Keeps you grounded in the present.

Daydreaming about the future is inevitable and can be inspiring, too. But in excess, it’s a productivity-killer. The easiest way to waste your own time is to fall into the trap of thinking too much about the future without taking action in the present.

Setting micro-goals helps you focus on what you should be doing now to get you to later.

2. Prevents you from feeling overwhelmed.

There’s a saying that if your dream doesn’t scare you, you aren’t dreaming big enough. I can get with that.

On the other hand, if your dream scares you, that means you have fear. Although fear is normal, it can be overwhelming. The fear of embarrassment. The fear of failure. The fear of SUCCESS…

Setting micro-goals helps you work through your fear bit-by-bit so that you allow fear to move you forward instead of holding you back.

3. Gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Honestly one of the best parts of a to-do list is crossing stuff off of it!

Why? Idk, I’m not a psychologist, but I do know it feels great! Even if I forget to write something on my to do list, I’ll write it down just so I can mark a line through it.

A confidence boost never hurt anyone, and that’s exactly what you get each time you achieve one of your micro-goals.

4. Makes you feel capable.

This goes back to the fear that comes along with having a lofty mega-goal. You may feel like you can’t possibly achieve what you want to achieve.

Could you really open your own shop? Can you really grow your side hustle to the point where you make a full-time income? Could you really start an online business?

Yes, you can! And you’ll feel like you can accomplish your mega-goal once you start crushing your micro-goals.

5. Helps you manage multiple goals at once.

LZM is for multi-passionate millennials, which means you probably have multiple mega-goals, not just one.

Maybe you have mega-goals for your career and your personal life.

With micro-goals you can manage multiple larger goals more easily.

6. Helps you prioritize and stay organized.

Micro-goals help you keep track of what needs to be done and when.

Instead of focusing on things that aren’t as urgent or important at the time, you can set up your micro-goals to help you focus on what is most pressing.

I’m Sold! How Do I Become a Micro-Goal-Setting Guru?

Have you ever read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey? I read this book while I was in pharmacy school. The second habit habit has always stuck with me:

Begin with the end in mind.

This happens to also be the first and most important step in setting micro-goals so that you can maximize your productivity. You can’t set meaningful micro-goals if you have no idea what your mega-goal is.

Remember, the purpose of micro-goals is to help you ultimately reach your larger, long-term goal. In order to do that, you need to have an idea – even if its only a general idea – of what it is you ultimately want to accomplish.

An Example of How Micro-Goal-Setting Works

Say for example this is your mega-goal:

I will earn $1,000 through my own photography business in the first half of 2018.

Well, that’s awesome, but that’s also going to take a lot of work.

To make sure you’re successful and keep you motivated, you might need to set some smaller monthly goals, and then weekly goals, and then daily goals (aka micro-goals).

So what are the smaller monthly goals you could set to help you make 1K from photography?

Perform market research.

Develop a business plan.

Buy equipment.

Create a portfolio.

Network with other photographers.

Book clients.

These smaller goals help make sure you know what is required to accomplish your goal, but these steps are still high-level.

Your micro-goals will help you figure out what you need to do on a weekly & daily basis in order to make all of this happen.

This is where your timeline comes into play. You need to work backwards to figure out how you should divide these tasks in order to achieve your goal in the timeline you set.

This way, you can keep track of the progress you’re making, stay motivated, and prevent yourself from burning out or just saying screw it!

Micro-goal-setting is too much work. Isn’t there an easier way?

At the beginning of this post, I told you that micro-goal-setting saved me several strands of hair, but I didn’t say it was easy. It’s not easy but it’s also not as hard as it may sound.

he never said it would be easy, but you're a winner in the end.

– Maurette Brown Clark
It may take you some time to really think and brainstorm what it is that you want and how you can realistically make that happen. But once you get in the habit of setting micro-goals, you’ll actually free up more of your personal time and achieve your goals more efficiently.
I use to pride myself on being extremely productive. I had a great memory so I could always remember what I was supposed to be working on, and I could sit down and knock something out in one session. But after I had my son, all that went out the window.

Once I started intentionally setting micro-goal-setting, I was able to make time for my family, my full-time job, my blogs, and my other interests.

Now don’t get me wrong, I could still use another 5 hours in a day and at least another 2 days in the week, but the point is that I have time for my #adulting responsibilities and for my creative interests.

How will you take ownership of your time?