August 15, 2020 · Potpourri

One Minute Goals

I recently read the book The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, and I had some really interesting takeaways for my own job. I expected to learn about being an effective manager, but I actually learned even more about how to be an effective employee and start the journey of self-managing.

What is a One Minute Goal

A one minute goal is very simple and has helped me work effectively,  focused and cut down on my wasted time these last few months. A one minute goal is a written down goal that should take no longer than a minute to read. The point of having it written down and being short to read is two fold.
1) You have to keep it focused since you have limited space to write the goal.
2) They can be easily refer back to at anytime, and remind you the bigger picture and goals by and large.

Why One Minute Goals?

Working in any job can be complicated, and staying focused on your goals can be challenging when work life gets frantic. As a QE consultant I have definitively worked on something I thought was important to my project when in actuality it wasn't important at all. Creating one minute goals and having a manager review them can minimize this risk.

A one minute goal ideally should be created by yourself and reviewed with your manager/lead. You can easily check all of your one minute goals every day to ensure you are constantly working towards your goals, and minimizing time spent on unimportant tasks.

My Use of One Minute Goals

I have been using one minute goals on my latest consulting project, and this has helped me immensely over the past few months. The project is very large and has so many moving pieces that context switching became a real issue. I was trying to create checklists and take notes about my progress but everything just didn't work out well. My checklists became huge as putting a checklist item was either over simplifying it making it very large and hard to read.

I switched to 3-5 one minute goals a sprint, and I have been way more effective and happy with my work output. I share my goals with my test lead on the first day of sprint, and begin creating my estimated tasks around them. Every task I make can be tied directly to one of my one minute goals allowing me to refence back to a larger goal easily.

Final Recommendation

I would recommend not only reading The New One Minute Manager, but also trying out one minute goals. They have improved my day to day work output, and helped me stay focused on the bigger picture. One minute goals has saved me lots of confusion and time wasted on evaluation. One minute really does go a long way.

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