Ray Dalio’s book, Principles: Life and Work, is a non-stop treasure trove of wisdom. I was recently struck by the power of this quote: “People who see the tasks and lose sight of the goals will just describe the tasks that were done.” In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m going to share four ways you can align your tasks to your goals so that you don’t get caught in the daily pursuit of busy work and the tyranny of today.
Quotes from Principles: Life and Work:
“People who can see the goals are usually able to synthesize too. One way to test this: If you ask a high-level question like ‘How is goal XYZ going?’ a good answer will provide a synthesis up-front of how XYZ is going overall and, if needed, will support it by accounting for the tasks that were done to achieve it. People who see the tasks and lose sight of the goals will just describe the tasks that were done” (p. 469).
“Synthesis is the process of converting a lot of data into an accurate picture. The quality of your synthesis will determine the quality of your decision making” (p. 237).
Four Ways to Align Your Tasks to Your Goals:
- Avoid busy work whenever possible.
- Connect every task to a goal. (What are you bringing to life?)
- Invest in a system that allows you to see the big picture and the little details.
- Focus on the benefits (the outcomes), not just the features (the process).