Manage Time and Goals

In one sense, time management is about managing your goals. If you know what you want to achieve in the future, you can figure out how to use your time in order to get there. To help you get the right things done-that is, get where you want to go at work and in life-it’s important to line up your daily actions and your long-term goals.

Thus, the first step is setting the right longterm goals and then making sure your objectives and daily actions support those goals. A goal is a purpose toward which you direct your endeavors. For example, your goal could be to increase your company’s sales revenue by 15 percent. A soccer team’s goal might be to win the annual championship. Another goal might be to earn an MBA degree.

There’s an art to setting goals. The most effective goals are specific and measurable and should be motivating. If a goal is too vaguefor example, the resolution to make your firn1 the “best company in the world”-you will not be able to monitor your progress toward that goal, or even know whether or not you have achieved it. Does the “best company in the world” mean “greater sales than any other” or “a greater return on sales than any other company”? Does it mean that your employee of earning an MBA within 6 months is not realistic; getting the degree within 2 or 3 years is reasonable.

Assigning a reasonable amount of time for the completion of your goals is essential. Only if you’ve established a clear and realistic deadline will you be able to determine how to best accomplish that goal. How you define a long-term goal is, to some degree, up to you: Is it a goal you want to achieve in 5 years, 1 year, 6 months, or 3 months? Regardless of what that time frame is, strong time managers break down their long-term goals into objectives. If your long-term goal is to finish a particularly complex project