Business, Career, Creativity, Family, Getting Things Done, Goals, Happy, How To, Personal Development, Relationships, Solving Problems May 10th, 2012
Do you have days go by where you lament, “Oh, I never get X done.” Or “I never get enough of X done.” Or perhaps “I never have time to get X done!”
Maybe weeks go by and you’re still saying this. Maybe – gasp – years.
Time does go by fast so it’s important that we prioritize what we want in life and take the needed actions to realize those dreams. Assuming that X is important to you, here’s how to make sure that you “have the time” or that you “get X done.” You CAN do it. I promise.
What is Your X?
What is that thing that itches at the back of your mind, at the end of every day? Is it:
- making time for a good relationship?
- dream project you want to do?
- losing weight?
- making more sales calls?
- fill in the blank _________________
What ever your X is, if it is important, then you must make it a priority in your life to get it done.
What if I told you, “This thing you’ve been wanting to get done, YOU CAN DEFINITELY DO IT.” Well, you can! Here’s how.
How to Finally Achieve Your Goal
- Determine what are your top priorities in life. It might look like this:
- Be a good parent
- Become healthier
- Spend quality time with my partner
- Perform better at work
- Plan, Begin, Work on & Finish Project X
- Create a plan for doing each of these. Often we have a dream, for example “Write a novel,” but we don’t get it done because we haven’t thought out the action steps and planned when we’ll do them! You need to know what action steps to take in order to make the dream happen. The dream is ambiguous when it comes to this moment in front of me. If I need groceries or an email comes in or the kids ask to go somewhere, then it is easier to do that than “write a novel” because the action step is clear (go to grocery store, answer email, drive the kids to the park). But “write a novel?” What do I do with that? You need to “chunk” it out into smaller actionable pieces. So “write a novel” plan might look like this:
- Brainstorm outline.
- Brainstorm characters.
- Write first chapter.
- Join writing group for getting feedback.
- Schedule the Plan into your calendar! If you have an appointment with the doctor, you write it in your calendar and you decline other requests of your time during that scheduled time. You must do the same with your most important goals. So go ahead and determine when you’ll implement these actions. Write it down! Schedule it in, IN INK!
- The More Important it is to You the Earlier in the Day You Should Schedule it! Some things must wait for after work, such as spending time with your partner. If you want to write that novel or start exercising or have enough time to prepare a healthy breakfast to start the day out right, then you need to do these things as early in the day as possible. You might say, “I’m not a morning person.” I was one of those. You can become an early riser. It’s not that hard if you do it right. What’s more important to you watching TV from 10-11pm or exercising first thing to jump start your day? (Just imagine how you will feel if you walked, jogged, lifted weights by 8am? What kind of enthusiasm would you have for the rest of your day?)
I hope a lightbulb is turning on for you right now. It did for me a few years ago when I decided to get healthier, become a runner, and start my own business. I took an honest look at my life. My actions were saying that TV and magazines were a priority in my life. Whoa! Those were not my real priorities!
So I stopped staying up so late watching TV. I started running in the morning before anything else. And I became a planner. Planning, process, these were not things I was naturally good at – probably due in equal parts to impatience and laziness. But I learned that they are very powerful tools for getting what I want. (Bing! Now I’m listening!) Not only that, but I found that I enjoyed planning because it dramatically reduced my stress levels!
All the Other Stuff
For those of you who are saying, well what about my email, doing the laundry, errands I have to run, etc etc?
It will all get done. If it’s important it will get done, and probably more efficiently. You’ll spend less time on less important tasks when you have less time to do them in. Maybe there’s stuff you can delegate to others. How about your kids? Do they help pull their weight in the household? Mother is the necessity of invention. Maybe having less time for less important things will get your creative juices flowing to find more efficient ways to get things done!
If it’s not important it won’t get done, and that’s more than just ok. That’s fantastic! Why? Because you’ll be spending that time instead on YOUR PRIORITIES and Making Your Dreams Come True!
Oh gosh! One last thing, but it’s important!
If there are things that are blocking you on your goal, find a way to get rid of them. Eliminate them. Go around them. Whatever you need to do. Just do it!
Example: let’s say you don’t have time in your schedule to drive to the gym, but you want to build muscle to increase your metabolism and lose weight. Then go out an buy some weights for your basement! If you don’t have a basement, store them under your bed. Whatever you need to do, do it.
Don’t get discouraged because it’s not the perfect setup. Find a way and then use that way to realize your goal.
There is always a way. It may be messy. You may have to split up the time on action steps. You may have to spend some money. Remember these are your Top Priorities. Don’t ever give up until you find a way!
Take some time right now to jot down some ideas about
- your priorities in life
- action steps that you can take
- when you can schedule them in
- what you can eliminate from your life that doesn’t add the most value to your life
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