Have you ever stopped to wonder where all your time goes? Do you find you are doing more for others and accomplishing very little for yourself? Not finding enough time for your Dreams? No need to despair, many of us ask ourselves the same questions and the answers just seem to elude us. In my work as a business coach/mentor over the years, I have come up with the top 5 questions You should be asking yourself in your struggle with “Time Management”. The following questions will help you have an awareness of how your time is spent. Then you should have a better understanding of how your time can be managed more efficiently, giving you the extra time that you will need to work towards your “Dreams”!
How many hours/days a week do you work, including commute time?
This is probably the most important question you should be asking yourself because work usually takes up most of our waking hours. What I suggest you do is write down how many days/hours you work in a weeks’ time, so you can “see” what days or which part of the day are “Open” or “Partially Open” so that you may work on your “Dream”. Let’s say you have a ½ hour to work then a ½ hour home, that’s an hour a day and 5 hours a week. Instead of listening to the radio, try listening to anything that will educate you on the topic of your dream, as well as teach you how to make that dream a reality. Once you know when and where your “Free” time is, get a day planner (I use Panda Planner) and pick the days/hours that are “Free” and put them in your planner so you can use that time to work on your Dream.
How many hours are dedicated to “Quality” Personal Time?
For this question, I would like for you to think about the things that take up your time on a regular basis other than your job. This would include things of value that add to the quality of your life such as physical fitness, family time etc. Also, I suggest that you evaluate the time spent on the things in your life that don’t add value to the quality of your life and drain your energy keeping in mind that these will be things you will be working on eliminating.
How much time do you spend with electronic devices including TV?
OK, I know you’re not thrilled about holding yourself accountable for answering this one! I get it, I love my time on Facebook too! But seriously, this needs to be addressed. Let’s face it, we all spend too much time on electronics whether it is social media, surfing the internet or just texting. Setting limits on how much time you will use your electronics and then sticking to it is a great place to start making changes. I suggest about thirty minutes in the morning to check and respond to e-mails and texts, then maybe a little social media or surfing time. Once you have taken the additional time to work on your dream, then reward yourself with additional electronics time. You may be shocked to actually see the results! According to Nielson Reports the average American spends 11 hours per day on electronic gadgets, out of those 11 hours, 4.51 are spent watching TV, that’s almost 5 hours! Make the commitment to take 2 of those hours and dedicate them to working on your dream. That still leaves you about 3 hours for your TV entertainment. 2 hours a day x 7 days = 14 “Free” hours, Wow!
What time does your day begin and end?
Having a regular schedule during the week is really important. The first thing is to get adequate sleep, eight hours is the recommended average which seems to work for most people. If you normally go to bed at 11:00 and wake up at 7:00, try going to bed at 10:00 and wake up at 6:00. Spend at least a half hour to an hour in the morning to work on your “Dream” each day. I find first thing in the morning is the best time to brainstorm! After a good night’s restful sleep, you will be clear in your thoughts and focused. When you follow the example, you will see that making that one minor adjustment gave you an extra hour in the morning to work on your dream. That’s 5 hours in five days. You didn’t lose any of your rest time either. You can work on the smaller goals in that hour, such as proofreading anything you created previously or making your goals list for the coming weeks. Be creative and make the most of that hour!
How much time will you need to build your Dream?
This depends on Your “Dream”, so take your time answering this question. Maybe it’s a vacation to Europe. This would be fairly uncomplicated to work towards, it would be a matter of researching where you want to go and when then planning and saving to reach this goal. Now if your “Dream” is much larger than this, such as opening your own business, this will require more time and effort. So be patient with yourself and start the planning process. By starting the planning process, you will come to a better understanding of the exact amount of time needed to work on the steps to fulfill your Dream.
I’m sure you can get quite a lot done with this newly “Found” time. I know these things work because I did them myself and I’m living my dream. It takes effort and determination to fulfill a dream, however, the universe will meet you half way, so how much time will you invest towards your dream? By creating time for yourself, you create time to work on your Dreams.