The Secret to Getting Things Done

Quick Insight

Stating when and where you will perform a task greatly increases the odds you will perform the task.

One simple little missed step may be preventing you from achieving your goals. 

Multiple experiments have asked participants to accomplish a task. In each of these experiments, one group (we’ll call Group 1) was asked to specify when and where they intended to do the task. The rest of the participants (we’ll call Group 2) were not asked to do this. Here’s the percentage of people that accomplished the task in each experiment.

  • Experiment 1: 75% of Group 1 achieved the goal. 33% of Group 2 did.
  • Experiment 2: Almost 100% of Group 1 achieved the goal. 53% of Group 2 did.
  • Experiment 3: 91% of Group 1 achieved the goal. 29% - 39% of Group 2 did. 
  • Experiment 4: 80% of Group 1 achieved the goal. None of Group 2 did.

(Source: p. 175-176 of The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz)

That’s powerful evidence that simply stating when and where you will perform a task greatly increases the odds you will perform the task. 

I wish you success in completing tasks and achieving your goals. I wish you well.

- Rob Stephens

Further Insight

CFO Perspective Resources

  • Free Download: Objectives and Tasks Worksheet - The worksheet will help you map out your quarterly objectives (a.k.a. goals) and the tasks to achieve those objectives.
  • Course: ACE - Strategic Planning for Small Businesses - Small business strategic planning should quickly lead you from defining where you are going to deciding how to get there. Getting there takes a well-built strategy and implementation plan. Get planning and management tools with the basics of how to use them.
  • Course: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) - What performance secret can you learn from Google, Intel, and Intuit? Objectives and Key Results, also known as OKRs, have become very popular for improving company performance. OKRs can improve focus, engagement, innovation, and performance. I'll walk you step-by-step through how to implement OKRs at your company.

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