Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images
Having nearly perfected the art of procrastination, I’m always intrigued by the time-management techniques used by the world’s best and brightest. While I may never know exactly how the other half lives, I’m endlessly fascinated by the ways in which successful people manage their insanely hectic schedules, squeezing every drop of productivity out of each and every day.
But as career expert Amanda Augustine from TopResume explains, it’s simpler than you think. Augustine contends that successful people simply don’t embark on a new endeavor or project without first setting clear, specific goals for themselves.
“Make sure your goal is clear. Don’t simply state, ‘I want a new job,’ or ‘I want to make more money,’” said Augustine in a recent interview with Business Insider. “Both of these goals are too vague and will be challenging for building a strategy around it. Instead, consider your employment history, what you’re good at, what you enjoy, what you struggle with, and the responsibilities you hate, so you can determine the right goal.”
Having a set list of goals not only makes a hefty new project seem less intimidating but also allows you to create a realistic schedule for yourself. Augustine recommends getting your goals down on paper and building a realistic plan of action around those tentpoles. “By dividing your goal into more manageable chunks of work, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed and discouraged,” she concluded. “This can be the difference between giving up and remaining committed to your goal.”
What are your go-to time-management techniques? Share your thoughts below, and test out the focus-booster app to optimize your efforts.
This post was originally published on September 16, 2016, and it has since been updated.