Eyes on the Goal! Ensuring Focus When Working Remotely

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Eyes on the Goal!

Ensuring Focus When Working Remotely

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.

“It doesn’t matter how much power, brilliance or energy you have. If you don’t harness it to focus on your goal, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”

Adapted from a saying by Zig Ziglar, the famous author and trainer.

If only Aditya had heard this quote and imbibed it in his work.

Aditya, ever-smiling and voted Mr Popular and Most Likely to Succeed, landed his first job as a Sales Executive in a financial services company. Success came quickly to him. He met his targets regularly, and his manager was pleased with him.

But extraneous factors saw the company changing its policy and directing the sales teams to work from home and connect with prospects and their manager virtually.

However, working from home did work well for Aditya. Working remotely without the guidance and even the watchful eye of his manager, he soon began losing focus and missed his sales targets three months in a row.

Soon, he was put on a Performance Improvement Plan, a PIP.

Remote Working Blues

It’s easy to lose focus when the work environment changes, even if you are still performing the same job.  Being in a remote environment, working by yourself without your colleagues and manager to motivate you to work, can make even the best employees underperform.

The Value of Your Goals

Like Aditya from our story, every employee has specific goals, referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPIs ladder up to the company’s strategy and operational goals, which are, in turn, based on its mission and vision.

When you achieve your KPIs, you help the company achieve its goals. If you miss out on your KPIs, you compromise the company’s goals.

But it is not only the company that will benefit from your meeting your goals. Meeting these short-term goals or tasks can help you reach your long-term personal and career goals.

However, successfully meeting your KPIs requires

  1. focus
  2. dedicated effort…

…both of which can sometimes be hard to maintain, when you work remotely.

In this lesson, we will look at a few insights into how you can stay focused on achieving your KPIs and your career goals while you work remotely.

The Six Practices of the Goal Focused Employee

a. Write down your Goal or KPI’s

Whether in physical or electronic form, your goals must be visible to you throughout your day.

Dr Gail Matthews, professor of Psychology at the Dominican University in California, found that people are 42 per cent likelier to achieve their goals if their goals are written down. Writing down goals helps you stay focused, keeps you motivated and most importantly invokes commitment.

Paper sticky notes or a diary with the day’s to-do list, or an electronic version of this on your phone or computer, will do the trick. But make it a habit of writing your KPIs as well as your goals for the day.

b. Allocate your tasks a timing

Identify the two or three most important tasks (MITs) that you must accomplish for the day that will lead you to your goal. Then allocate the best possible time – some period of your day when you can really focus on them – for each of these tasks.

If you do not assign the best possible timing for each task, you will work on whatever catches your fancy or whatever urgency presents itself to you throughout the day.

Bottom line: assign each of your essential tasks the best time for you to accomplish these.

c. Aim for a distraction-free work environment when working on your MITs

We cover this at length in a subsequent lesson but ensuring you can work without distraction, whether separating yourself from a noisy environment or even by merely plugging in noise cancellation headphones, will help.

d. Review your workday, every day

Make a note of what worked for you, what didn’t, and lessons learnt. This data would be an input to help you plan your next day’s schedule.

e. Track your own progress

You need to know if you are meeting every milestone that will enable you to succeed. You must know if you are moving towards your target or are falling behind. So, track your own progress. It will give you inputs and enough time to revise your strategy and efforts.

f. Discuss your goals with your manager/ seniors

Aim for at least a half-hour call each week with your supervisor or manager to discuss goal-related aspects like:

  • Where are you at concerning your goals
  • Advice on how you could work on doing things better
  • Revision in goals, if required or possible


In Conclusion

All employees must be goal-focused, especially when they are working remotely. The following seven steps will help you keep your eyes on the target:

  1. Write down your Goal or KPI’s
  2. Allocate your tasks a timing
  3. Aim for a distraction-free work environment when working on your MITs
  4. Review your workday, every day
  5. Track your own progress
  6. Discuss your goals with your manager/ seniors

Paraphrasing Zig Ziglar, you must harness your brilliance to focus on your goal to succeed. Remember, eyes on the target. Always.

Done taking this lesson? Please take the accompanying quiz.

Happy Quizzing!



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