A big goal does not need big effort on a day to day basis.
You need rigor in planning, consistency in execution and support in areas where you are not an expert. When you do this you can achieve your big goal even by working for 6 hours a day.
You don’t need to work 16 hours a day unless your big goal is a billion-dollar business.
How to Put It Into Practice
Are you are sitting on a big goal because you think that it will take too much time? Then you need to think again. Because if something is worth doing you should not leave it just because of the effort, it will take.
If I were in your place, here is how I would go about it.
I will write one page or less with the details of my big goal. Next, I’ll create a list of all that it will take to achieve my big goal – money, tech, people, etc.
I will then make a list of action items, followed by a page called ‘6-week work cycle’. I will break my action items (that fit into the 6-week work cycle) into 6 weekly goals and daily action.
You might have a day job, a business, or other responsibilities that already take most of your time. In that case, plan your 6-week work cycle, weekly goals, and daily action accordingly. Schedule what you can afford to do without putting too much pressure on yourself.
If you follow this plan then do not miss out on another important bit. Decide on a time and place – when and where you’ll work on your action items.
If your big goal is to write a book and you plan to do it in three 90-minute blocks per week then write where and when you’ll do it.
Something like: I will work on my book every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will work on it from 7 pm to 8.30pm sitting in Starbucks near my office. And on Saturdays I will work on it from 10.15 – 11.45 am in my bed.
Deciding this in advance will increase your chances of finishing what you plan. You can also plan 2-3 day long work sprints, to build the momentum. But work sprints are optional.
Go with this plan when you are in the validation phase.
Once you find the right goal, one where you are fine with investing 4-5 years, you can devote more time. Even then do not ignore recovery.
The fact is that you can chase big goals and grow by working 8 hours a day.
A director makes a masterpiece one take at a time. There is no reason you can’t use the same approach to build a business, write a book, lose weight, get a dream job or do anything else. Some will take months and other years. But you can do whatever you want to.
At the core is the idea that it takes time and effort to achieve big goals. But you can spread the effort and time and do it, across days, weeks, months and years – one day at a time.
Understanding this can open unforeseen gates of opportunity for you.