Being goal-oriented is a valuable personal quality that can produce impactful results in your career. No matter your level, job title or industry, it is important to learn the ability to navigate the process of setting goals, reviewing your progress and revising your strategy. In this article, we explore ways you can adopt a goal-oriented mindset and improve your skills to accomplish objectives.
What does being goal-oriented mean?
Being goal-oriented means you are focused on completing relevant tasks in order to achieve planned objectives. Also known as being task-driven or results-driven, someone who is goal-oriented uses targets to stay motivated in their work.
Goal-oriented professionals practice a variety of skills that allow them to set realistic goals, challenge simple objectives and track their progress. Some skills and qualities that help goal-oriented individuals succeed include:
- Planning and organization
- Time management
Tips for being goal-oriented in the workplace
You can improve your skills in setting and achieving goals by trying some new methods for organization, motivation and time management. Use these tips to help you be more goal-oriented at work:
1. Separate larger goals into smaller actions
After determining a goal and its timeline, schedule the actions you need to complete that task. You can try dividing the goal into stages and creating a sequence of actions to complete in order to achieve it.
This schedule can help you manage your daily to-do list and keep you working toward the goal. Divide every task into smaller, manageable portions that you can complete in a shorter amount of time.
2. Plan your time
Being goal-oriented means prioritizing and completing only the tasks that will help get you closer to reaching a certain objective. You can use a calendar, to-do list and digital reminders to keep track of your progress along the way. Here are a few additional ways you can plan your time around your goals:
- Select only a few tasks to complete each day
- Plan ahead
- Use tools
3. Organize tasks by priority
When you make a daily, weekly or monthly plan, try also noting which tasks you should complete first. Have a system that reminds you of what to work on in what order. You can organize by the due date, length of completion time, level of difficulty or any other way that can help you stay motivated and keep working on your goals. One good option is to prioritize your tasks first by urgency, then by complexity and time commitment—you might prefer to complete less complex, time-intensive tasks first.
4. Write everything down
For some people, writing information down on paper improves their ability to recall important items, such as tasks or larger goals. Digital calendars and lists are often convenient, but you can also try physically writing down your to-do list, thoughts and other goal-related information. You can use a notebook for work-related tasks and outlining your goals. There are also many types of physical planners that can help you stay organized and focused.
5. Try time-saving strategies
Staying productive throughout your workday is an important part of being goal-oriented. One way to do this is by making the most of your time such as completing small, simple tasks while you’re waiting for other items dependent on others to progress. It is also a good idea to take frequent, short breaks throughout your workday to maintain productivity.
6. Motivate yourself
You can increase your ability to follow through on short- and long-term plans by finding effective ways to motivate yourself. Try a blend of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to help you stay focused on your objectives.
Pay attention to the things that motivate you throughout your day, big or small, and integrate them into your workflow. For example, if you find that completing small tasks makes you feel accomplished and excited, set aside time each morning to do a short workout, read an interesting article or complete a small, light-lift task related to your job.
7. Develop productive habits
Think about what habits will help you achieve your goals, and make a plan for developing those habits into routines. These habits could include getting to work at a certain time every day or always replying to emails before you leave the office. Self-discipline can help you to use your time more effectively and improve your productivity.
8. Regularly track your progress
In addition to outlining your goals and prioritizing smaller tasks needed to achieve them, a necessary part of being goal-oriented is to regularly review your progress. You can schedule time at the end of every day or a specific time each week to evaluate your long- and short-term goals as well as the steps you’re taking to achieve them.
Develop a method for reviewing how effectively you’re completing tasks and how much progress you’ve made in reaching specific goals.
9. Find an accountability partner
Another way to stay focused on your tasks is to get an accountability partner to help you. Consider working together with a coworker, friend or family member to track each other’s progress and help motivate one another. Make a habit of quickly checking in with your accountability partner each day so you can update them on your progress or boost your motivation to keep working toward your goals.
10. Ask for constructive feedback
You can use your professional network to improve your goal-oriented approach by discussing task-completion processes and time-management methods with colleagues. Discover what your coworkers or other industry professionals use, including the habits they cultivate and the processes they follow. Consider implementing one of their strategies to further refine your process to become a more productive, goal-oriented employee.
Try to meet with your accountability partner every month or quarter to get feedback on your long-term goals and the steps you’ve outlined to achieve them. You can even provide them feedback on their goal strategies and perhaps find a new, objective perspective on your own.