We idealize work-life balance as a state of equilibrium. It is not. It is a constant exercise and, like any exercise, it requires effort. When we look at a tightrope walker, for example, we see more than equilibrium; we see someone engaging core and leg muscles, sweating, and swinging their arms. The tightrope walker may even have some gear for support.

With this image in mind, we accept what we already know from experience: maintaining work-life balance is challenging. It is tiresome; sometimes we give and often we feel like we are one movement away from losing it. I’ve met…

Joshua Coleman — Unsplash

When it comes to setting priorities, there are two ways of arriving to them:

  • Top-down prioritization: In a blank page we define what is most important over this specific period of time and from this big picture, we break down the tasks of what we’re going to do every week.
  • Bottom-up prioritization: We unburden everything that’s on our minds by putting it on paper and, out of this list, we prioritize what is important over this specific period of time.

Each one of us has a preference for one of these approaches. Signs that you prefer top-down thinking is that…

Dayne Topkin from Unsplashed

Set a deadline and write a new goal when the time is up.

We all have the temptation of extending, or rolling over, our goals. The situation usually goes like this: we write a goal, we are at the deadline (if we set any at all), we have not achieved the goal but it is still important. In fact, just as we were getting close to the deadline, we started seeing progress.‍

This seems like the worst time to drop our goals. So, why write new ones?‍

Here are a few reasons for writing a new goal:

  1. We’ve changed: We…

woman looking up with dark classes
Photo by Tiffany Combs

We are often pulled in different directions when setting our goals. We feel that we should go big and be ambitious. At the same time, we want a goal that we can accomplish, a target we are able to hit. We are debate between these two extremes: the 10X go-to-the-moon and our task list of things to do. Neither of these extremes is helpful.

If a goal is so big that we don’t know how to start, we get demotivated and give up after the first try. …

I have seen teams enthusiastically craft their first set of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). But when it is time to score them, it is like pulling teeth. More on this later. Let’s start by looking at why you should score your OKRs and how to do it.

Scoring OKRs has two steps:

  1. Score each Key Result from 0 to 1.
  2. Obtain the Objective score from the average of the Key Results.


Scored OKR example

Objective: Get rid of our customer service backlogs [0.22]

  • KR: Decrease average response time from 7 days to 3 days [0.5] Note: The average is 5 days.

Magdalena Pire Schmidt

helloheron.com Founder | how-to-okr.com Partner

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