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SMARTER goals key takeaways

We had the Doceo SMARTER goals webinar this Saturday and it was absolutely amazing. Our speakers gave such invaluable advice that I decided it would be imperative to share (you’re welcome!) So, get your pen and paper and get ready to take some notes! As a quick reminder before we get into it, SMARTER goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, require Evaluation & Review. Let’s look at some of my key takeaways from the event.

I’ve often wondered this as well so let me paint a boundary-less scenario. You wake up, only 7 minutes before you need to leave the house for school because you forgot to set an alarm and you go to your lessons and use your phone throughout most of them. Then, you…

  1. Acknowledge your failures. Yes, I know it sounds a bit annoying but as humans, we tend to stop taking risks or trying new things for fear of failure. However, failure is the easiest way to see what we did wrong and crucially, it tells us what we can do to improve and perform better the next time. This is why reviewing our goals is so important to know what helped us move closer to the goal and what didn’t.

How do we deal with and bounce back from failure?

Focus on the right goal, look to people who have been there, have a positive attitude and finally, ignore any naysayers.

  1. Make it as easy as possible for you to accomplish your SMARTER goals. The next session was on effective productivity and there were three main things I took away from this session. Firstly, understand how best you work when it comes to planning and organising your time. There are three types of people when it comes to this: analogues (prefer pen and paper for), digital (enjoy using apps and tech to help their productivity) and lastly, people who like a bit of both. If you’re someone who likes using tech to maximise your productivity, then have a look at apps like Notion or Trello which allow you to do so. Toggl is a really useful application that allows you to track exactly how long you spend on tasks so that you can plan your ‘time-bound’ goals more accurately in the future.

Now that you know exactly which tools help you organise your time, it’s time to get planning so let me introduce you to The Ivy Lee Method.

  • Make a to-do list of the tasks you need to complete and start each one with a verb. For example: ‘Find an AQA past paper for History Paper 1’.
  • Split your day into three time chunks for example, 8am-12pm, 1pm-4pm and 5pm-9pm. If you have school from 9am-4pm for example, then be sure to block out this time chunk.
  • Then, allocate tasks from your to-do list into your three time chunks, making sure to limit the amount of tasks in each chunk to 3.

With all of this, you want to remember the 5 Be’s. Be intentional, prioritised, focused, structured and self-aware.

  1. Manage your distractions. I know this is one that a lot of us struggle with so here are some ways to manage your distractions and ensure that you can ‘Be focused.’
  • Have regular timed breaks, they’re essential!
  • Avoid multi-tasking. Apparently, when you switch from one task to something else that comes up, it takes 8 minutes to get back to being focused on your original task. If you’re getting distracted by other tasks every 20 minutes, that’s a lot of time not being maximised!
  • Know when you work best and communicate this with those around you. If you prefer doing certain tasks in the morning, then leave some time in the morning to do this.
  • Remove distractions from reach. Trust me, it’s ok for your phone to be in a separate room!
  • Clear your surroundings!
  1. “In a world where everyone reminds you of your limitations, you need to remember your possibilities”. This is a quote from Hayley Mulenda, who led the second session and I loved her explanation of the 5 key things which can help us set SMARTER goals and get things done! We need: Purpose, Discipline, Intentional action, Relationships & Community and finally, self-belief!
  2. ‘You either lean through mentorship or mistakes’. Hayley spoke about the importance of being open to learning if you’d like to work SMART and the benefit of learning from the experience of others. From her experience, she mentioned the importance of breaking down big goals into smaller habits. For example, for someone who wants to write a book, they might focus on trying to get a publishing deal. However, whilst this is key, they would also need to ensure they build in habits of writing regularly and effectively. Otherwise, if they do get that publishing deal, they might not have the habits needed to sustain it or actually produce a novel. Keep the big vision in mind but work in small steps.
  3. Embrace the process. During the session, Hayley asked: ‘Would you rather have a microwaved cake or a cake that’s been in the oven? I don’t know about you but it’s the oven cake for me! As with cakes, we need to allow our actions to compound over time and be patient in the process of achieving our SMARTER goals. You can’t have microwaved process and oven results so don’t rush the process!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of my key takeaways and learnt something new, I know I definitely did! The Doceo webinars are always so full of amazing insights so be sure to follow our social media pages to know when the next ones are. As always, take at least 1 point and put that into practice- let me know in the comments what you’ll be implementing! If you attended the event, feel free to let me know your key takeaways in the comments!

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