Procrastination is a tendency that many of us struggle with. It’s also a trait that can seriously hamper your success, in both the short and long term.
In order to understand (and beat) time wasting habits, it’s important to recognise how exactly the most successful manage their time.
TopResume career expert Amanda Augustine recently told Business Insider the biggest time-wasting mistake successful people almost never make is: proceeding without goals.
If you struggle with making the most of your time, you could probably benefit from setting concrete goals for yourself, too.
“Make sure your goal is clear,” Augustine says. “Don’t simply state, ‘I want a new job’ or ‘I want to make more money,'” she says. “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.”
Also, it’s not enough to just state your goals. That’s no good if they’re just floating around in your head. Write them down. Throw some details in there, too. What would achieving your goal look like? How can you visualise success?
Once you’ve dreamed up and written down your goals, don’t just hide them from the world. Share them with someone you trust and ask them to check in with you once in a while. Appointing someone as a “watch dog” can be a great way of holding yourself accountable.
Once you’ve done all that, you can get into the final step of achieving your goals: strategising. Break down your goal and identify milestones. Write up all of the activities, tasks, and deadlines you need to keep in mind.
“By dividing your goal into more manageable chunks of work, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed and discouraged,” Augustine says. “This can be the difference between giving up and remaining committed to your goal.”
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