Whether you want to write a scintillating biography, start a new diet, or, complete that dream course, these days it seems to be more difficult than ever to achieve our goals.

It’s not that people have become lazier, rather that our access to so much information means that distraction has become a real danger to our progress. While the traditional tip is to simply “get the ball rolling,” achieving a goal requires far more than that. The reality is, we can achieve any goal we want to – the difficulty lies in focusing (long enough) on what is important to truly move the needle.

As a person with big goals, you don’t just want to act; you want to act strategically. 

Three ways to make better use of your time to move the needle

1. Practice the 60/40 rule

One proven formula to get ahead with your goals faster amidst the distractions is to form the habit of spending the first 60% of your day focused on your important goals – simply engage in doing the work. If you’re struggling with poor time management skills this is an excellent way of getting stuck in when you start each day. Don’t start with your inbox, but rather, by prioritizing your to-do list and putting your goal-driven actions first.

We spend a large part of our 24-hour window doing unproductive things. As a result, we struggle to get even the most basic of our goals achieved, this leads to disappointment and demotivation.

By focusing on your goals right from the moment you get to your desk you’re able to drive your day morning to afternoon and thereby the entirety of your life. If the day takes a side step you’re able to cope as you got your major goals sorted in the morning.

You advance your dreams with increased productivity when you have concentrated focus at the start of your days.

Forty percent of what you do every week is busy work that does not advance the needle toward your purpose. For greater productivity, those busy work should only come after the 60% of dedicated time to vital goals.

Dedicate the final 40% of your day on fostering relationships (emails, calls, texts, etc.) and connecting with other people.

2. Take control of your schedule

One way to achieve this is to not reply to an email, answer a text, or visit social media before 1 or 2 pm. The truth is doing any of these would distract your focus from things that matter. When you answer each time the world comes calling for you, you end up doing more of busywork than purpose-driven tasks.

While it may take a lot of courage to do, recognize your choices, take control of your time, and stop allowing others to dictate your agenda.

3. Plan ahead

On the first day of each month, make a list of what you intend to achieve by the 30th of the month. If you can make a “Battle Board”, awesome! Mark tasks in each block on your Battle Board. Each day, outline your goals and dedicate the first 60% of your day to focusing on advancing the goals. By the end of each month, you should have all the tasks accomplished.

Go get it!