Getting Five-Year Plans To Daily Tasks

This is a quick note on a system that seems to work for me. The goal is to align what I do in the short term with where I want to be in the long term and keep track of my progress. Maybe this post helps people who aren’t happy with their current system.

  • Rough 5-year goals
  • Yearly OKRs/goals
  • Quarterly OKRs
  • Monthly areas & milestones
  • Projects and their next actions
  • A daily routine to work on these tasks (If you’re prone to procrastination try the Pomodoro Technique)

If you haven’t heard of OKRs (objectives and key results): It’s a tool Google uses to align company goals with personal goals and also goals across teams. Rick Klau gave an excellent talk on OKRs.

Ideally every task on your todo list moves you closer to finishing a project and every finished project gets you closer to achieving a key result. Which is a surefire way to reach an objective. Which is awesome.

The above list has three parts:

  • 5 years, yearly, quarterly is the strategy part.
  • Monthly milestones, projects and next actions is the planning part.
  • The daily routine is execution. This is important. Strategy and planning are only there to make sure you execute relentlessly into the right direction.

What I like about it

  • Objectives are qualitative and are the things that motivate you to work.
  • Key results are quantitative and give you a direction of how to achieve the objective.
  • OKRs also help to decide what not to work on.
  • All OKR people emphasize to only have a few objectives and key results each.
  • Retrospectively yearly OKRs show exactly what you have achieved during the year.
  • It’s flexible. You can change OKRs.
  • It’s not as bureaucratic as it looks.
  • The quarterly frequency is just perfect. Short enough to stay agile and long enough to get serious stuff done.


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