4 tips for setting goals for work and planning for success
Ever had days where it feels like you didn’t achieve a thing? It’s not like you were slacking off. You may have even worked more than you usually do. But despite all that hard work, you don’t seem to have anything to show for it.
Fortunately, you also have days where you’re totally focused. You have a clear sense of direction from the word go, manage to complete everything on your to-do list, and leave the office with an immense feeling of achievement.
So what determines the kind of day you’ll have? How can you have more days where you’re totally focused and continually crossing items off your to-do list?
By setting yourself some work goals and planning for success.
But don’t just write a long list of everything you want to get accomplished. The trick to setting goals for work is to have them encourage you rather than discourage you. Here are four tips on how to set work goals that will leave you feeling empowered instead of run down.
Divide and conquer
One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting daily goals is having too many of them. Why put 35 items on your to-do list if you know you won’t have time to complete them? You’ll just feel bad for not having crossed them all off. You’re far better off limiting your list items so you can feel good about getting them all done.
In our team we limit ourselves to three daily goals. It might not seem like many, but when you factor in the myriad of distractions we face every day (phone calls, emails, meetings, discussions, etc.) it’s a sensible number. We all write down our three goals, and then focus on them exclusively throughout the day.
Plan your day before it starts
So now you have the idea: choose a few goals, write them down, and focus on them throughout the day. So where do you find the time to create your list of goals in the first place?
As strange as it sounds, the best time to plan your day is the night before. Before you go to sleep, think up a few important tasks/goals you want to achieve the following day. And then write them down.
You’ll have not only a better night’s sleep, but also a clear sense of direction at work the following day.
Start thinking long-term
Once you’ve become used to spending each night writing down your goals for the following day, try planning them out for the entire week.
To make it feel less daunting, give each day a theme and then create goals that match each of those themes. Monday’s theme might be internal meetings. Tuesday’s theme might be client follow-ups. Wednesday’s theme might be projects. And so on.
These themes can not only help you come up with your lists of goals, but also help build up momentum throughout the week to keep you enthusiastic and on track.
Keep yourself accountable
A great incentive to achieving your daily goals is to make yourself accountable. Our team has a daily huddle where we all share our key targets and goals to keep each other accountable, and it works really well. It also lets everyone see what each person is working on, adding a layer of accountability and focus to the entire team.
Setting goals is an important step towards achieving success. And by following these tips you’ll not only be setting those goals, but also achieving them—day after day after day.