I am always amazed by people in my circle that seem to commit to completing the goals they have set for themselves—whether it be becoming more healthy, working on their side-hustle, or returning to school as they juggle family and work obligations.
I know a lot of us have big, juicy dreams but say that the lack of time keeps us from achieving them. So, I started to ask my achievement-oriented friends about their time management and energy management systems and what they shared was simple and effective. Here is what they had to say.
1. They woke up early. Yes, they set their schedule for the day to include their personal goals. If losing weight was a goal, they got up early to do a workout video, take a run, or go to the gym before they went to work. If they were entrepreneurs, they woke up to work on a particular aspect of their business.
2. They used their commute to their advantage. They realized that the hours spent to and from work could be used to their advantage. If you are taking public transportation, use the time to flesh out ideas, draft action plans, or write a couple of pages for your book, website, or letter of inquiry. If you are driving, use the time to speak with clients (on your Bluetooth) or listen to an audio book to strengthen your knowledge of your industry.
3. They leveraged their lunch hour to bang out a task. Think about what can realistically be done in a lunch hour. You could identify short tasks like a phone call or reply to an email or two. You could also use the time to get a work out in. Alternatively, instead of looking at your lunch hour on a day-to-day basis, consider achieving bigger tasks by creating weekly goals with the five-hours allotted for lunch.
4. They used afterwork hours. This seems like a no-brainer. But time that could be used toward your personal goals can get hijacked by other responsibilities, so you have to vigilent about prioritizing and delegating duties to others in your family so you can attend to your goal. Also, create a specific to-do list with time allocations. So, instead of jotting down, return phone calls, run a mile, or mail out products, try: 6-6:30 return phone calls, 6:30-7:00 run mile and shower, 7:00-8:00 mail out products. Did I mention that a lot them don’t have cable or own a tv?
5. They scheduled what they would do on their weekends. Working on your goal is a 24/7 commitment. Think about what you can do with your time on the weekends to accelerate reaching your goal. And again, be specific and think about the outcome (call 7 businesses) and the time (one hour) instead of a loose goal.
6. They used their vacation and sick time to work on their projects. When you are SERIOUS about your dream-catching, you will use every bit of time that belongs to you.
So, the solution to being time poor is being deliberate with the time that you have.