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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

15 Performance Goals For Delivering Uncommon Results At Work

15 Performance Goals For Delivering Uncommon Results At Work

For every job, there are expectations that have to be met, and there are also key performance indicators that are used to rate and grade an employee. Employers set performance goals for their employees to specify work targets as well as project or work deliverables.

Whether you are working for someone or working for yourself, there is a need to set your own performance goals in order to maximize your potential, boost your personal productivity, and exceed the expectations of your employer or clients.

In this article, you will find tips on why you need to set performance goals, as well as 15 performance goal examples that you can set to achieve career and work excellence.

What are Performance Goals?

Performance Goals are short-term objectives that are set for specific duties in your current job position.[1] They are also described as performance expectations related to work to be accomplished and/or core competencies.[2]

Performance goals might be set in terms of improvements to be made, actions to be taken, attributes to develop, and things to cut down on in the work process in order to increase productivity and achieve desired results.

Performance goals can be an agreement between an employer and an employee, or it can be the personal initiative of the employee to meet or exceed their own work targets and boost their chances for a promotion or pay raise.

The focus here is taking your own initiatives, setting your own goals, and helping to achieve uncommon results daily in your career.

Why You Need to Set Performance Goals

Here are some good reasons you should be setting your own performance goals:

To Meet Organizational Requirements

The requirements of your work might be daunting and even beyond your reach. However, when you carefully plan and set goals towards meetings these requirements, you will find untapped energy, resources, and even more opportunities to accomplish your goals.

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To Be Both Efficient and Effective

Renowned American management consultant Peter Drucker said:

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Your boss might have to tell you how to do the job right, but you have to take the initiative to work out for yourself what the right job is.

This means looking for uncommon ways to achieve the overall organizational business objectives and going the extra mile in doing what the organization never thought was possible.

To Position Yourself for a Promotion

Setting and achieving your performance goals will earn you a favorable reputation in your organization. It will also open you up to many incentives, including pay raises, promotions, and elevation to a higher office.

The ordinary worker is rewarded for efficiency, whereas the extraordinary worker is promoted for effectiveness.

To Boost Your Employability

Your performance in your current position is the key to your future employment. This holds for people in business too — the satisfaction of your current client might lead to getting a referral for another client.

When you achieve uncommon results by setting performance goals, you are also indirectly opening up future opportunities for yourself.

15 Examples of Performance Goals

The following examples can help you set performance goals that will boost your productivity, impress your boss and coworkers, and set you up for success.

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1. Be Punctual at Work, Meetings, and Events

Punctuality is essential to performance. By arriving early at work, meetings, and events, your mind will be calm, concentrated, and organized as you think through the day’s work and start early.

Furthermore, punctuality also sends some positive signals about you to colleagues, seniors, and even your clients. Being on time consistently demonstrates foresight, competence, and reliability. It shows everyone around that you are the master of your life; you can anticipate possible hang-ups and have the ability to change your plans and accommodate those hang-ups.

Set a goal to be on time, and it will boost both your performance and reputation.

2. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise Regularly

Work requires positive energy, mental alertness, and concentration. Therefore, you need to continually put your body in a state whereby it can perform optimally. Diet and exercise affect the state of your health, which has a direct impact on performance.

You are what you eat, so plan to eat foods for optimal health. Also, plan a regular exercise schedule to put your body in good shape.

3. Take Initiative

Set a goal to always take your own initiative. It is easier to get submerged with work requirements when you forget to do this. You sometimes need to look outside the requirements of your organization, get to know the trends in the larger industry, and apply uncommon techniques to achieve your overall organizational goals.

Taking initiative might not occur to you naturally until you have set a specific goal to do so.

4. Improve Your Work Quality

What is the quality of your deliverables? It’s not good for your personal or company reputation for your deliverables to get rejected often. If there are too many complaints about your work, it probably means that you are doing something wrong.

Your supervisor will be happy to spend less energy on trying to correct your work, and your clients will be happy not to see flaws in your deliverables. Set goals to always ensure you do your best to only send out work with a touch of finesse.

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5. Request (and Utilize) Feedback

One of the ways to improve your performance at work is to get regular feedback. Positive feedback will encourage you to identify and, if possible, repeat the actions that brought the previous results, while negative feedback will help you to know what you should improve on.

6. Develop Job Knowledge and Skills

You might have good intentions, but not having the required working knowledge and skills will impair your performance. Set a goal to acquire emerging knowledge and skills required in your industry. You might need to sign up for short courses or simply carry out research to get to know the recent trends and developments.

