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Not enough hours in the day
We all have full plates. Life is busy with family, work, house, errands, cooking, keeping other humans and pets alive. How do we all do it? We give and take. Most of us end up giving more than taking, but that’s what makes the world go round, right? But what happens when the core being of you wants to do more? I’m not saying you have to be unhappy with your life, but when is it ok to start thinking outside the box to achieve your personal interests? Our first thought is always “I don’t have enough time to do what I need to do already!” Well, hold onto your pants! Believe it or not, there is a way! Read on to learn about the top 5 proven ways to squeeze out more time!
We all have stories, dreams, goals, and purposes. We all also have one major thing in common. We’re all controlled by the 24-hour cycle of time. No matter how hard we wish it to slow, stop or reverse, it just won’t happen. So how do some people seem to get it all done while others feel like they’re drowning? We can’t control the clock, but we CAN control what we do amid the ticks. I’ve laid out for your the top 5 proven ways to squeeze time when you have none.
1. Know Yourself
Wait a minute! I don’t want to read about self-help, tell me how to find time from nowhere! Well, knowing yourself and understanding your limits is the core of developing an organizational system that will prove successful for you. Not all systems are transferrable. Knowing your personal limits will dictate the rest of your plan. Are there areas you are willing to sacrifice? For me, I need a minimum of 6 hours of sleep, so my personal schedule reflects my bedtime and rise times. Are your meal times set in stone?
Due to my 12 hour day, I recently changed my meals to better match how I want my day to run. I can’t control the distance from my home to work or my work hours. Yet, I can change my largest meal of the day to lunch, so when I do get home, I eat something small and easy. This one change has therefore opened at least 30 more minutes into my day. The other unintentional bonus? Since I made that change I tend to sleep better. If you take the time to honestly reflect on your day and note where your time is spent, with an open mind you will be able to better see where you can tweak amid the ticks. Implementing these 5 proven ways will help you towards success.
2. Write It All Down
Did you know if you write down your goals you take the first step in holding yourself accountable? This is why most people who write down their goals – in specific detail – with end dates in mind – are more likely to reach their goals than those who only think about where you want to be. All you have to do is Google the Harvard Study or the Yale Study or even Zig Ziglar. It’s no secret that the first step in achieving goals is writing them down. If you take “where do I find the time” out of the equation and focus on where do you want to be, you will be taking the first step towards success. But, there’s more than just writing it down. You have to purposefully write it in a place you can see it, feel it, taste it.
Yes, I’m being dramatic, but how badly do you want to reach your goals? Whether it be with blogging, cleaning out your closet, creating healthier meals, whatever your personal goals may be. Write the goals and place them in areas you see them daily. This is part of the 5 proven ways to squeeze out more time. Tape it to your bathroom mirror, post it on the door you use every day, tape it on the ceiling above your bed so you read it every morning. Regardless of where you put it, you have to be able to SEE it and READ it every day!
3. Have a Plan
Let’s recap. You had an internal discussion with yourself, you learned your limitations and possibilities and you’ve written your future goals. You placed your goals where you can see them. Now what? The goals won’t meet themselves! If you want to take a vacation, you don’t expect to just wake up there! To end up in Hawaii, you have to make all the plans to get there.
The same thing must happen with all your other goals! Do you remember how hard you work when you actually make travel plans? The excitement, the dreaming, the researching, all for the outcomes of the best trip ever! Why don’t we put that same fervor into our other not-as-exciting goals? Because they’re not exciting. It’s too hard. But what if you broke them down? Just like planning a holiday, you spend time finding lodging. Then you spend time researching good airline deals. See how you take each step, then before you know it, your trip is booked? Don’t you feel so good knowing all the work is done?
Les Brown once said, “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”. Let’s put this into action. Right now, think of one goal you want to achieve. For me, I’ll say I want to clean out my basement. I recently moved and still have boxes and bins I need to do something about. Yet, when I climb down the stairs and stare at the load in front of me, I freeze. I feel overwhelmed and think “nope, not today”.
But let’s now break that goal down. I decided I would open one bin and decide to keep, donate or toss. I could go even further and set a timer to keep me on task, and some people need that. Again, you know you. If you need to set even stricter boundaries to remain focused, then do it. Since breaking down the goal into min-steps, I’ve been successfully purging and organizing my basement. Yet, it’s not a perfect system, there’s still a missing component as part of the 5 proven ways. Keep reading for more!
I hope I’ve impressed upon you the importance of the first 3 steps above. The next most important component that pulls all the steps together, is organization. I don’t mean you have to organize your home based on colors, shapes and sizes. We’re talking about organizing your plan. For example, my goal is clean the basement. My plan is clean out one bin or box at a time. The goal is solid, the plan is on track, but now we need to look at the when? This will lead us back to step number one, knowing yourself. What minutes in your day did you discover can be manipulated to better serve your needs?
I decided my days are too long to work on my basement chore on work nights. Using a daily planner can be your new best friend. I placed specific times on my weekends to target the basement goal. Each time I follow my schedule, I take one step closer to meeting my goals. I have multiple blogging goals. I will write another post offering more specific tips on the types of areas that need to be targeted. Yet, I have daily mini-steps working on posts, research, social media, and collaboration. Yet, it’s only 15-30 min increments of time. What if you have multiple goals with so little time, even after soul searching and time manipulation, then adding organizational strategies is a must.
What is an organizational strategy? Oh geez, that is another post another day. Let’s just say creativity is the key. Corkboards, post-it notes, dry erase boards, color coding, assigning others to help, the opportunities are endless as long as your mind is open. For purpose of this post, let’s focus on using a traditional or digital planner. The necessary components of organizing are to use a planner, be specific with the start and end times, the days/nights you decide to work on your goals, be realistic with these time frames, and stick to the program! You can be as organized as humanly possible, but if you lack the action, you will go nowhere.
5. Tick Tock Goes the Clock
Time will keep going, that is a fact. It’s important to continuously reviewing your goals and your plan. Perhaps the plan worked great the first several weeks, then for some reason it went sour. When that happens we get discouraged and negative thoughts once again take over. Just as time continues, so do our lives. It’s not only ok, but a necessity to change the plan of attack once things begin to feel stagnant. Review your goals and adjust your plan as needed. Just like when trying to lose weight and the loss plateaus, what do you do? You change it up. The goals may remain, but the plan is meant to be flexible. You want the cookie. If you have to veer from making it from scratch to buying the dough, you meet the goal the same.
Track your progress. If you feel you’re not progressing at a pace you feel is good enough for you, then adjust your plan. This is the beauty of setting your own goals. You decide how you get there. Make sure your plan is specific enough and organized so it’s achievable. Each step of your plan is considered a short-term goal. When you meet it, celebrate! This is part of the 5 proven ways to squeeze out more time. Congratulate yourself with more positive self-talk! Recognize you are a huge step forward towards meeting that long-term goal that originally felt so far away. You’re getting closer and closer. Next thing you know, you did it!
The Bottom Line?
Setting goals is easier than achieving goals. If you want to meet your goals, write them down! Read them every day! Be specific. Develop a realistic plan. Organize your day and most importantly of all? Know yourself! Use these 5 proven ways to help you get going. We all get 24hrs in a day. Diagnose your time frames and honestly pull out those minutes you can manipulate. You got this. Now get busy! Make sure to subscribe as I’ll go more in-depth with organizational strategies.
Looking for extra funds to spend on travel fun? Check out my post on Making Money with a Side Hustle – the Top 15. OR learn how to write a blog! Read Blogging 101 – tips for starting a blog! to get you started.