Acknowledging Small Wins to Power Productivity

    2 min read time

    Most of us have big dreams and goals and it's fairly easy to visualize those wants. We know we need to create and take actionable steps, but actually DOING those steps is the hard part. 

    Achieving each task and then celebrating them has a big impact on your mood, energy and productivity — it’s one the most powerful ways to feel progress. Because we all have had setbacks in our days, and those setbacks tend to set the mood for the rest of the day, right? Who else has been there? 

    So why don't we do more achieving and celebrating? Well, our brains are prone to negativity - where you end up focusing too much on failures. Whereas when we power through and complete tasks, we are more motivated. 

    Tip: Always know what has been done, what is in process of getting done, and what can’t be completed. Tracking these metrics (just like you have KPI's for your company), is one of the best ways to prepare for the next day. Preparation and "knowing" decreases stress and encourages better work habits.

    Forward motion ALWAYS facilitates progress. Research from organizational psychologists state "a sense of incremental progress is more important to happiness than either a grand mission or financial incentives". WHOA! 

    First, as an employee, you need to take time to get excited about small things you've accomplished. Perhaps you took time to get up early and exercise or meditate, you felt compassion for yourself when you made a mistake, instead of beating yourself up or taking a break when you get tired, instead of pushing yourself in an unhealthy way. checklist

    And when you have a list of things that you've done (I LOVE checking things off of lists - and this is my favorite planner to do that with) you can see the amazing progress you have made! 

    Second, if you are a leader or business owner, you need to understand the power of progress, as it is fundamental to human nature and in boosting motivation. You have more influence over your employees than you realize, which includes their well-being, productivity and creativity.

    In a study by Harvard Business, they found that events that triggered a "good day" were steps of progress towards a personal or team goal - where steps forward occurred on 76% of people's "best-mood-days". So as a senior leader, you NEED to be encouraging your team and acknowledging their little wins. Don't always praise them when something big happens. You'll see the domino effect when you start to notice the small stuff - employees and team members will be happier and know that they are contributing to the greater cause of the company. We all want happy employees!


     Building self-confidence, boosting your mood, and energy and productivity is a process, not an event. So focus on celebrating progress and smart setbacks. Learn from them — extract failure value. Take a moment every day to acknowledge small steps forward and even recognize failures, when the effort was a good one.