How To Find Time To Focus On Your Goals?
Time. It’s the great equalizer amongst all creative entrepreneurs and side hustlers. We never seem to have enough… or do we?
Today we’re going to talk about schedule clarity. Do you know how many hours you have left over after all of your daily obligations have been fulfilled? No! This is another reason why you aren’t making progress toward your goals. You have not taken the time to assess how many hours you can actually work on your dreams.
We both know that our time is greatly overextended. What’s worse is the fact that we constantly take on additional work (saying no is a learned skill, but this is a topic for another day). It’s time to take a hard look at your schedule.
Finding Schedule Clarity
Schedule clarity is figuring out where your time is allotted daily. I’m talking about the recurring commitments and time constraints that you have to schedule around. Things like work, your kid’s extracurricular activities, sleeping and your commute. These things are pretty rigid in your schedule and while you can bend the time slightly it’s in your best interest not to. I’m serious. Don’t start cutting into your sleep time.
Before you pile on any more work you need to get clear about what your commitments are and how much time they take. To help you figure this out, I’ve created a schedule spreadsheet. Download it in Google Drive (Go to File> Make a copy) and complete the exercise below.
1. Start by figuring out how many hours a day you’re awake. Fill in the time you wake up and when you go to sleep. Be honest. This is not the time to fudge the numbers based on the hours you wish you slept. The time between these numbers is your waking hours. This is exactly how many hours a day you have to work. Point. Blank. Period.
2. How long does it take you to get dressed, fed and off to work? If you have a spouse or kids, you need to account for the time you spend helping them get ready as well. Block this time off on your schedule.
3. Fill in and block off time for your commute round trip.
4. What’s your work schedule? Block off this chunk of time on your schedule.
5. Do you have commitments after work? Gym sessions, soccer matches with your kids, choir rehearsals need to be accounted for on the day that they occur.
6. Self-care is important. How much time will you allow yourself after work to decompress? I suggest you take a minimum of 30 minutes to walk around your neighborhood.
7. How long does it take for you to prepare and eat dinner? Again, add this time to your schedule.
8. Do you have any bedtime rituals? How long do they take?
9. If you have specific obligations on different days, you’ll need to repeat this process.
After all of your daily activities are accounted for, the time left over is what you have to put toward your goals. Is it more or less than you thought?
The point of this exercise is for you to clearly see what your schedule looks like on a weekly basis. Yes, it’s jam packed but if you’re determined to put in the work you can find the time. Carving out as little as 1.5 hours a day adds up to 10.5 hours a week. That may not seem like much but over the course of the month, that turns into 42 hours! Imagine what you could get done with that time.
You will make significant progress when you start aligning what you want to happen in your life to the actions that you’re taking on a daily basis. And you can get started for as little as 90 minutes a day.