I was 14 or 15 when, finally, a martial arts club opened in the city I lived in. All of a sudden, we could go and become Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or Jean Claude Van Damme. Of course, it didn’t work like this, but something stayed with me since then: the belt system. A system of quick (sort of) wins that would keep you on your track of mastering martial arts.
I mean, isn’t it easier when you get a yellow belt after 6-12 months, showing your progress, rather than waiting years without any external sign of improvement?
I always thought quick wins are a cheap trick to keep you motivated. I thought you should be able to find intrinsic motivation in whatever you are doing and you shouldn’t care about anything else.
I still have the same belief: what you do should give you enough intrinsic motivation so that you can do whatever it is you’re doing even when it’s not as easy as you’d like. I changed my mind when it comes to quick wins, though.
You should make getting quick wins part of the process for your work (or any other activity). The quick wins shouldn’t be the purpose, but they DO help in tricking your brain to focus on work when you don’t feel like it.
How I do it?
During my normal work process I use some AGILE principles: I have daily and weekly targets.
What I do a little bit differently is having at least one of the weekly tasks (even daily, if possible) a fun one. Something I truly enjoy, even if it’s not the most effective use of my time.
The purpose of a quick win is not to move things forward, but to keep you moving forward.