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Time Management: Setting Goals, internal and external orientation, SMART-analysis

What is the basis for prioritization? Task’s priority depends on whether that task takes us to our goal or not. So objectives or goals are the core of time management.

An objective or goal is a clearly described desired state to be achieved.

So stating objectives is one of the key skills in the time-management!

Proper objectives characteristics

We have three characteristics of proper objectives, namely:

  • The objective must contain an action;
  • The objective must be clearly stated;
  • The objective must stress the reason for achieving it.

If you decide that your goals do not meet the aforementioned requirements, then try to reformulate them and compose them in such a way that they meet both the necessary and the desired criteria.

Goals “external” and “internal” orientation

Each goal can have external (towards) or internal (away from) orientation.

Towards Orientation Away from Orientation
  • Gaining new experiences
  • Able to determine own direction & goals
  • Being part of the decision making process
  • New challenges at work
  • Recognition of achievement
  • Achieving targets
  • Not being pushed out of comfort zone
  • Having clear instructions
  • Having less hassle at work
  • Covering the monthly outgoings
  • No complaints about performance
  • Avoiding problems


1. Look, don’t trip and fall – internal. Be careful – external

2. Do not fail the project – internal. This project will require to utilize all of your abilities – external.

Goals SMART-analysis

Today, we’ve studied the SMART method, which allows you to effectively set goals. And before we go any further, let us briefly summarize the main points of this method.

Ensure SMARTER Objectives

  • Specific – know exactly what you are aiming for
  • Measurable – make a quantitative measure
  • Agreed – secure the agreement of any others involved
  • Realistic – be sure the objective can be achieved
  • Timed – commit to a deadline
  • Ethical – the objective must be accommodated by your values set
  • Relevant – the objective must meet the needs of the business

Recall the goals on which you worked earlier. Carefully consider how they correspond to the SMART theory. How clear, measurable, coherent, realistic, ethical and appropriate are they? If they don’t, then they will have to be reformulated.

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