That time of the year has just started. Christmas spirit is knocking at the office’s door while inside you are all - probably - struggling to get the year closed on time. Maybe you even lack some motivation to get things done by now… Breath in, breath out.
Admittedly, it will cheer you and your team up to know that many companies around the world are in the same situation right now. Unfortunately, that is not enough to reach your objectives in less than a month. But maybe that can change with this quick guideline on how to do it!
How to make peace with your objectives... and get them done.
First things first, dig out from your desktop that to-do list that you wrote at the beginning of the year. We know you have one. We all do!
Now it’s time to go through all those lines and do what every human being likes to do with lists: cross out the finished ones. Allow your team some time to celebrate the accomplishments, and use it as a boost to create a positive attitude in the office.
After the celebrations, let’s jump on the pending objectives! Here’s a quick exercise to do. Select those that don’t look clear enough, or that might be missing some essential KPIs. You can read more about KPIs and how to use them here.
One thing that should be helpful to manage these objectives better is to reformulate them in a SMART way. Yes, no kidding.
SMART is an acronym aimed to guide you through the whole objective-setting process. It stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. But you’ve probably heard about this before!
It basically means that the more accurate your objectives are, the easier it will be for your department to understand, track and - most important - accomplish them! You can get more in-depth learning about SMART objectives here.
Another thing that might make this process easier is to know that objectives can be tricky to distinguish.
Not everything that sounds like an objective is one
Surprising, I know. Confusing, maybe. But here’s the explanation. A widespread mistake within companies is to treat goals and objectives as the same concept.
Simply explained, a goal is an ultimate purpose or situation that wants to be accomplished - usually without a specific deadline. On the other hand, objectives are short, medium or long-term steps that enable the company to get closer and closer to that ideal purpose.
Therefore, objectives can - and should - be measurable and detailed, while goals can be understood as a broader idea.
Prioritise, focus and achieve - or learn.
Right, this might have saved you some time, but you still have deadlines to reach. Got it.
I can suggest you one more brief exercise in case your to-do list is still longer than the done one. Prioritise. Of course, every objective is important, but it’s also true that some of them might bring more significant results than others.
Therefore, try to choose the two or three objectives that can make a difference by the end of the year. Maybe these won’t bring you to the leader position all of a sudden, but they will surely set some basis for 2020. And that’s just what we are looking for!
Keep in mind that this should be a healthy competition within your department, so try to keep it positive all the way through! And remember, every step of the way can be a learning for the new year to come. Go for it!