Goals vs. Objectives & Getting Stuff Done

Goals vs. Objectives and getting stuff done
Joe Burroughs

Joe Burroughs

Many people are frustrated by uncertainty and complexity in their jobs. I use Agile principles to provide clear and simple strategies so that you can win at work!

While we typically use the terms goal and objective interchangeably they have slightly different meanings and those slight differences add up to a huge difference when it comes to getting stuff done. Both terms describe desired outcomes or end results but in my new course Less to do Today I distinguish them in this way:

We set our own Goals while Objectives are set for us.

If we accept that distinction the difference is clear and helps us prioritize our efforts as well as focus on what truly matters when it comes to getting thins accomplished. Let’s take a look at a quick example. 

Sample Goals and Objectives

Let’s assume that most of these work items are objectives with two exceptions: completing the accomplishment report may be a team or personal goal, and maybe mapping the vendor process is a pet project goal. That clearly puts two items into the “want to do it” column and they should get extra attention.

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Too often we leave our goals at home and don’t focus on them at work. That leads to burning out and low morale. Imagine if your team could focus a significant amount of each day’s effort on accomplishing goals you have collectively set. How empowering and exciting would your work days be? That is the power behind bringing your goals to work!



Joe Burroughs

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