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How Goal Setting Increases Your Productivity

Posted By Guest Blogger 11th of January 2017 Be Productive 0 Comments

How Goal Setting Increases Your Productivity | Tips on ProBlogger.net

By ProBlogger Expert Nicole Avery of Planning With Kids.

Back in 2013 the founder of this blog, Darren Rowse, tweeted a question asking Problogger followers to share the biggest challenge that they face as a blogger. I think the majority of us can guess what the most common challenge was. You guessed it! It was time, or more specifically: finding time to blog or having enough time to blog.

I am sure Darren could ask this question again in 2017 and he would gain a similar response. Do a quick search for “time management tips for bloggers” and you could spend days reading about tips on how to get more done in your blogging day.

While these types of time management tips can certainly help, they will only get you so far. To truly increase your productivity you need to really understand what you are working towards, that is – what is your goal?

Goal-setting is a key tool to increase productivity and there are numerous studies to show the significant impact goal setting can have. This study by Asmus, Karl,Mohnen and Reinhart found:

“even without financial incentives goal-setting improves worker performance by 12 to 15% compared to the situation where no goals were defined.”

But there is more to it than just setting a goal and wishing for the best. Edwin A Locke, who is frequently referred to as one of the godfathers of goal setting, summarised 30 years of research by himself and others in a paper called Motivation through conscious goal setting, and it provides excellent advice on how we can set goals to increase our productivity.

The more difficult the goal, the greater the achievement.

When setting a goal for yourself, we have all heard the advice of making it achievable and this is something I also agree with. However it can be very easy to set a goal that is achievable and doesn’t actually challenge us. Under those circumstances there is not necessarily any pressure to work as productively as we are capable of.

Setting a goal that is achievable but difficult pushes us to focus our attention on the goal, minimise distractions and look for the most efficient ways to complete our tasks. It is similar to Parkison’s Law which states “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

The more specific or explicit the goal, the more precisely performance is regulated.

To be able to impact positively on your productivity your goal needs to be specific and clear. A specific goal can be your decision-making framework; helping you determine where you allocate the time you do have available for blogging.

You may have a goal to “write an e-book in 2017” which will tick the first box in being achievable, but it needs further definition to add specificity and clarity. The goal could instead be framed as “write for the first hour of each work day to complete my e-book by June 2017”.

A goal framed in this way not only tells you what your want the output to be, but it tells you how to do it. So many of us lose time each day procrastinating over what to start work on, losing precious minutes deciding what to do. With a goal like this, your decision is made for you and you can just get to work.

Commitment to goals is most critical, when goals are specific and difficult.

Stating your goal isn’t enough to ensure you will work efficiently towards it, you need to be fully committed to your goal, especially if it is going to be a challenge. Your goal will need to align with your values and be something that you consider to be of worth to work on.

If you are simply choosing a goal like writing an e-book or launching a podcast because that is the current trend in the blogosphere, your commitment to it may not be strong enough to get you through the hard slog it will take to achieve your goal. We are also far more likely to procrastinate and become distracted by social media or urgent but not important tasks, if we are not committed to our chosen goal, which dramatically reduces productivity.

Goal setting is most effective when there is feedback

When you set a goal that is measurable, you will be able to obtain feedback along the way as to how you are progressing. Setting up a tracking and review process so you can monitor the feedback can motivate you to alter your work practices as needed.

In the example of writing an e-book, creating a simple spreadsheet to track how many words you write in each one-hour session and dot point notes on the quality, surroundings, mood of the session etc, can help you track how productive you have been.

You can use trends observed through this to increase your productivity. You may see that your best sessions occur when you work offline, with headphones on and coffee in hand. Replicating your best working conditions each day would be one easy way to increase your output.

Goals stimulate planning

Planning isn’t something that comes naturally to all bloggers, but if you have set yourself a challenging goal, there is a consequential pull to start planning how you will achieve it. With a plan in had to act upon, you will always be more productive than running blind.

Breaking down a sizeable project into work duration chunks will prevent the feeling of overwhelm that can come with a challenge goal. If you have allocated time on an hourly basis to your goal like in this example, break the work down into hourly chunks. This can become your plan you work to each day, saving you time as you know exactly what task you have to complete in your allotted time.

Have you set a goal for 2017?

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  1. Good inspiring article for start of the year. Hope the goal will last longer than a gym membership:)

  2. Definitely goal setting increases your blogging productivity.

    Just make sure to have SMART goals that are time specific. There’s no point in setting a goal for next 5 years that won’t excite you.

    Keep your goals to the now factor and focus on what you have to do in the next week, in the next day, next month etc and you will be curious enough to achieve them.

    Also reward yourself when you are setting goals. Focus on celebrating even the tiny successes and that’s how you reach goals.

    Great post!

  3. Thank you! I liked the way you worded this information so even a newbie can understand the process. Great information looking forward to more of the same.

  4. I thought myself time management one day when I was doing the dishes at my house. Now I’m doing things more productively and it thought me how to how to set goals for myself. Because I am a beginner blogger I set my goal to make one blog post per day. I am up to 70 at the moment I’m looking forward to my 100th blog post.

  5. Hi,

    Its really an inspirational one!! but hard work is also a requirement. Thank You for Posting

  6. I’m amazed that by setting a goal and then monitoring your performance against that goal you can improve performance by 12 – 15%. I guess it comes back to thinking rationally and focusing on what the key issues are for your blog/business. If you then focus on achieving those aims you are probably more likely to perform better overall.

    I also like the idea of breaking those goals down into manageable chunks as it is easy to become overwhelmed with a goal if you don’t have a reasonably defined path in terms of how you intend to achieve it.

  7. Hey Nicole,

    Any kind of businesses whether online or offline they requires motivated and productive employees. Goals are everywhere in human life and organizations. In our private life we set goals for saving money and losing weight. At work, we may face sales goals, project milestones and production goals. Goal setting has consistently shown that goals affect our behavior and that, if chosen wisely, goals can boost individual productivity.

    Goal setting becomes especially tricky in complex working situations. In simple work environments, where output is determined by a single measurable input and where chances for adverse behavior are low, goals are both easy and effective.
    Setting goals is really a easy part and once you include in business strategies it absolutely helpful for time management system – exactly shows positive consequences. Eventually, thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  8. Thank you for the motivation. I can not tell you how productive I have become by setting frequent goals – no matter if they’re big or small.

  9. Goal setting is ideally the biggest motivator for any blogger. It is something which keeps you focused and determined to give your best and achieve the best. If each blogger has a goal and are working for it then it can surely increase their productivity and hence bring desired results in the long run. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Yes, you are right. Goal setting stimulates actions.

    I usually set goals for my blog at the beginning of the month and break down the goals into smaller portions at Night before going to sleep.

    When I wake up and the morning, the first thing I do after prayers is to pick up my phone and check the goals for today and start working towards it immediately. No time for procrastination (was my biggest problem). This has helped me greatly.

    Find out what triggers you to take actions and stay away from things that take away your time without productivity.

  11. Truely Said, Goal setting is a essential thing to get started with you goal and setting a goal itself become the greatest motivator when it comes to achieving what you aspire. I loved reading this amazing article. TRUELY MOTIVATIONAL

  12. Hi Nocole

    I have to say we always rush behind a target of we set it or we just keep crawling like a turtle.

    Well read

    Thanks a lot.

  13. Nicole,
    I like your concluding question especially!
    Yes I’ve set “a” goal for this year. I.e. growing my total nooblog. I think that’s a lot already and we often fail to focus our best attention on what matters most by making too many goals…thank you for this useful post!
    I just overviewed your beautiful green website!!!

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