Measuring can be scary. What if you’re not progressing?

But then again, what if you are?

How do you know? What are the metrics? How will define success? How will you know if you’ve reached it? When can you celebrate with a glass of champagne? When can you celebrate with the whole bottle?

If you’re not measuring, you’re just playing.

Do you not know what to measure? If it’s vague or confusing or just unknown, at least measure something. Measure something that you can–measure anything and see how you progress. Things like losing weight or running miles are easy to count. But if you’re trying to measure your progress with how much people like your new book, it might be more difficult to measure. But still, you can find ways.

If you’re a math geek like, ahem, some of us, measuring progress can even be fun! Just do something so you can see, over time, that some progress is being made. If you’re worried about not making any progress, consciously choose something that will be easy to measure and where you’re sure you’ll make progress. Cheating? Not at all. Progress is progress and you’ll get in the habit of collecting data, analyzing it, making predictions and alterations in the future strategy.

If you don’t know objectively that you’re progressing, then you can’t say that you are.

Here are just a few ideas to start simple.

  1. Start a spreadsheet. Keep it simple. Note the number of emails you read in an hour, the time you spend (waste?) on Facebook, TV, staring into weird websites.
  2. Use a countdown timer. How many days until the book launch? How many hours until you start your project?
  3. Research what others are measuring. Go read about what others in your field are doing. What are they reporting that they’re doing? What are they proud of?

Just give it a go, have a place where you keep these records, somewhere that’s easy to access and add to. Something you’ll actually use. Then use it.

  • Possible: Do.
  • Impossible: Progress without measuring.
  • Repossible: Do, Measure, Progress.
How do you know if you're progressing if you're not measuring? [colored stripes represent 1 lap in auction fun run for school]

How do you know if you’re progressing if you’re not measuring? [colored stripes represent 1 lap in auction fun run for school]