The truth is that time is a level playing field.

When the clock strikes midnight we have all had the same 24 hours – yet some people make the most of it while others waste it. The difference lies in having a clear vision for your future, and a sense of urgency and excitement for what’s to come. Beware: this energy must be well managed for work and play!

In planning your time, keep in mind that the ‘important’ things in life are rarely the most ‘urgent.’ Most people don’t prioritise such things as building relationships, fitness and personal development activities. Yet, over time, these are the things that make your life meaningful and productive.

Sticking to time you’ve assigned for study or challenging work tasks won’t necessarily seem appealing, but this is vital for personal and professional development. Commit to these tasks by scheduling a time for each; do what you have to do, so you can then do what you want to do.

With all of this in mind, you do have to know your capacity so that you don’t over-commit.

This means before you say yes to something, think about whether it is (a) a current or desirable responsibility (b) a wise use of your time, or (c) something that you will have to back out of because you’re overloaded! Don’t be fooled by multi-tasking; studies show it is far better to focus on the task at hand.

The simple act of writing all of this down in a realistic schedule will give you a tremendous sense of power over your life.

Read more about how to change beliefs and establish good habits in Making It On my Own; 52 Smart Ways to Smash It in the Real World. Buy the e-book or paper copy here.