If you truly want to achieve your goals, you need a strategy to deal with the time and energy drainers in your life – people, electronic communications, housework, are just a few examples.
In order to achieve your goals, you must selfishly decide to set time aside that’s yours alone. But of course we still want people to like us, so it’s hard to be selfish.
The solution is to have a policy that protects your time. People understand that policies protect stuff that’s valuable. If you have goals to reach, your time is valuable. So create policies to protect your time.
My mentor Jack Canfield suggests sending people on your email address list a note asking to be excluded from mass emails. Your “policy” is to neither read nor respond to feel-good jokes via email because they eat up valuable working time. Be polite, but be clear about your policy and why you’ve established it.
Not all your policies have to be public. You can also gain extra time in your day by making policies with yourself. Do you really need to answer all your phone calls as they ring? Do you need to check your voice/text messages and emails as soon as they arrive? Must you distribute your contact numbers and addresses to everyone?
Once you’ve established a policy, commit to it. Don’t make exceptions. As soon as you do you’ve hit a slippery slope. One time-sucker leads to another. How do you decide which exception to make? Who have you offended by doing so? It’s much easier to simply stick to your policy and say “No” to that request always.
If this still goes against your natural instinct to be a nice person, then consider offering this explanation: you’re not doing it to let anyone down; you’re doing it to live up to commitments you’ve made to yourself and to your family.