I work hard. I bet you do too. The work weeks are long and the hours that we put in at our jobs seem to grow over time. The idea of one person doing the work of two or even three has permeated our culture in the wake of diminishing budgets and lower sales. As leaders, we have lots of motivation to put in a ton of hours each week – a better bottom line, fulfilling the mission, and simply getting the job done, to name a few…
Because of this, many people struggle to have a real life, doing the things they love, outside of work. The weeknights go by too quickly and the weekends are full of necessary tasks like paying bills, grocery shopping, etc. It’s all understandable, but in my opinion, it’s not acceptable.
Now that I’ve been blogging for over a year, I often have people ask me how I have the time to do it. Last year, I wrote over 100 posts and grew my platform exponentially. It was an exciting year that happened with many other things going on in my life that could have easily kept me from accomplishing these amazing results.
I’ve found that creating margin to do the things you love NEVER happens by accident. No one ever looks back on a year and wonders how they were able to achieve every goal they set for themselves. And, if we’re waiting for our boss to give us a 6 month leave to focus on the things we love, we’re simply dreaming.
The things that we love that we don’t have time for can come in a lot of shapes and sizes. It could be that you want to spend more time with your kids. Or maybe you want to learn a new hobby or skill. Or you want to go back to school and earn that degree. For me, it was launching a blog so that I could write about the things I love and help people along the way. Whatever that thing is for you, there’s a formula that must be followed or it will never happen.
1. Identify WHAT? What is it that you want to make time for? Be specific.
2. Identify WHY? Why is it that you want to make time for that? Write it down.
3. Identify WHO? Who needs to be along side you on this quest? Ask them.
4. Identify HOW? How are you going to find the time to dedicate to it? Make a plan.
5. Identify WHEN? When will you do it? Make it routine and recurring.
You already know my what and why. My who was my wife. I needed her to motivate and encourage me. She had to be onboard with my idea or else it was never going to work. I knew that we were going to have to make some sacrifices to make it happen, so involving her in the conversation was key. My how was that I was going to “give up” some of my time off. So, I regularly take Friday (a day off for me) and I write and work on my blog on Fridays – and that’s also my when. Sometimes I work on it in the evenings and other days through the week, but it is understood that Fridays are my day to be away from home…writing.
Doing what you love means that you’ll have to make some sacrifices. You’ll have to choose between two or more things that may all seem like really good things. But, you’ll have to make the choice if you want to create the margin necessary. For some, it’s that they give up some sleep and get up crazy early to write or exercise or work on their side business. For others, it’s that they give up some time with friends or family in order to focus on what they love. All of those are GREAT things, but a choice must be made.
What’s the one thing that you wish you had more time to do? Comment below and let me know…