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Free up enough time to achieve your goals

William Crozier

If you want to achieve your goals you have to make room in your schedule, writes Elizabeth Grace Saunders for Harvard Business Review.

You are an ambitious and organised individual, so you have set yourself a series of goals for 2018. But you’re also a busy individual, so some, if not all of those goals, have already taken a back seat to the 101 other tasks crowding your schedule.

If you want to achieve your goals, you have to dedicate time to them. And the only way to do this is to remove other, less important tasks from your schedule. “Pausing to consider what needs to be removed from your schedule takes time,” writes time-management coach Grace Saunders. “But it makes all the difference between being busy and being effective.”

Here are three strategies for streamlining your schedule:

1) Question all your work commitments. Make a list of current projects and ask the following questions: Is this project necessary? If so, does it need to be completed now, or can I move it to the next quarter? Am I the correct person to be working on this project?

If you are not in a position to make a unilateral decision or delegate a project, speak to your manager and make your case for dropping, postponing or transferring responsibility for it.

2) Reassess your work style. You can make more time for your new projects by changing the way you work.

You can do this by reducing the number, frequency or length of meetings you attend; setting office hours when colleagues are welcome to talk to you; setting specific times for checking email or using social media; turning off notifications on your phone; and resisting adopting every new technology.

3) Add new goals strategically. When you have created space and time, slot your new goals into your schedule. You might be able to fit in a break or even cut down on your working hours to spend more time with your family or embark on an activity you care about.

4) Look to the future. If you want to achieve your goals you must be willing to let go of the past. “To say ‘yes’ to the new, you must say ‘no’ to the old,” concludes Saunders.