Realigning your goals to get work done

Illustration of Productivity Hacks
Design: Azmin Azran

Stuck on the project that keeps consuming your thoughts? Maybe you're halfway through a novel, or maybe you're thinking of starting a YouTube channel but don't know where to begin.

Whatever the case may be, setting proper goals for your projects will greatly catalyse your progress. Here are some effective methods to boost your productivity.

Internal vs External Goals. 

An external goal is: "I want to reach 1000 subscribers on my channel by 2024."

Why? Because reaching this particular milestone largely depends on the algorithm, trends and people's preferences amongst other things – most of which are beyond your control. You can make tweaks to have your content better conform to the rules of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or create an eye-catching thumbnail. However, at the end of the day, it is the audience who chooses whether they want to watch your videos or not. 

On the other hand, if your goal is to create a minimum of 80 videos before the year ends, then the act of completing it is entirely up to you. It is you who decides when to film the videos, edit them and, publish them. Internal goals make you feel more in control all the while holding you accountable for your actions and the outcome.

Proximal Goals

Instead of giving yourself a strict deadline for the entire project, break the workload into smaller fractions and then set a shorter deadline. For instance, your objective may be to finish drawing your comic in two years. Because two years is much further away in the future, it is harder to imagine and hence, easier to procrastinate on. On the other hand, setting up a goal of drawing one chapter is far more realistic and easier to attain. By breaking down the task into smaller, more manageable tasks and setting a realistic goal, it is more convenient to keep track of your progress. Implementing this system ensures that you're making enough progress earlier down the line, and adjust accordingly. If you don't pivot from your two-year-long deadline, you're likely to keep pushing back your work until the deadline is staring right at you. 


Whenever I think to myself that I will sit down and study for ten uninterrupted hours, I never follow up on it. The first problem with this mindset is that it's not helpful to think that you will carry out a certain task for a specific amount of time. This usually doesn't translate well when one has to actually sit down and do the work because we end up wasting time instead of working or studying. 

A better alternative would be to be more specific. Instead of fixating on how long I can study, I can instead set a goal of solving ten differentiation problems by tomorrow evening. 

This goal is Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Attainable and Time-bound (SMART).

It's important to remember that not all methods will work for everyone. You don't have to implement a certain system simply because it worked for your favorite productivity YouTuber. At the end of the day, whichever method helps you get your project done is the best method for you. 

Zaheen equates watching productivity videos to actually getting work done. Send help at


১৬ মিনিট আগে|বাণিজ্য

ধনীদের স্বস্তি, করের বোঝা নিম্ন আয়ের মানুষের ওপর

আগামী অর্থবছরে করমুক্ত বার্ষিক আয়ের সীমা ৩ লাখ টাকা থেকে বাড়িয়ে সাড়ে ৩ লাখ টাকা করার প্রস্তাব করা হয়েছে। ক্রমবর্ধমান জীবনযাত্রার ব্যয়ের মধ্যে এটিই করদাতাদের কিছুটা স্বস্তি দেবে বলে আশা করা হচ্ছে।