• Writing down your specific goals will help you measure your success as it comes.
  • Reward hard work and accomplished goals with something that you want.
  • Planning ahead is one of the biggest ways to properly manage time.

So often in our work life, we feel we are constantly churning the wheel and nothing is getting done. It can leave us feeling drained and unsuccessful when we aren’t accomplishing our goals. Our time and energy is precious, and no one wants to feel burnt out when they can’t quit, so it’s important to know the difference between just working and working smart.

Millennial entrepreneur, Stefani Markowitz became president of New York City-based brokerage firm, Charles Rutenberg by the age of 27 and has since brought the company to be one of the six largest residential firms in the city. She did this by implementing her S.M.A.R.T. acronym in her work life.

First, take a step back from your desk, take a few deep breaths and learn how to work S.M.A.R.T.:

Success comes with a detailed plan. Let’s start at the beginning.


It is important to be specific with your goals, especially in business. As an employee, write down a specific salary you want to earn by a specific date.

A particular responsibility you want to achieve, a specific job title you want to reach, a specific number of deals you want to make — the more specific your list is, the better! Writing down your specific goals will help you measure your success as it comes.


Measure your goals and know what you need to do to maintain them. It’s important to evaluate where you are at with achieving your goals on a consistent basis.

Whether it’s weekly, monthly or bi-monthly, the time you set for yourself should depend on the goal. Every day, you should have the mindset of striving to achieve those specific goals and know that you will be measuring your success to reach them. This will help keep you accountable.


Being held accountable to your specific goals is imperative, so you don’t allow yourself to quit when the going gets tough. You have to be able to keep yourself committed to the plan you created for your success and happiness. It’s important to hold yourself accountable for ethics, finances and goals.

Ask yourself the potentially hard questions:

  • Did I send those additional emails to my new acquaintances?
  • Did I attend that networking event after work?
  • Did I draft that new business initiative to show my boss?

Holding yourself accountable to the goals you set for yourself is the only way you will stay committed and reach them. And I have to say, once you reach them — it is rewarding


It’s rewarding when you have a goal in mind, and you achieve it. And, as a reward for doing such great work, you should treat yourself.

When we do something strenuous and tough, we need to experience happiness so that we continue to push ourselves. Having something to look forward to throughout the tough times, can be just as important as the actual action that gets us there.

Reward your hard work and accomplished goals with something in particular that you want. Perhaps tickets to an upcoming concert, eating at the new hot spot in town or a glass of bubbly. You earned it — so reward yourself!


We must be good stewards of the time we are given. We have all said, “there aren’t enough hours in the day,” and in business, there aren’t, which is why time management is crucial.

Managing your time appropriately will make you a smart worker versus just a busy worker. Planning ahead is one of the biggest ways to properly manage time. When you look ahead and have a bigger picture of your daily, weekly and monthly work, you allow yourself the opportunity see things more clearly and work smarter.

Whether you work in freelance or corporate, time is in your hands! You are in charge of the work you do!

Stefani Markowitz is President of Charles Rutenberg LLC, one of New York City’s largest real estate brokerage companies.

Email Stefani Markowitz.

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