Don’t Find Time, Make Time.

Can’t  find  time to work on your goals?

Maybe trying to “find time” is the problem.  The phrase “finding time” suggests there is extra time hiding somewhere. There isn’t. You are already spending twenty four hours a day in activities that benefit you and or someone else (e.g., working, sleeping, childcare, socializing).  If you want D.R.E.A.M. time, you’ll have to reduce the time you spend on  current activities and find substitutes for the benefits being received.  Below are some tips for making time.

At home

  • Substitute sleep  for late night television.  Then wake up a few hours early  to work on your goal.
  • Attend group outings with your friends- Organizing a group of friends to see a movie or have dinner allows you to see multiple friends at once.   This helps to preserve relationships while you’re away focusing on your goal. The strategy works for phone calls, too. Set up conference calls with your friends using services like http://www.freeconferencecall.com.
  • Substitute private time with your significant other(s) for Internet surfing time. I won’t detail the obvious benefits.  However, a main one is that your partner gets the necessary attention he or she needs, reducing complaints about your lack of availability during D.R.E.A.M.  time.
  • Arrange play dates or enrichment activities for your children a few times weekly.  Play dates give you a few hours to yourself.  However, be fair.  Host play dates, too.  Enrichment activities can be inexpensive.  For example, for the price of a babysitter,  you can hire a language major from your local college to teach your children a foreign language while you work peacefully in the next room.
  • When attending a day long celebration, join the party late or leave early.  If it’s a reunion, attend two hours in the beginning, making sure to circulate widely and greet everyone.  Then quietly step away to D.R.E.A.M. for a few hours and return for the last two or three hours of the event. At a large event, nobody will miss you.  Everyone will assume you’re in another part of the venue or out doing a store run.

At work

  • Identify work related tasks you can delegate or skills you can acquire to help you achieve work related tasks more quickly and accurately.  This should reduce the amount of work you have to bring home.
  • Have a D.R.E.A.M.  lunch at least one day per week.  Instead of going to lunch with your work buddies 5 days per week, choose one day to work on your goal while munching on a bag lunch.  However, don’t work at your desk, even if you have a private office. You don’t want to spend half your lunch period explaining your activities.
  • Work  from home at least one day per week, if possible.   Use the commuting time you save to D.R.E.A.M.
  • Participate in quiet carpools or use public transportation to get to work.  Read or write something goal-related during the commute.
  • D.R.E.A.M. instead of checking emails or texts when meetings start late or end early.  Or network with someone in the meeting room to help you achieve a work-related task more quickly, availing more time for D.R.E.A.M.ing.
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