Do you know someone who wears their busyness like a badge of honor? They humbly brag, "I am just so busy!" to anyone who asks. Every hour is spoken for with meetings and minutiae. And they always look a bit frazzled. 

Being busy may seem like a minor problem to have. But a study done by Stanford University says otherwise. Researchers found that people who spent their time busy on the wrong things were not as happy as those who focused on less (but more meaningful) activities.

Maybe you can relate? Perhaps you feel like you might be too busy for your own good. Despite your packed schedule, you do not have much to show for your effort except exhaustion.

It can be all too easy to fill up your calendar each day -- rather than deliberately thinking about why you are doing what you are doing. But your time is more important than you might think, and you need to start treating it that way.

So if you want to start achieving more and be less busy, here is what you must do:

Push pause

Sit still for awhile -- I promise that the world will not leave you behind. Reflect on how you choose to spend each day. Is there something that you are trying to escape or avoid? What would you really like to achieve if nothing were standing in your way? What would bring you more happiness?

Prioritize goals

Now that you some have clarity and breathing room, write down your goals in order of their importance. Then make a plan for how you are going to achieve them. Breaking down each goal into manageable steps will make each one seem less insurmountable. 

Clean house

Now, clear your schedule. Cancel whatever is unnecessary or taking you away from the vision of what you want to accomplish. This could be the hardest part, because it may require telling others "no" and explaining that your priorities have changed. 

Move forward

Start making steady, incremental progress toward your goals each day, and celebrate each milestone that you achieve. If you stick with your plan, soon you will be knocking out more meaningful work -- and accomplishing more -- than you thought possible.

Check in

Periodically give yourself a reality check -- because over time, you may tempted to fall back into your old busy ways. Make sure that you are not allowing meaningless activities and distractions to creep back into your schedule and steal your time. 

Do not forget the commitment that you made to yourself. Visualize what it will be like once you reach your goals and realize the vision for what you want to accomplish. 

Remember: Your time is your own, but it is up to you to protect it. Do not allow busyness keep you from finding and pursuing achievement and your real purpose.