Use the easy wins to build momentum

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Turning in a cooking daily

We humans are funny creatures. We’re inspired by challenges, but oftentimes, if the challenge looms too large, we may choose not to tackle it at all. This is why the easy win is so vital to our ongoing success.

For example, in World of Warcraft, one of the challenges is to get your character equipped with the best gear possible. Doing this takes a very, very long time – in order to be fully geared, you need 22,250 valor points. Getting valor points requires you to participate in a variety of different activities that award anywhere from 5-80 valor points. On average, you earn about 2 valor points per minute of activity, give or take. That means that fully gearing your character would take about 185 hours of play time.

You can see how that might be a bit daunting. However, some activities are significantly easier than others. They award very low numbers of valor points, but their time and mental energy commitments are significantly lower as well. For example, running a heroic dungeon earns about 80 valor points and takes about 40 minutes. Turning in a quest for a dish of braised tiger to a pandaren farmer takes about 2-4 minutes of killing a few tigers and cooking them. It’s a very easy win that earns 5 valor points.

Once you start to gain momentum, once you’ve got some valor points in the bank, then getting motivated to tackle the bigger challenges gets easier. For example, if you want a new piece of plate chest armor, it costs 2,250 valor points. If you’ve got zero, then that goal seems very far off and it’s tough to motivate yourself to even start. If you cook up dishes of braised tiger and other simple activities that net you 40-50 valor points a day, then after a week, you’ve got 350 valor points. Suddenly, 350/2250 looks like real progress. It motivates you. Your mind says, hey, I’m making some real progress here. Maybe I should go run a dungeon or a scenario. Maybe I should do some daily quests.

You need the easy wins to give yourself that starting momentum and to keep your momentum going, especially on the days when you don’t feel like stepping up to the bigger challenges immediately.

Here’s the question for you in your daily business and marketing practices: what are your daily easy wins? What are the small activities you can do that will keep you in the business game, help you make progress, and move you forward towards your goals? Make a list of the daily easy wins you can achieve, from inbox zero to writing a blog post, then use them to start your day and give it a momentum boost.

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