Last month we explored how critical passion is to achieving our goals and looked at some ways to identify and grow our passion. This month we’re going to learn a technique called “Cutting-in-Half.” Once you’ve got the passion part of the equation taken care of, and you know you have ownership of your goal, Cutting-in-Half is how you can easily break that big goal into smaller chunks so you know exactly what you need to do today, and every subsequent day, to make that goal happen.
Cutting-in-Half is effective with any kind of goal; professional or personal, and it works just like it sounds: by cutting the time to reach the goal in half. So if you’re looking at a year-long goal, you’re going to say: “Okay, here’s what I want to achieve by the end of this year, and here is what I need to have accomplished at the end of the next six months in order to be on track to achieve that year-end goal.” And then you simply continue cutting it in half by asking: “What do I need to have accomplished at the end of the next 90 days, and then 30 days (obviously, 30 is not half of 90, but it’s a breakdown people tend to readily accept mentally). Then we land at the big question of: “What do I need to do today in order to stay on track for my next 30 days, to stay on track for the next 90 days, for the 6 months, for the year? And that’s where you really want to get to here: to know exactly what you need to do today to make this a successful day so you can go into tomorrow with a clear head and make it another successful day, and so on.
I recently returned from a vacation with my family, one that involved a number of big, fun activities. Interestingly, when I look back at the trip it strikes me that the best part of it, especially in terms of the lasting benefits to our family, happened during the times "in-between" those activities.
For instance, we loved the evenings when we were just hanging out together in the condo where we stayed. And the simple, informal meals we made when we weren't going out for dinner were the best ones of all. Even the long car ride from the airport at the end of our trip prompted a great discussion that we won't forget anytime soon. It was during those "in-between" times when we had the best talks and grew as individuals and as a family.
Two people with the same level of skill and capabilities work in the same office. Let’s call them Bill and Nick. Both arrive at 9:00am and leave at 5:00pm.
Bill works without taking the slightest breather. He does various tasks at the same time and runs from meeting to meeting all day, as well as eats lunch at his desk. Sound familiar?
On the contrary, Nick works intensely for 90 minutes without stopping, then takes a 15 minute break before starting up again. At 12:15 he leaves for a 45 minute lunch and goes to a gym nearby. At 3:00pm he closes his eyes at his desk for a little nap, sometimes sleeping 15-20 minutes. Lastly, around 4:30pm he leaves the office for a 15 minute walk.