ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Ways to Work Smart

Updated on November 16, 2015

Introduction

I'm sure we all have days when somehow we feel really motivated to work, but I bet there are also days when working feels a bit of a drudge. Often that happens because we aren't really sure what we need to do and when that is the case it is very easy to procrastinate and put things off. As someone who runs their own business its important to keep up a steady work pace, after all if you are your own boss there isn't going to be anybody checking up on what you do or how much work you get through.

We all know there are some days when tasks can feel like a uphill struggle and other days when we sort of breeze through. But if you want each day to be manageable so that you keep up momentum, which is especially important if you run your own business, then make sure that you work SMART, its a great way to stay motivated and make sure you keep moving forward to achieve your goals

Specific

The S stands for specific. That is so important. Think about whether you are working or shopping or taking part in any purposeful activity - you need to be specific. Imagine you go shopping and you have no list, or even any idea of what you want to buy! Usually the actual purpose of shopping is to buy something - whether that is food for dinner or a birthday gift, it simply wouldn't happen unless at some point you were specific about your purpose. The same would apply to going to the gym, or planning a holiday, organising an outing or even cooking a meal.

The same is true ofr work. There may be an over arching purpose, some long term goal or dream you are chasing but if you want to be productive at work you need to be very specific about what your actual purpose is TODAY or this week. Think back to the last time you maybe frittered away time, checking facebook, surfing the net or just being very slow going about things, more often than not it's because there was nothing specific that you were working on. There may have been a ton of things to do but no one specific thing that you had determined to get finished.

So whether you like a daily 'to do' list or a weekly set of targets make sure that each day you have something very specific to work on. It needn't be just one thing some tasks take time and can be interspersed with other things but be careful to always have some specific actions to take and tasks to complete.

Measurable

Once you have been specific about what you want to achieve it is important to devise a way for it to be measurable. Its easy if it's things like, sending emails, writing copy for an advert, producing something tangible, but its harder if it things like networking.

Harder but still possible, if you are going to a network meeting to build your client list for example or perhaps to find someone to collaborate with on a joint venture, give yourself a measurable goal - so in this case perhaps talking to at least 5 people who'd be potential collaborators or clients.

If you are writing content for a blog or following up leads with sales calls then give your self a target that is measurable. If you do that you are much more likely to achieve it - when the clock starts ticking you will probably find you make sure you talk to one more person, or make one more call to ensure you don't fall short of what you have decided to measure.

We all like to track our progress and this can be very inspirational but if we haven't set our self any targets or goals that are measurable it is hard to actually see how far we have come.

Achievable AND Aspirational

I know that is two 'A's not one. Technically it should be achievable and that is important. If we constantly set ourselves things to do or goals to achieve that simply are not possible we will simply find we lose all motivation. So it is important that set ourselves targets and working patterns that are achievable. In the example of networking then speaking to 5 new people is very achievable, speaking to 30 (and having anything other than the most cursory of conversations) is probably not.

However for a lot of people talking to 5 new people might not be stretching so it is important too to try and be 'aspirational' when you are setting yourself goals and targets to achieve. An aspiration is a strong desire so when you are dreaming your dreams, dream big, then weigh it a little against the achievable scale. It's simple really if things are too easy and don't stretch us we can easily become de-motivated but if they seem to hard to achieve we also become de-motivated because things will always seem out of reach.

So strike a balance and set your self some goals or targets that are aspirational but still achievable.

Realistic

This may be a bit about you and what you 'do' but it is also about all the other things that can impact our work or business. When unexpected things turn up sometimes we need to work hard to keep on track with our progress, sometimes we even need to adjust things a bit. But when we set our targets it is important to be realistic.

Say I was wanting to get a book completed in super quick time - I could set myself the target of writing maybe 8 to 10 hours per day. In all likelihood though while I might be able to do this for one or two days it would not be sustainable. I would be exhausted after the first day. Being realistic would mean that whilst there may be fewer hours completed each day - it would be more sustainable and therefore a lot more realistic and in the end the project probably would actually get finished. Once again if aren't realistic and set ourselves things to do that are simply not going to happen we will end up feeling completely demotivated.


Timely

Even if you are specific and you set your sights on well worked out goals and targets that are specific, measurable, achievable (whilst being aspirational), and realistic if you don't put them within a time frame the chances are they may never happen.

Whether you are the sort of person that will complete a task the minute before the deadline or days before, the fact that there is a 'deadline' usually means that it does actually happen.

So make sure that you always set an appropriate time scale in which to achieve things. If you don't then don't worry the fact that you have set a deadline will mean that at least you are AWARE that time has passed and it hasn't been achieved as opposed to just drifting through being unaware of time passing.

Get Smart Now

So whether you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or an employee, beginning to approach each day by setting yourself some SMART targets will help you be more productive and successful.

Perhaps you are working hard on a hobby or craft project, or even striving to bring more organisation to you life the best way to see results is to work SMART. However daunting the task may seem, by approaching it in a way that is smart it will feel more manageable and you will be able to see progress as you keep working.

Note down the things you want to achieve, be specific, make sure the targets you set are measurable, achievable, but also aspirational, realistic and are timely. That way you are much more likely to stay motivated because you will see your progress and be more productive because you have a plan.

So go on get SMART now.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)