Happy new month! We’re done with five months of the year already. I know most of us had some desires or goals when the year began. How is that going so far? For me, by God’s grace about 90% is going well. And I’ve been very consistent with my video podcasts, which was one of my goals for this year. It’s been an interesting learning experience and has taught me a lot, especially about making time for what really matters. That’s why I specifically want to focus on how to make time for your dream in today’s blog post.
I get people reaching out, commending my consistency and asking me how I make time for it. I also hear some of the women in my community express how they desire to execute certain plans but can’t make time for it. Here are some tried and true practical ways to make time for your dream. Ready? Let’s gaux! (LOL)
1. Decide on one dream to run with at a time
This particularly goes for people who have a lot of beautiful ideas and try to juggle them all up at a time. Like wanting to pursue a PhD, charter as an accountant, have a new baby and buy a new car all at the same time. Or wanting to learn to be a fashion designer, yoghurt producer and cake artist all at the same time. That’s just so overwhelming. I believe strongly in multiple streams of income, however it is best to choose one and start with. When it gets to a point when the business is thriving and doesn’t need your full attention, then you may move on to the next dream. The goal for us ladies, is not to be a superhuman but to be a fulfilled child of God.
2. Create a plan for the next step at least
Say you want to become a fashion designer. The first step may be to research by reaching out to other fashion designers to gather some intel on your upcoming niche. Perhaps you may find the best fashion school where a part time course may be flexible for you. You find out you’ll need to attend a 3-hour class daily. In this scenario, you now know how much time to invest in your goal per day. Note: It’s very OK if you can figure out just the next step and not the entire staircase leading to your destination. I mean, if you can get the entire road map for your journey then Hallelujah. Otherwise, just know the next step to take and trust that once you get there, you’ll know the next one to take. And the next, on and on.
3. Audit how you use your time
The purpose of this activity is to know how you are currently using your time and see where you can make adjustments. Do you know how you actually spend your time? Do a time audit and you may be surprised at what you learn. Have you ever said out loud “Where did the time go?” (Hehe). Below is a portion from Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figuroutable which explains how to do this:
‘Realize that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you’re serious about eradicating time excuses, do this. For the next seven days, write down every single thing you do from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep.
Don’t change your normal routine. Record what you typically do, without embellishment or judgment. Your ego may be tempted to fudge the numbers or adjust your behavior to make yourself appear better on paper. Don’t do that. The whole point of this exercise is to understand precisely how you spend your time. Plus, you need a baseline of how you’re currently spending your time before you can alter it.
Very important: Leave no minute unaccounted for. Be an obsessive, note- taking little freak for the next seven days. Grab a notebook and track your time in two-, ten-, or thirty-minute increments—whatever helps you capture the most accurate snapshot. Include things like lunch breaks, text threads with family…’
4. Delete, delegate or pay for help
Delete: Truly, some activities gotta go! Ya’ll know how much I love networking. However I realize, I’m in some associations in which I’m not even productive, unfortunately. Some members don’t even know I exist there. While the reason for joining may be legit and good, I realize I am neither receiving nor offering value in these groups? I asked myself “Why am I here?” and started deleting some groups from my life. This is not about them, I am just unable to commit to being a member at this time. If you find yourself in a group in which you are unable to to commit to being a member AND it is taking up your time and energy, you may want to reconsider your membership.
Delegate: Last week I was invited to speak at a conference on one of the campuses. I love speaking especially to young youth. However, this particular engagement was going to take up at least 5 hours of my time including preparation and driving time. Thankfully, I got a dear colleague to replace me and it was a win for everyone involved. The organisers were happy with my colleague, my colleague enjoyed it and got some cool cash plus, I got to use that time to work on a very important project. I call this a WIN WIN WIN! If you are looking to make time for your dream, delegating is your best friend.
Pay for help: Oh what needless time we waste all because we want to do everything ourselves! Recently, I began transcribing my video podcasts since some of my audience prefer to read. Now I don’t have a problem with doing videos because it is in my zone of genius. However, sitting my bumbum down to transcribe is an activity in my zone of excellence. (Read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks to understand these zones better). After months of ‘just hanging in there’ when it came to transcribing, I finally decided that this must stop! Now I have found a Virtual Assistant to do it and she is so AMAZING! She gets it done for me very timely with excellent grammar as well. The value of what she’s giving me is not even about the work but the peace of mind she gives me to be able to do other stuff while she handles these for me. Seriously, please pay for help if you have to. The same applies to household chores.
5. Say no when you must
You know how sometimes your friend wants you to escort them to their brother’s step dad’s side chick’s party? (Hehe). Sometimes you don’t even know the person who’s event you’re attending but you ‘have’ to go just because you want to be nice. It’s very OK to say no my dear. Don’t fall for how short or brief they may tell you the event is; ‘oh it will just be an hour.’ And it’s not even just about the time but the energy you exhaust on these things while they could have been channelled into other productive endeavours like your dream. Please say no when you must. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
6. Know thyself
Know when your most productive hours are. A lot of times we deceive ourselves into thinking we can knock everything off our to-do lists. Instead, we end up exhausted with poor quality of work. We all have different times when we’re productive. It may be during the day or during the night. Know those times very well so that you know where to fix your important work. My most productive hours for instance are early in the morning up to about midday and immediately after a nap. And so I plan to do important activities in these periods. I encourage you to pay attention to your body, learn it and use it to your advantage.
7. Surround yourself with other badass dream chasers
You want to be in a community who are not losing guard and making excuses about how they don’t have time. When you see how everyone is pushing and putting in effort, it motivates you as a community member. Currently I’m in three mastermind groups and each has powerful, badass women. When we meet to talk, pray and support each other it’s just so beautiful. You wanna be in a community of people who are go-getters, supporting you, advising and telling you when to rest as well. Sometimes it’s just not enough to hold yourself accountable. You need other badass dream chasers to run with.
So there they are; 7 practical things you can do to make time for your dreams. I hope this has been of value to you. Please let me know in the comments which of these you are going to try. Perhaps you may also know a valuable tip that I left out. Kindly share in the comments as well. Until I come your way again next week, remain fabulous.
Photo by: Vera Obeng Photography