The Importance of Goal Setting As a Time Management Tool
Entrepreneurs starting and growing a business often find themselves faced with time management issues. A one-person operation or a small business with limited staff must be able to optimize time to accomplish all that needs to be done. Setting goals and monitoring milestones can help the entrepreneur effectively manage his time.
A goal without established milestones can be unwieldy and unproductive. Milestones help you check in along the way to be sure you are accomplishing each step of a goal, which will then lead to the next step and so on until your plan is successfully completed. Goals can provide clear direction and a sense of accomplishment along the way. At the end of each day, you know that your time has been well spent when your goals for that day are reached.
When setting goals, make them specific and include a timeline. For example, rather than stating that your goal is to make new contacts today, state specifically that your goal is to make four phone calls between the hours of 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and to send six emails between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Write your goals down to make them tangible.
When setting goals, be realistic in what can be accomplished in a given period. Determine how much time it will take to reach a specific goal and then include that time in your schedule. Consider your strengths and weaknesses in allotting time to accomplishing specific goals. If you are not confident you can make four phone calls in an hour, then that is not a realistic goal. Gauge the goals against your priorities to be sure you have allowed enough time to accomplish your most important goals.
Review your goals periodically to keep them realistic. Determine whether your priorities have changed, whether you have improved your skills in certain areas and are able to accomplish certain goals in less time, and whether your goals continue to be relevant to your growing business. Wasting time on goals that are not helpful to you or your business is detrimental not only to your ability to manage your time but also to your business as a whole.