October 25, 2012 | Barb Carr

Career Development: 5 Quick Tips for Setting and Achieving Goals

A recent training session on planning and goal-setting refined my professional skills and refreshed my perspective on my goals. I thought I’d share a few goal-setting tips with you:

1.)  Work backward. After you’ve set a long-term goal (or you’re assigned a long-term task), write out each step that needs to occur in order to accomplish your larger task. Then, working backward from your main deadline, create a deadline for each step so that you stay on track.

2.)  Plan first. I spend the first hour of my week planning. If you don’t have much time, take 15 minutes before you answer e-mails or begin projects and simply write out your goals for the week and when/how you will accomplish them. I know one engineer who even spends the first 2-3 hours of his Monday planning the rest of the week, and it makes all the difference.

3.)  Prioritize. Use the Eisenhower grid (right) to decide what’s urgent and important. Accomplish your tasks in order of their number. This will help you plan your week.

4.)  Ask questions. If you need more information to complete your task, like deadlines or details,  consult your supervisor.  If the answers aren’t specific enough, simply suggest your own idea and ask for approval.

5.)  Know your energy levels, and schedule your week based on them. Do your most detail-oriented or creative tasks when your energy is high, and simpler tasks after lunch or on a Monday when most of us experience a lull. 

And here’s a bonus tip for you:

6.)  Get training. It’s the best way to get a break from the office while still working hard and learning a great deal. Our TapRooT® Summit is a great opportunity to sharpen your root cause expertise, network with great people, and return to work with fresh energy and ideas to make your workplace better than ever. Visit our Summit site for more info.

What are your best tips for setting and achieving your goals? Please share with us in the comments below!

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