Improve Your Personal Productivity by Careful Goal Setting

Setting goals is one of the most important activities that you can possibly do to raise your personal productivity. By having a predetermined end result you will find that your day-to-day activities will be much more focused. Once you’ve got a goal, you can instantly assess whether or not your current activities will contribute towards the achievement of it.

For example your goal may be to improve the productivity of your section by 13% in the next five months; acquiring five new customers every two months; being promoted to the next level before the end of the year or finishing another two papers in the next six months.

There are certain attributes that are contained within effective goals.

The goal must be demanding. This is the most important quality of the goal because it motivates us to do our very best. You’ll be surprised that when you set a demanding goal how easy it is to exceed it. It’s sometimes very easy to set lower goals.

The goal must be achievable. On the other hand, don’t make your goals unrealistically high because this will only lead to disappointment and frustration. This may cause you to give up. Goals that clearly cannot be reached, will destroy your morale and with it, your motivation.

The goal must be specific and able to be measured. If you have a vague goal you will never know when, or even if, you have achieved it. A goal such as, “To read more” is of little value. It is not a measurable goal because it doesn’t state how much you are going to read and what you were going to read. If you state your goal in the form of, “I am going to read the daily paper every day before going to work” it is much more specific and it is easy to measure. When you have a specific goal you have something to aim at and an easy way to know if you have succeeded.

The goal must have a deadline. The goal without a deadline does not provide the motivation to take it seriously. The deadline is an important function in goal setting. It provides a sense of urgency as well as a way of tracking progress. A deadline also puts the goal in context with the rest of your activities. These elements greatly increase the chance of the goal being achieved.

The goal must be written down. If you don’t write down the goal, you are not utilizing the well-known fact that we remember things that we write and say rather than the things we think. All serious goal setters write down their goals, tell other people about them and keep them visible so they can see them frequently.