In Recruitment, we work with targets every day. Targets are great because they give us a clear yardstick by which we can measure our performance. However, even in a meritocratic industry like recruitment, where setting and achieving our own goals is central to our success, many consultants struggle to undertake effective goal setting and monitoring. Below are some steps that can help you understand the science of achieving your goals: 1. It is said that 80% of our accomplishments come from 20% of our efforts. The key is knowing which 20% of your work is most important. This, however, is not an easy thing to understand. What you must do is examine your strategy and monitor your results over a period of time, let’s say 2 weeks. You write down your achievements on a piece of paper and work backwards from there – what specific tasks helped you get there? How much time did you spend on that and what would happen if you increased it by 1 hour? This way, you’ll get to the specific tasks that help you get ahead on your way to success. 2. Once you know what drives your professional success, it’s easy to set yourself a goal – you know that X hours spent on Y gets you Z rewards. Play around with numbers and see how much it would be possible to achieve. Think about your work-life balance as well and what you would do at the end of this period of time, if successful. It’s easier if you have a specific goal in mind - is it a new car, holiday or something else motivating? 3. Once you know your long-term goal, you need to split it into achievable short-term goals. If you work 12 hours a day for 18 months, you will get that car you want, but that may not really be achievable. So keep things realistic and also break your bigger goals down to into smaller deliverables with shorter timeframes. This is far more motivational and also more instructional than simply having a big bullish goal. 4. The only thing left for you to do now is to monitor your work. Print out to-do lists or schedules or whatever works best for you, and keep track of what you’re doing. There’s little point in you working blindly for a week just to find out on a Friday evening that you didn’t reach your target. If you had seen a gap in your output on a Wednesday, for example, you could then have worked out how to close the gap in the later half of the week so that you still reached your weekly goal. 5. Finally, don’t lose track of the little things. Alternate hard work with small pleasures, reward your good results and relax every once in a while! You will definitely not be productive if you’re always stressed. Also, appreciate that sometimes you will exceed your daily target, and other days you will fall short. This is the nature of things, so it is always a good idea to keep everything in perspective. “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” - Peter Drucker This is what we aim for at SuperGrad. We help the graduates we work with to first work out what they are looking to achieve and then to create a clear, efficient and effective plan of how they will get there. Productivity and progress come from a combination of mindset, habits and surroundings. Two of them are completely with in your control, so start planning your road to success!