You’re Probably Measuring Your Progress Incorrectly: Here’s How To Fix That
As of this moment, you may have several personal and professional objectives on the horizon. Maybe you’ve already started working towards some of them, while others are still in development.
If you’re like most people, you’re trying to track the amount of progress you’re making towards these goals. You may have framed your targets along these lines:
- How can I make 20% more money this year?
- Will I find the right person to marry in the next year?
- Can I read 3 more books a month?
This, or some version of this mechanic is what you’re probably employing right now. There’s something common about all three of those questions…
They’re all predictions about the future.
We all do this in one way or another. We set some arbitrary goals for ourselves, and then we try to peer into the future and try to establish timelines and feasibility.
There’s a fatal flaw to this method – the future is unknown. Since it is unknown, the number of variables that may interact with your progress is unknown. This is why a lot of people hit a wall when they’re trying to see if they’re making progress.
You start doing something, and it doesn’t work. But why? You don’t know, because your answers are out there in the infinite space of the future.
There’s a cleaner, more efficient way to track progress.
Measure the past, not the future
Pick an area of your life – business, health, relationships. Then, sit down and map out the key metrics for these areas. For example, if you have an online business, your key metrics to track might be:
- Conversion Rates
- Social Shares
Once you’ve looked at these metrics, you can gain a clear understanding of whether you’re moving in the right direction. Every week or so, come back and track these metrics. You’ll have actual data to guide your decisions. Setting a time to track the metrics is important as well, as we've already established how easy it is to fall out of rhythm.
There are a lot of advantages to this backward-facing tracking approach.
- You notice patterns and routines that you were missing.
One of the major keys to building new, productive habits is to have keen awareness of what you’re doing currently. If you’ve been stuck in a pattern for a long time, it may have become invisible to you.
By measuring your progress backwards, you are forced to take note of your day-to-day actions. You can’t rationalize putting off that important website upgrade anymore. You understand that you’re spending too much time on unproductive activities.
- You create a powerful feedback loop.
When you’re making progress, coming back to your weekly review will become a thing of joy. Seeing physical evidence that you’re doing better this week than you were the last will activate the reward mechanisms in your brain and help you to keep going. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely and often frustrating journey, so it’s great to have a system that helps you track how well you’re doing.
Progress can be a moving target, and optimizing for progress alone can hurt your chances in the long run. If you’re not tracking the metric that is actually going to make or break things for you, you might feel like you’re not making any progress at all.
As a result, you need a system that can track your progress in real-time and give you historical data so you can see how things are getting better over the long term. If you’re currently stuck, and feel like you’re putting long hours into your project but nothing’s coming out of it, here’s what you can do.
- Make a note of every single trackable or tangible aspect of the goal or project. Everything you can track, begin tracking.
- Update each aspect of your list at the end of each work day. Log in the day’s meals, tasks etc.
- At the end of the week, come back and examine each aspect. What’s going well? What isn’t?
You may also have a situation where all the metrics you’re tracking are trending in the right direction, but it isn’t translating to more sales or profit. This means, that you haven’t been tracking the key variable to your success! Maybe your traffic numbers are good, but your sales copy isn’t good enough. Maybe your product page is too hard to find from the landing page.
Measuring progress in this manner is a powerful tool that will create compounding benefits over time. Just like Dubsado – the more time you save, the more time you have to create income-producing activities, which in turn frees up even more of your time! Give it a go, we promise you’ll love it.