Goals and Sub-Goals
By sub-goals we mean those small tasks that must be attended to in order to reach the main goal.
The problem with sub-goals is that once we get a sub-goal in our head they seem to expand in size and become this momentous task that becomes almost impossible to overcome; then strangely, once we get around to attacking these sub-goals they usually take much less time than we’ve already spent complaining and procrastinating about them. By sub-goals we mean those small tasks that must be attended to in order to reach the main goal. Some of these sub-goals that become sticking points can take just a few minutes of our time! Yes, the human being can be a strange creature indeed!
Translators, Do Any of These Sub-Goals Resonate with You?
- Resume updates and website updates often cause lots of problems for translators when it comes to achieving their goals. Simply having to update a resume because you’re pursuing a new specialization, or failing to implement a marketing plan because of an incomplete website, are just two enormous hurdles a translator might face. Both of these tasks take a relatively short amount of time, but in our head they become enormous tasks that require just too much time and effort.
- Small researching tasks can become the bane of a translator’s life. And it doesn’t really matter what the research involves, it’s simply making the time to do it. Whether you’re planning on outsourcing a task and need to start looking for applicants, or perhaps you’re thinking of hiring someone to help with your freelance translation business; these tasks can seem insurmountable, and so you carry on with your translation work and pretend these sub-goals don’t exist.
- Of course the most obvious sub-goals are those tasks that you totally dislike. For example, if you dislike accounting you could well be late in lodging your tax return simply because you failed to put your paperwork together for your accountant.
Ideas for Stopping This Self-Defeating Behaviour
The best way to stop ourselves from continuing with this self-defeating behaviour is to create a deadline for these sub-goals. The reason our sub-goals are not completed is because, unlike our regular work, there’s no time frame for them – the timeframe exists only in our heads. And, of course, when we’ve had a sub-goal on our list for a long time, it no longer has a sense of urgency about it. Create deadlines for these tasks, and more importantly, make yourself answerable and accountable to someone else - you’ll soon find that you’ll be completing all your sub-goals and in quick-smart time! By this we simply mean to ask a trusted colleague, friend or family member to check up on you – to make yourself answerable to them.
Another resolution to this problem can be to admit defeat and hire someone else to complete this sub-goal for you. It’s called outsourcing, and it can be the best business decision you ever make. True, it can be daunting handing control over to someone else, but once you’ve found the right person you’ll wonder why it took you so long!
And the final way to resolve this issue is to scrub the whole idea. What we mean by this is perhaps you’re not fully invested in trying to achieve a certain result, which makes a sub-goal a non-event. If you’re an overachiever you probably won’t like admitting that you’re no longer on a certain path, because this might make you feel like a failure; however, you must be really honest with yourself about your goals and therefore your sub-goals. If the overall project is no longer important to you, profitable, fun, or even relevant, then simply cross it off your list and let it go. There’s so much more fun and exciting stuff out there to really inspire you!
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