Systems and Goals
Can you get to your goals without a system to get you there? Sure, but ask yourself this next question:
If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your systems, would you still get results?
Absolutely. That's not to say that goals are without value. Not at all. Strong planning and productivity systems have both goals and systems working hand-in-hand to get you the best results with the least effort.
Goals are great for planning your progress and systems are great for actually making progress. Both are necessary for solid results.
Let's use my total knee replacement recovery as an example:
After my tkr surgery I had a difficult time regaining my strength and my range of motion.
My first physiotherapist focused only on my goals (rebuilding my strength and increasing my range of motion). Success was measured only in whether or not my goals were achieved. There was little or no interest in how I was getting there and what I would do after I succeeded. Would I just stop exercising?
The second physiotherapist looked at my training from both a goal and a systems point of view and planned out a process for me to follow, showing me the route we would take to get me to my goals, what my success would look like, and where this process would take me in the future.
The results of my work with the second physiotherapist were two-fold. I met my goals and I have a long-term physical therapy plan in-hand to boot. Two for the price of one. Not bad.
Goals are about short-term results. Systems are about long-term process. Use them both to your full advantage when planning your projects and other productivity management processes.