7 Productivity Tips to Effectively Crush Your Goals

Sheet of paper covered with flow chart about goals

Goals are an important way to get things done. Whether it’s a modest one, like cleaning the house this weekend, or a larger one, like having a certain amount of money saved in a year or learning a new language, having goals keeps you motivated.

Effectively setting goals not only makes big goals achievable, but also helps you see them through from start to finish while keeping your sanity. You don’t have to go it alone, though, as we’ve compiled our favorite ways to set and stick to goals below.

Ready to crush those goals? Here’s how.

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Talk About Your Goals

It’s fairly easy to ignore a goal you’ve set for yourself if you’re the only one that knows about it. If all of your friends and family know you’re planning on learning a new language before vacation, it becomes a lot harder to flake out on that goal. Talking about your goals creates accountability, which basically means you’re too embarrassed to show everyone you missed your goal, so it’s less painful to just go ahead and achieve it.

Write Down Your Goals

Notebook with pens and typewriter on desk

The simplest and possibly most effective way to achieve your goals is to write them down. Something happens in our brains when we write something down that just doesn’t happen when it’s only thought about, or even typed. Writing by hand is visceral and makes ideas reality.

Track Work in a Journal

Speaking of writing goals down, you can take this idea one step further and keep a notebook or journal for recording your goals. Since setting goals is about more than just declaring something will be done, a journal helps keep you organized and focused on your goals.

Give each goal its own page and on that page record the goal’s title, the timeframe in which you want to complete it, and anything else related to your goal, including when it was achieved.

So what do you write about your goals? That’s what we’ll cover next.

Break It Down

Big goals are great, but if you don’t chunk them out into smaller pieces you might as well not set any goals at all. The only way to hit a big goal is to break it down into a list of smaller goals. For example, using the learning-a-language example, you’d first need to find and purchase the training, then figure out a schedule to learn on, and even landmark goals for reading and writing. It’s easy to let a goal slip past without breaking it down, so write down those smaller pieces in your goals journal.

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Review Goals Weekly

Overstuff leather journal

Since you have your goals in their own journal, it’s easy to look back at your current goals, see what you have active and get excited about the ones you’ve already completed. Without weekly review, your goals can quickly get away from you before you know it. Review your goals weekly to see what still needs to be done and what you’ve already achieved.

Work to Soundtracks

This tip is more about the actual working on your goals than setting or managing them. It’s well known that music can help you work, but the type of music you listen to plays a big part.

While you may search for your favorite album or genre, these can be distracting and actually make your work disjointed and slow. Instead, try listening to soundtracks while you work. We’re not talking about the ones that are just compiled music, but orchestral compositions like those from movies and even video games. This type of music is written to not be distracting and to keep you engaged with what you see on a screen – two perfect things for getting work done.

Know When to Adjust Goals

Wastebasket overflowing with crumpled paper
Just because you laid a goal out a certain way doesn’t mean it needs to continue that way. The best goals are adjustable and can be changed frequently. As long as you’re changing your goals based on feedback and what’s most important to you, it’s perfectly normal to change them from time to time. What you don’t want to do is make it OK to adjust your goals because you were lazy and didn’t get something done. In that case, just work harder and get things done.

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