April 29, 2013

On Being SMART

People who are successful and/or get things done almost always use the SMART method to achieve their goals, sometimes without even knowing it. Ever heard of it?

It is quite simple and I really like it because it makes you work smarter, not harder.

In a nutshell:
S is for Specific
M is for Measurable
A is for Attainable
R is for Realistic/Relevant
T is for Time bound

For example, if your goal is to "get more work done this week", chances are you are not likely to make it happen...

Why? Let's put it through the SMART process:
. Is it specific? "more " doesn't really mean anything by itself
. Is it measurable? what is "more"? More than what exactly?
. Is it attainable? well, because you don't know what exactly you want to achieve, you can't tell!
. Is it realistic/relevant? ... same goes here
. Is it time bound? you get a sense that it has to happen this week, but by Friday? Saturday?

Even if you do "get more work done this week", you won't really get a sense of it and it won't feel as if you'd accomplished something meaningful.

A SMARTer goal would be: "Complete and list 5 new designs in the shop by Thursday." Put it through the SMART test and see for yourself: no problem going through.

"Get more work done this week" probably implies more than "Complete and list 5 new designs...", but by dividing your global goal into specific chunks, you get a clearer vision of what you have to achieve, what you have to focus on, how to organise your time to make it happen and be creative on about how you'll get there. It will also allow you to push it a little and maximize your potentiel - For example, would it possible to make 6 instead of 5? Would it be possible to try something out of my comfort zone design wise?

And remember to reward yourself everytime you reach a goal - be grateful to yourself as well!

I hope you'll give it a try. Have a wonderful SMART week,