7. Support and Advance Your Organization’s Vision, Mission, and Values

You need to see your work as helping to accomplish the larger objectives of your organization. Then you can set performance goals to make it happen.

The popular story of the American president John F. Kennedy and a janitor comes to mind here. The president had visited the NASA space center and saw a janitor carrying a broom. The president asked the janitor what he was doing, and the man replied: “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”

An ordinary worker would have answered differently. When we see the importance of our “little” efforts in making our organization grow, we’ll become more passionate about our responsibilities.

8. Improve Collaboration With Colleagues

You need to bear in mind that you are not in competition with anyone in your organization. You need the cooperation of everyone to achieve your work goals and the organization’s goals.

Collaboration at work creates a healthy work environment where ideas are freely shared. You will be surprised to see your performance improve as you share ideas freely and collaborate within your organization.

9. Know How the Internal Systems Work

If you are in a managerial position, you might need to shadow the departments in your organization and build a wider understanding of what goes into each department’s daily practices. This will help you to understand the challenges and obstacles your team members are experiencing, and you will be able to manage the situation much better than when that knowledge is lacking.[3]

10. Adhere Strictly to Internal Ethics and Standards

One of the ways to boost your performance at work is to work in compliance with ethical and operational standards attached to your job. It’s good to think outside the box, but policies are also meant to be adhered to. This ensures that your work gets appreciated and that you don’t land yourself in avoidable trouble.

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11. Manage Communication Effectively

Effective communication is essential for work performance. This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication. Communicate clearly in reports, presentations, notifications, meetings, etc.

Also, respond to important emails and other forms of inquiries promptly. Ask and seek clarification when necessary, and don’t make assumptions on matters that have not been clearly stated.

12. Improve Your Visibility Within the Organization

Decide to attend and participate actively in both formal and informal meetings within your organization, and air your views when important issues are being discussed. This will give you access to major developments within the organization, which may not be available to the ordinary staff. With such information, you might be able to plan your actions and work accordingly.

13. Showcase Creativity

Creativity can be described as an uncommon display of skills that brings about uncommon solutions and innovations. The value of creativity is measured in terms of the business results that exceed mediocrity [4]. Be intentional about being creative at work.

14. Master Time Management

Set a goal to always take charge of your time. Prioritize and focus on the most important tasks, arrange your time so as not to exceed deadlines, and create some time as well for learning and leisure.

15. Set Personal Standards

Carve a niche for yourself and set standards for growth. Your goal will be to carry out your responsibilities within the framework of your own personal standards.

These standards are based on your work ideals and how you want to build your reputation at work to give you and your work a cutting edge.

The Bottom Line

No matter how you are currently performing at work, there is always room for improvement. Setting performance goals will help you to look into the areas needing improvement and find multiple ways to carry out your responsibilities — better ways that will help you achieve uncommon results.

More About Goals and Success

Featured photo credit: Adeolu Eletu via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed, and exhausted. Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, it’s time to do something about it.

Here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm, leaving you calmer, in control, and a lot less stressed at work.

1. Write Everything Down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when work feels overwhelming is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s occupying your thoughts[1].

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind, write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind.”

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will help you stop feeling overwhelmed at work. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have emptied your head, go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. You can learn how to create a more meaningful to-do list here.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago to help when work feels overwhelming. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and we humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take[2]:

When feeling overwhelmed at work, use Parkinson's Law.

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad. It’s more wishful thinking than bad judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage when we’re feeling overwhelmed at work. If you have estimated that to write five important emails will take ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is that you put yourself under a little time pressure, and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time, so it plays tricks on us, and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our team members to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening, and we get more focused and more work done. This will help when work feels overwhelming.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos to avoid getting overwhelmed at work. Schedule time for each task, especially high priority tasks, while also grouping together similar tasks. This will help relieve stress and anxiety in your daily work life.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done, and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer, and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one[3]. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend, or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss or a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and will only make you feel more overwhelmed at work. You need to make a decision to deal with it, and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved.

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed, and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend about the problem.

    He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem, and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I pay a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first was: don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second: there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we are feeling overwhelmed at work (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

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    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

    It also means that, rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible, and you can make decisions about what to do about them.

    Often, it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be that you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    When work feels overwhelming, it’s not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work. It can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s easy to feel like you have too much on your plate, but there are things you do to make it more manageable. 

    Make a decision, even if it’s just talking to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution.

    When you follow these strategies, you can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Josefa nDiaz via unsplash.com

    Reference

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