After you graduate from college and join the workforce, you will begin to develop your own unique workflow. While this workflow will be shaped in part by your preferences, it will also depend on the nature of your work and your company’s deadlines.
You will be accountable for working within these parameters, so you must find a consistent, comfortable workflow that maximizes your productivity and meets your company’s standards. By using the SMART goals program as a guide, you can develop a workflow that is beneficial to both you and your employer.
The SMART Goals Program
SMART is an acronym for a process developed initially as a project management technique and used in advanced business degree programs. Under this method, you will develop meaningful goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. These goals will serve as a guide for your workflow, thus allowing you to identify areas where you fall short along the way, as well as those areas where you are consistently hitting the mark.
Setting SMART Goals
To develop a workflow based on SMART goals, you must make sure that each goal is:
- Specific. Goals that are too general can be confusing and overwhelming. In some cases, general goals may also cause you to miss important steps or forget about tasks entirely. As you define your goals, make sure that you consider each of your projects in its entirety. Determine the nature and duration of your tasks, and plan separate, specific goals for each one.
- Measurable. When you set your goals, make sure that they are easily measured. At any given time, you should be able to analyze your goal and determine how close you are to completion.
- Attainable. Don’t set goals that are impossible to reach. Doing so will only discourage you. Instead, make sure that your goals are challenging enough to keep you on your toes, but not so difficult that you won’t be able to accomplish them.
- Relevant. As you define each goal, ask yourself whether it is helping you move toward the completion of the project. You should also make sure that you order your goals so that the most important tasks are completed first.
- Timely. Each of your goals should have a specific deadline. Defining a timeframe for each goal will allow you to evaluate your progress along the way, and it will ensure that you complete every project on time.
Know When to Make Changes
If your use of the SMART goals provides you with solid evidence that your project or goal is unrealistic, unattainable or no longer meets the demands of your company, you’ve wisely used your time in getting to that point. However, any further effort or resource spent will be a waste. When you use the SMART program effectively, you will know when to call it quits on a goal that isn’t serving its purpose.
Developing a consistent workflow is one of the best things you can do to establish yourself as an effective employee. By utilizing the SMART program to define your goals, you can improve your productivity, reduce your work-related anxiety and meet all of your employer’s deadlines.
Do you use SMART goals program while goal-setting? Share your experiences in the comments below!
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For setting and getting SMART goals, you may want to check out a goal setting app called http://GoalsOnTrack.com, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate.
Really love the blog. It’s adorable!
Hello there, that is some awesome advice you gave there. I think that people are simple caught up in being stuck and do a lot of time wasting activity to seem busy. What you have advised on being more productive can really help. Your SMART goal setting concept is very good,great post.
Planning is critical. we work with cancer sufferers, people battling depression and people needing serious motivation and having a good plan is so important.
Hi! Definitely SMART principals help to define task more clear. And no doubts, well defined task or project is really first step to a success. Quite often we are in hurry to start doing stuff before we define clear expectations. There are many examples we can find particularly in IT projects, when loose defined requirements lead to project failure. That is why it is not only important to define a task, but also have clear description on how we see success. It may be done in form of statements or KPIs to measure results.
If we speak on tools on task or project management, many of them do not provide simple or clear means for task definition or provide very generic one. E.g. MS project has it in quite indirect form, we can use task definition line for the task itself, of course, but expectations or more detailed description are to be placed somewhere in comments to a task. To share my experience on this point, I use VisioTask for my daily tasks management, which allows me to define task clearly on the first go. At the end of the day, well defined task lead to fewer actions (no need to make corrections) and, thus, to our personal productivity. And that what we need. See you around. F.
Ah, yes, for quick reference, check the site http://www.visiotask.com.