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It’s very easy to be unproductive. And it’s difficult to know where we’re going if we don’t have any direction. We are huge advocates of creating a future vision for your small business, and doing regular goal setting and planning to accompany that. Why? Because goal setting improves productivity hugely.

Goal setting is a bit like a road map. Even if you have that vision, if you don’t set the goals you need to get there, it’s a lot less likely to actually happen. But setting the goals is just the first bit. Obviously there needs to be follow through. And most of the goals we set are more like very big projects that have a lot of journey goals along the way.

The correct procedures are key to making sure that goal setting improves productivity too. Many people fall foul to procrastination due to setting enormous goals and then not knowing where to start.

In this next blog in our productivity series, here are our goal setting tips to help you turn the goals into action and get things done!

1. Does your goal challenge you enough?

Sometimes people criticise goals that are ‘too big”. However, beware of making it too easy because that can be demotivating. With any goal, you want a mix of excitement with an edge of being a bit scared! Of course you want to know that if you really get your head down and push through, you can do it. But equally, you don’t want a goal that you know is easy and completely within your comfort zone.

2. Be very specific about what you want to achieve

Making your goals clearer is much better for productivity. For instance, if you said ‘I want to write my book by the end of the year‘, you know what you want and by when, but there are still a lot of fuzzy edges and lack of clarity. Perhaps a better goal would be ‘I will spend 2 hours every week day morning writing my book in order to have it finished by December 20th’. This gives more focus to the goal. It already starts to tell you what structure and systems you need in place to make it happen.

3. Create the right habits to achieve your goals

You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.

James Clear

I’m a big fan of  the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. His theory is that we can set all the goals we want, but if we don’t have the right habits and systems in place, we’re going to find achieving them tough. So, what new habits or systems do you need in place to create the change you want to see?

4. Make sure your goal is the right one

Does it align with your values? Is it definitely what you want? Often people say “I’ve set my goals, I know what I need to do, but I’m just not doing it” and sometimes the reason is that the goal is not right and will not take them in the direction they really want to go. Knowing our values and what is important to us is so important. When your know your values, decision making and goal setting becomes easier because you can check in that they align with your values. If you feel comfortable with your goals they help your productivity rather than hinder it.

5. Measure your progress

Your goals can always seem a long way off if you don’t have any way of measuring your progress. How will you know if you are making progress? What are the results you’re looking to achieve? Monitoring this and seeing your progress as it happens is huge for future productivity.

6. Do regular reviewing and planning

Don’t just set your goals and insist that they stay the same. You may have to adjust along the way and that is fine and healthy. It can actually aid productivity when you do this because it refreshes things and ensures you’re keeping aligned with your values and your future vision. Don’t be scared of change.

As these tips have hopefully demonstrated, goal setting improves productivity significantly, and it can be instrumental in helping you to be more efficient and effective in whatever you’re working on. So we challenge you – put some of these tips into action, and see what difference it makes. Don’t forget to report back and let us know!