To achieve Step 7, individuals will show that they can start turning goals into action by ordering and prioritising the tasks that are needed.
In the previous steps, the focus was on how to develop goals, first by thinking about what individuals want to achieve, and then thinking about the wider needs of others, whether in groups or organisations. This step looks at how to start to work towards achieving those goals.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Working towards a goal can feel overwhelming if we don’t break it down into smaller tasks. If we are working on a project, writing an essay or studying for an exam, we can make it more manageable by working out the different tasks and putting them in order. For example, when writing an essay, we might start by reading more information about the topic, making notes, writing a short plan, starting the essay and then checking it before we hand it in. We can use the same approach at the start of a day or week; thinking about what goals we what to achieve and which tasks we need to complete. Planning, ordering and prioritising tasks helps us to manage our goals and keeps us on track to achieving them.
Whether we are working on a long-term strategy or project, or planning our day and week, managing time and tasks to deadlines is essential in every workplace. Short-, mid- and long-term goals can involve many different factors. Some tasks can only be done in a particular order; to avoid making mistakes and wasting resources, we would have to finalise a product before the packaging is designed and manufactured. Even when we make plans, a situation can change quickly and unexpectedly so we may have to decide which tasks will take priority. If a colleague is suddenly unwell, we might take on some of their work or share out tasks in our team to make sure a goal is met.
Throughout a typical week, we may have many different tasks to complete. We might have perfected the tasks of our morning routine, knowing exactly which order works best so we can get up, get dressed, have breakfast and leave on time. Sometimes it can be helpful to make a to-do list so that we can work out our priorities and manage our time. We might have tasks that depend on other factors like getting to the shops before they close so we have the right ingredients to make dinner or sharing a computer with a sibling and waiting for them to finish their homework before we can use it. If we are relying on something or someone else then we can see if there is another task we can complete while we wait. We might also make plans for longer-term goals like saving up for a trip or special occasion, working out what tasks need to be done and when so that we can achieve our goal. Being able to organise tasks helps us save time and complete our goals, allowing more time to spend doing the things we enjoy.
To best practise this step of Aiming High, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
Where learners are set projects, extended tasks or pieces of work, the teacher can encourage them to create a plan. This means taking the goal and identifying all the tasks that need to completed, then ordering these tasks and putting them on a timeline.
This step is best assessed through an assessed activity: Learners can be set a goal, be asked to break it down into tasks and then to create a timeline of those tasks. Discussion can explore why learners have made the choices they have, and whether these are based on a good understanding of the step.
This step is relevant to individuals who have to organise how they do their work and their plans.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through a reflective conversation. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed for by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: