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Goal Setting: How to Break Down Your Work Projects to Get Things Done

Goal setting is crucial for any kind of work, but if you work remotely it becomes especially important. Being able to set and meet goals will allow you to accomplish the work that you're hired to do and also prove your value.

There are many approaches to goal setting. This post outlines how to approach goal setting in the context of projects. Whether you are a freelancer working for clients, or an employee with a boss, you need to know how to break down projects into small, measurable, and achievable tasks.

For tips on how to set more broad, far-reaching goals in a remote context, visit this helpful resource and our Growplaceless program.

Step 1: Clearly identify expectations. 

Make sure you completely understand what is expected of you. For a large or small project, that means identifying exactly what the components are. It also means determining what success or failure looks like for each of those components. Finally, figure out when each component needs to be completed.

Putting this information in a simple table will help you organize this list of expectations.

If you're not sure what success looks like for each component (or even if you think you are sure!) then consult with your client, team, or supervisor. It's better to ask questions and confirm understanding at the beginning of a project than when you're midway or even almost done.


Step 2: Work backwards

For each of the components that you identified in Step 1, work backward from the end result (what success looks like) to create a list of tasks to complete.


Step 3: Estimate the resources needed 

Time, support, materials: these are some of the resources you'll need to achieve your goals. For each of the tasks you've outlined, identify the resources you need to complete those tasks. Be as specific as possible, even if the amount seems minimal.


Step 4: Develop a timeline 

Now that you've developed a thorough list of tasks, you can create a timeline and plan for completing your project.

All that's left is to actually do the work — make sure it gets done by using this time budget.


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