Friday, August 23, 2013


In the last post, I mentioned that some people seem to just be able to squeeze more out of a 24 hour day than others. I do think people who are passionate about something are far better at making sure they make time for their passions.

There are strategies to take an already filled day and expand it to getting more time to work on your passions  so I thought I would share several and see if any work for you, if you are trying to find more time to do what you love.

  • Start With Five....If you want to "find" more time to do something you love, set your clock to get up five minutes earlier every day for two weeks. You'll have more than an extra hour at the end of two weeks to work on your passion and you will have gradually helped your body adjust to the change. (Of course if you are more of a night owl you can do this exercise in reverse, adding 5 minutes to your bedtime nightly.)
  •  Map out a time budget for one month. Like a monetary one, it helps you look at where you are spending all your time. Maybe you need to cut out some "extras". If you have favorite TV shows, record them and watch them without commercials during a block of time you set to relax. Most hour shows are barely 40 minutes long watching this way. If you don't seem to be able to identify what you did with your time, then learn to "chunk" your activities for more productivity.
  • Do all your shopping in one block of time, all your appointments within another if  possible. If you spend a significant amount of your time, driving, consider books  on tape to help you complete reading goals or Dragonfire software to help you       dictate while you drive. Also consider swapping out a day or two of driving for       public transportation where you can get some of this done without still focusing   on driving.
  • "Exchange" time with a friend in a similar circumstance. When my children were younger finding time to just go shopping alone or even take in a class was difficult and paying sitters was sometimes prohibitive. I had a friend in a similar situation who really wanted some extra time to spend with a loved one who was quite ill. I "gave" her one afternoon weekly to be with her loved one and she returned the favor in another block of time for me to take some classes I wanted to get in. Make sure you have an understanding of just what will be required when you are exchanging that time and everyone is in agreement. 
  • Another couple we knew got "date night" time away from their three children by exchanging it with a couple who wanted the same on another night. I also know friends who make extra dinner for each other one day weekly and then each couple has a meal without having to cook for one night (and more time to do other things.)
  • Learn to say, "No" without feeling guilty. Your time is precious. You would not necessarily let everyone borrow money from you all the time if you knew you could not afford it. Do the same with your time. If you need time to work on a project or pursue a passion, don't feel guilty telling people you are committed to another task OR you simply "can't afford" the time to do it right now. They have their priorities and you should have yours.
  • Let go of the notion that you can do it all and determine where TIME really is MONEY and MONEY really is time. If it takes you a great deal of time to do some tasks like housework, errands, taking care of animals, yardwork etc. sometimes it is well worth the money spent to "buy" those hours for other things you want to do. Gaining an afternoon to pursue a passion, while someone else is cleaning your house or taking care of your gardening could be well worth your money. Again, it's just a matter of what you want your money to buy.
  • Stay focused on the end goal. Many people fell overwhelmed with the time and energy it takes to launch an idea and can't see the light beyond the obstacles. When you feel you can't put as much time into something as you need to or that it will take what seems like forever to launch your idea, decide the small step you can take daily to accomplish something in that direction. Sometimes this means just making one phone call, engaging in one interaction, talking with one professional about your needs, making one decision about a small aspect. It takes longer with baby steps but hey, if you don't take any steps you WON'T GET ANYWHERE!
  • Multi-task with Rock Star sense. Sometimes we tend to multi-task so poorly that everything gets done halfway but "good" multi-tasking can be powerful. Think of something you need to complete that requires you to SIT DOWN or BE STILL. One woman I know uses her children's homework time to work on her business plan. She announces it's time for everyone to do homework and she gets to supervise her children while she is completing her goals. One of my best friends still refers to her nail appointments as her "enlightenment time". She let her technician know she was crunched to get things done and needed to listen to specific webinars, activities etc. when she came to the salon." She sits and listens and still gets a great manicure. (The tech is actually starting to do something similar when she goes to her child's orthodontist appointment).
 We all get 24 hours in a day. We can spend it, save it or waste it, but we cannot get it back. Think of your time in terms of "cash" and decide how much you want to have, give away or bank. Time is even more precious than money because:


          All we can do is learn to use the time we have to get the most out of it.

          What strategies do you have to help people get the most out of their 24 hours?

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