Always focusing on small wins has one danger – that you might be in a
Continuous Spiral Syndrome trap. It feels like you are winning in the
short term but in the long run you may be losing out. On the other
hand, just focusing on home runs (big wins) also has a danger that if
there is no sign of measurable progress in reasonable time you might
get disillusioned and give up.
So one approach is to take the middle ground and have a balance in the
projects that you are working on – may be one project that is in the
“home run” category and a few projects that are in the “small wins”
We can do a quick exercise and try to see if there is any balance. List
out all the projects that you are working on today on a sheet of paper.
Take another sheet and create two columns
Home Runs | Small Wins
Now put each of the projects that you are working on in one of the
categories. No need to analyze this to the nth degree. When I did this
exercise with a friend, the first question he asked me was “I have some
projects that are in the small wins category but if I complete them
all, I will have a home run.” The answer was to not think too much and
put this in the “Small wins” category. If you are confused on any
project, go with your gut and put it in the category that you feel most
appropriate. You won’t be scored on this test.
Once you complete the listing, take a look and see if there is a
balance. You can come up with your own ratio (let’s say for every “home
run” project, there should be at least 5 “small win” projects)
If there is no balance, time to act –
look at all your projects, re-prioritize and shuffle around until you
are happy with the distribution.