Setting SMART objectives makes us more productive. But, even those who advocate for this often end up with goals that are vague or amorphous. To prevent this from happening to you, try creating a checklist of the things you need to get done; it'll force you to get specific about what you want and to distill your process into tasks that are:
- Specific: each task is clearly defined and moves you forward
- Measurable: it's clear when a task is complete
- Achievable: there's no ambiguity that each task can be done
- Realistic: each task is bite-size
- Time-bound: the checklist should have a deadline
This simple exercise will help you to understand exactly what will be involved, to prioritize how to spend your time, and to prevent you from getting distracted. By holding yourself accountable, you're more likely to accomplish your goals.
Here's another post I wrote about the need to systematize.