Many of us find it difficult to stay focused on our goals. Perhaps our disposition toward people-pleasing gets in the way of what we want, or our inability to say no crowds our personal goals out of the picture.

Here are three things you can start doing right now that will help you stay focused, no matter what else is going on:

1. Say No More Often

On your way to an event but not quite sure why you’re going? Agreed to help the neighbor pack for her big move even though you have your own to-do list? If these situations sound familiar, you’re probably someone who has trouble saying no.

Overbooking yourself usually leaves you feeling tired and resentful. Worst of all, it means you’ve let other people’s plans become more important than your own. Of course, we all need to compromise sometimes, but once you learn to say no, you’ll have more time to focus on what truly matters to you.

Give yourself permission to decline requests. You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

2. Prioritize

Learn to do only what is essential and you’ll never have a busy-but-unproductive day again.

In his book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown explains how to apply the philosophy of essentialism to life. In short, it’s not about getting everything done, but about getting the right things done. Mastering essentialism will help you focus on what really needs to be done while eliminating the time-wasters that keep you from your goals.

3. Meditate

Don’t worry if sitting cross-legged in a quiet space and turning inward isn’t your thing. You can meditate in all sorts of ways — while taking a walk outside, running on the treadmill, swimming laps, knitting a scarf, etc. You can even try creating a vision board to serve as a daily reminder of your goals and why they matter!

The important thing here is that you dedicate some time everyday to thinking about your goals. We’re all surrounded by noise all the time. Taking time to center yourself and recalibrate is critical to remaining focused and energized about achieving your goals.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.

Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing‘s resident career expert.

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