Picture yourself, Monday morning rolls around and you head off to work. Like most, you grab your cup of coffee and start planning out the week ahead of you. Before you know it, Friday arrives, and you feel as though you barely accomplished anything during the week. Let’s face it, we have all been there and it is a very lackluster feeling as you leave to start your weekend with doubt on your mind: What exactly did I achieve this week? Rather than second guess your work habits, the real issue may be the goals you’re setting, or in some cases not setting, for yourself.

To be sure, take a look at your goals. Ask yourself these five different questions. Are my goals specific? Are they measurable? Are they achievable? Are they realistic? Is there a deadline? The idea of setting up SMART goals isn’t a new concept, but for many it is an overlooked approach that could dramatically increase their productivity. In the case of affiliate marketing, setting goals is imperative when it comes to running a successful program. Without them, you can find yourself working twice as hard to achieve a fraction of the workload.

The idea of setting up SMART goals isn’t a new concept, but for many it is an overlooked approach that could dramatically increase their productivity.

Be Specific

Not sure where to begin? Let’s start with analyzing your current goals. Are your current goals specific enough? In other words, could someone else look at your goal and be able to determine exactly what needs to be done? If the answer is no, try adding more detail so there is no question what needs to be done.

Are Your Goals Measurable?

Taking another look at your goals, do they seem measurable? If a goal has any sort of financial or numerical order to it, it can typically be broken down into steps. Let’s say you’re working on recruiting new affiliates to your program. Instead of simply stating that you want to recruit new affiliates into your program, specify the amount of affiliates you hope to recruit into the program. This will give you a clear number that you hope to achieve as a result of your efforts.

Are Your Goals Achievable and Realistic?

Now that you can clearly measure your goals they should also be achievable. Take inventory of the resources that you posses and ask yourself if they are enough to successfully complete your tasks. If you find that accomplishing your goals may not be realistic you may want to reevaluate.

Do Your Goals Have a Time Frame?

Finally, make sure you set a time frame to achieve your goals. Don’t always assume that you can complete your goal in a day. At the same time allowing yourself too much time to complete your goal can undermine your productivity. Always think realistically while maintaining a sense urgency. This will allow you to make the most of your time.

Now you’re all set to start writing goals that will impact the way you manage your program. You will find that you are accomplishing more during your days and that your time is being managed more efficiently. Don’t be fooled, setting goals isn’t always easy, it takes time. Once you master time management you will find yourself restructuring your days to accommodate a larger workload. The old saying practice makes perfect still remains. The more you practice this technique the better you will become at it and the more effective you will become at managing your programs.

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