Smart Goals For Personal Productivity

People often fail to achieve their goals, and one of the biggest reasons is that they had started out on a wrong goal in the first place. Philosophically speaking, no man should be told that a goal is unreachable for him, however when you are a valuable resource in an organization that depends on your healthy contribution for its development, it’s imperative that you start off on the right note. In other words, you should make sure that your goal is a SMART one.

SMART stands for −

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timely

Specific Goals

As an employee, simply being told to improve performance is not sufficient. The employee should ask for specific instructions on what he is expected to do to get his performances up. Every instruction should be precise and the employee should have a clear understanding of the expectation from him. His job description should be explained to him clearly without leaving any scope for ambiguity.

Measurable Goals

If goals can’t be measured, then they can’t be monitored. Even authors divide their write-ups into the different sections to let the publishers know at what stage they are currently in the drafting process. An employee should design his goals in such a way that they are empirical in nature, so that he can see the numbers and gauge his progress.

Attainable Goals

If a goal is impossible for an employee to achieve, then he starts off on a negative foot, which doesn’t let him operate at his peak. This is because he feels defeated inside, and feels no way convinced that he can achieve this target. Because he knows that he will be facing backlash at the review no matter how hard he tried, he will more likely give up any serious efforts. As a result of this, the quality of work deteriorates and a negativity spreads all over the workplace.

Realistic Goals

The difference between attainable goals and realistic goals is that attainable goals describe those goals that an employee feels he can achieve while working at his potential, whereas realistic goals are those that an employee believes that he can achieve because it’s his area of expertise.

Most of the times, the employees are expected to be of a “know it all, do it all” type. Managers wrongly call it “career growth”, however, they tend to forget that a jack of all trades is often a master of none, and if they need people with a specific set of skill-sets to work at their peak, then they should be asked to do jobs where their talent is utilized so that they are confident about their performance and the management gets their best services.

Timely Goals

Goals should be achieved within a time-frame. The reason people create goals is they feel that the getting work completed within this time frame is going to get them profit at a later stage. Even in day to day life, a man makes a monthly goal of saving a fixed sum of money so that it can help him in Medicaid and stuff later. This helps us realize that if a goal isn’t achieved in a particular time-frame, then it loses significance.

Timely Goals

Once a person has decided on what he is expected to do in his job, it’s time to monitor his results himself. This is effective not only in checking his performance, but also in seeing whether a particular strategy is actually delivering the results. If not, then managers can make the changes that they feel are necessary to bring the strategy to right footing.

Checklist of areas for employees to monitor

  • Were the team goals achieved?
  • Were the personal goals achieved?
  • Was the time taken to achieve the goals within deadlines?
  • What was the feedback from managers on this project?
  • What is the Profit vs. Loss curve on the project?
  • Was the response of the management timely and effective?