Everyone has dreams. Not just the dreams that come with sleep, but ambitions and goals that you want to achieve in real life. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to realize these dreams.
One of the biggest obstacles standing in your way is the sheer abundance of paths that you can take. But, there is really only one path to your dreams—the path that takes you there.
You may have been told that there are many paths that you can take in life. But, if you try all these different paths, you will never actually reach your intended destination.
Imagine you want to visit a store on the West side of town and grab a bite of pizza on the East side of town. Those are two different paths. You cannot travel both of them at the same time.
You must choose whether you want to visit the store first or eat pizza first. This same basic principle applies to your goals and ambitions.
While you cannot do both simultaneously, you can create a path that takes you to both locations. This is, naturally, the concept of prioritization.
You Need to Prioritize Everything
Everyone has something they want to accomplish. Actually, most people have a wide variety of things that they want to accomplish. This is part of the problem. We are constantly trying to do too much at once.
Instead of staying on a single path and following it through to the end, we keep taking detours to try and accomplish even more tasks. Dividing your time between a variety of tasks is referred to as multitasking—which is a buzzword that we need to bury.
It’s great to have ideas, but when you have multiple ideas, you are falling into this same trap. Your ideas are competing for space. They are pulling you off into different directions and taking you down different paths. Each time you want to get back on track, you end up wasting time and energy.
So, if you have a dream, you need to prioritize your goals and focus on one thing at a time. Focus on one path at a time and give it your undivided attention.
You Need to Learn to Say No
Prioritization is key, but it’s not always easy. In addition to your own goals, you have certain demands or obligations to fulfill. This could include new projects for your clients or potential job opportunities.
You need to find a balance between these obligations and your goals. This means that you’ve got to be willing to say no occasionally.
Every time you say yes, you could be taking another detour away from your dreams. Don’t make “yes” your automatic response. Think about each new project that you take on and consider whether it is helping you move another step closer to your final destination.
It’s perfectly natural to want to take on as much as possible. This includes those opportunities, along with your own ideas. The more you put on your plate, the more directions you are being pulled.
Basically, your ability to achieve your dreams is equal to your potential divided by the number of tasks that you’re trying to accomplish.
So, if you want to succeed, you need to skip the detours and get in the express lane. This will require focus and commitment. Here are a few suggestions that can help:
Set Your Goals
You’ll never reach your destination if you don’t know where it is. Set your goals. Decide what it is that you really want to accomplish. Every day, you should be taking at least one small step towards this goal.
Don’t be afraid to aim higher than you feel comfortable with. Smaller goals are more likely to be overshadowed by daily tasks and other distractions. The bigger the goal, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Map Out Your Dreams
A map is also needed in order to reach your dreams. Determine what you need to do to get there. Lay out the biggest steps that you need to take and decide on the first step.
While planning your goals, you also need to remember to create a work/life balance. This will require you to consider your main “work” goals and your main “life” goals.
Make a list of these goals, along with a list of steps that you will need to complete to get there. This will be your roadmap to achieving your dreams.
Get Rid of the Distractions
You also need to learn how to get rid of the distractions. This helps you keep your eyes on the road ahead.
Divide your workday into shorter blocks of time. Determine how much you need to get done during each block and put off all distractions during this period.
When a block of time ends, take a short break. Get away from the computer or work area and stretch your legs.
Choose One Big Task Each Day
Each morning, you should choose the one task that needs to be accomplished by the end of the day. For a long project, this may mean completing a specific part of the project.
Set your main task for the day and don’t allow smaller tasks to get in the way. This may mean that you need to put other stuff off.
Anything that isn’t top priority can be taken care off later. Plus, by putting off smaller tasks, you will be better equipped to give them your full attention at a later time.
Stop Running in Circles and Start Moving Forward
Don’t waste your time. Prioritize and commit. If you feel like you are constantly running in circles it’s because you are running in circles. To find the next exit, and get back on track, remember to set your goals, map them out, and prioritize your daily tasks.
There are many roads you can take, but there is really only one that leads you directly to your dreams. Stay focused and don’t lose sight.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.