098: Balancing Immediate Needs vs. Long-Term Goals


At work, there is a constant balance between checking off the daily to-do list of immediate needs, and planning for long-term goals. Often, the daily needs take over, especially in the security guard industry.

When something goes wrong, and things will inevitably go wrong, it’s you that has to address the issue. So you're constantly hiring security guards, managing new proposals, updating old post orders, conducting post inspections, reprimanding under-performing officers, making sure every site is staffed, processing payroll, and so much more.

There is a tremendous mount on your plate, but f you ever want to grow, you have to focus on long-term goals. You'll have to take time out each week to work on your business rather than working in your business.

This article is inspired by a conversation I've been having with a security company in Atlanta, Georgia for the past 5-6 months. I have talked to this company once or twice a month during that time and they have verbally admitted o how inefficient and time consuming their current operation is operating. They tried Silvertrac and decided to use guard management software to eliminate all handwritten reports and improve guard accountability.

But every time we've tried to begin the onboarding process they have had payroll emergencies, employees quite, customers upset, and other issues that distract from the long-term goal of the company.

Are these important problems to handle? Of course! But all of these issues could be solved by implementing a more efficient guard management and reporting solution.

So, here are four ways to balance those immediate needs vs. the long-term goals.

  1. Name the immediate issues and the future issues into two separate buckets. Put every day things that have to get done on one list, and other things you'd love to improve in a separate list. For example, an every day task would be making sure all new employees are trained, and a long-term goal would be improving your hiring process to always attract better officers.
  2. Decide how much overall time to devote to these immediate needs vs. long-term goals. Perhaps you could devote Friday afternoon to strategy. If you have an idea of how long (or how many hours) a goal would take to achieve, you could divide the hours into weeks and work on a little each week.
  3. Divide your weekly schedule into activities that satisfy immediate needs vs long-term goals. This depends on your working style. You may do better with a daily schedule, or working on immediate needs in the morning, and long-term goals in the afternoon. Either way, planning is the key here, and of course, sticking to the plan.
  4. Check your progress. We need something to keep ourselves accountable. To do this, check your progress each day, each week, and each month. On a daily basis, you've got to get the immediate needs met. Each week, make sure there is a balance between immediate needs and long-term goals. On a monthly basis, make sure you are making progress with your long-term objectives. This is when you can also adjust your timeline accordingly.

By planning these long-term goals and tackling them in smaller chunks, you'll get closer to accomplishing them, even if it takes a little bit more time. Make these goals a priority, and before you know it, you'll be working on your next goal.

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Chris Anderson

Chris is the founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with clients daily to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing. Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.