Designing Goals


Be it individual, or corporate or even government run organization, they all need goals. Most of us grow up listening to people about how important it is to have goals, and all the nice things about keeping performance in check through goals. So all that while most of the information that we receive about goal setting is reinforcing the same basic issues.

What we come to learn at a management school is something that is very much applicable in effective goal design and setting. Goals should be S M A R T. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound.

If smart goal designs are understood and implemented, this could lead to a huge degree of change in the results.

Specific means you provide a quantifiable figure to your goal. For instance, increasing profitability by 10% for instance, rather than targeting higher profits.

Measurable means that you keep checking in to your target and current state and gauge the difference to note your progress. One, it motivates you toward achieving your goal and Two, it acts as a warning sign if you are going off.

Attainable is a bit tricky, however, to put simply, goals should be achievable given the resources that you have in terms of time, effort, finances, energy, skillset, etc. Here, also important is the open acceptance of goals, not imposed acceptance.

Realistic is to say that these should neither be too easy nor be very difficult, as in both the cases most people will lose their drive and stop working hard enough.

Time-bound is an important fifth pillar of SMART goals. All goals should be linked to a time component to see if work targets have been met in time.

On the finishing note, in order to increase goal effectiveness, make sure you write down your SMART goals. Once you have it written, it comes as a reaffirmation of your conviction in the goals and would increase the chances of success of your planning endeavor.

Evolution of Freelancing

Freelancing is not a new phenomenon. It has been there from the time people started working and using currency; only the form of work was different. Initially, all temporary work, mainly labor work, was done by freelancers (daily wage workers), then came the era of project-based freelancers (contractors) which especially gained momentum in the field of real estate development and property building and finally people started to use flexi-working as a form of freelancing where some people specialized in handling short-term gigs, rather than then-stable fixed, regular jobs.

Back in the day when internet was not very common, the concept of telecommuting was not very popular largely because it was not quite practical. When internet came in, people started to use it as an entertainment and communication vehicle, however, in no long time did people realize the kind of opportunities they could grasp through working online. Everything started to turn on the internet from photography to writing to coding. However, the idea of getting work done online as well as working online did not click with many of the professionals.

When people started to notice significant other players jumping in, the utility of the online marketplace went up as now there were more and more opportunities to work online or combine a chunk of your work with online work and enjoy the perks of telecommuting. As every other bandwagon appeal, the concept picked up amongst the buyers and sellers of all kinds of work. With so many players in the market and little background to judge the people on, the costs went down and quality started to get compromised on many deals. So, again, many of the players went back to real world or at least mixed their portfolio to have some “real” players and some online. For instance, buyers kept hiring offline and online and freelancers kept searching for work on internet as well as in the real world.

Meanwhile, some freelancers kept working hard to build their online repute. They changed the web space overall. Now, in the web space, freelancers fall into two main categories in every domain: the good ones and the not-so-good ones. Until the new, struggling ones don’t fall into the first category through sheer effort, hard work and dedication, they are considered a probable part of the second category.

For the not-so-good ones, the road is rough and much work need to be done. Sometimes, they would also need to put up a lot of effort and search work offline too.

For the good ones, it’s far more interesting, and a lot more paying. They often have queues of buyers who are willing to pay a premium for the brand these good providers have developed.

However difficult it might be, one thing is certain that a lot of hard work and time need to be devoted with a clear vision and focused approach to register a mark into the first category.