Goal setting is the most effective tool to increase your productivity and most of our business community understands that if you want to achieve something worthwhile, then you need to have a goal. But is that all it takes? Well, not if you want to be truly productive that’s for sure!
Anyone can set a worthwhile goal, yet not be motivated by it. Just think about taking the rubbish bin out onto the kerb each week for collection … while it is a worthwhile goal, it is certainly not motivating. To be motivated to achieve your goals you need them to be challenging, specific and important. So, let’s look at these in more detail.
Challenging goals lead to intense focus
If we want a true sense of productivity and achievement, we need to set goals that challenge us. A goal that is difficult to achieve means we must focus harder on the goal. It also means that we must minimise all the distractions around us and to look for more innovative ways to achieve our desired results. Due to the difficulty of the goal, we feel a sense of healthy pressure to work as productively as we are capable of.
Specific goals aid decision making
To work productively you need to be clear and specific about your goals. You may have a goal to create a new Business Plan for the upcoming financial year, which could tick the box for being difficult. However, the goal needs further definition to be of any value to us. Instead, we could re-frame the goal as ‘work on my business for the first hour each morning to complete my Business Plan by the 1st of July 2017’. A goal framed this way not only tells us what the goal is, but how to achieve the goal as well. When your goal is this specific, you can just get on with the task at hand.
Goal importance promotes motivation
If you are selecting a goal because it is the ‘right thing’ to do or it is the latest trend, then it is highly unlikely that you will be productive while achieving your goal, nor motivated by it. The reason for this is because your commitment just won’t be strong enough to get you through the challenging workload it will take to achieve the goal. Your goal needs to be genuinely important to you and it needs to align with your values. If your goal doesn’t fit these criteria, yet you still feel that it needs to be accomplished, then perhaps it is simply a task that you should outsource?
When you set a goal that is difficult, specific and important it will increase your productivity and it will be something that when you look back on and be proud of both the outcome and the journey you took to achieve it.