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Find the time, for your dreams!

How to find time when you have no time??

I will start off by saying, that you are taking inspired actions on your dreams. So you have to understand in your own mind, how much you really want this. How much it means to you, to fulfil your dreams and desires, and change your life.

So give yourself a scale of 1-10. Give yourself an idea of where you are at.

Some of these approaches you may roll your eyes, some you might jump at and others might not fit your schedule, as everyone’s does look different, but I am sure, something in this will resonate with you. Plus if you don’t try, you will never know right?

But what you will find as you proceed to read on, is how willing you are. That number between 1 and 10, will dictate, how much you are willing to do certain approaches.

Because motivation and willpower are not natural to us as humans. Motivation is found in the discipline of an action. The more disciplined you are, the more you see your work, your progress, your results, that inspires a sense of motivation to keep going, but ultimately, discipline is a conscious choice.

Will power is a sliding scale. And studies have shown that humans have more will power, earlier on in the day. We have a full battery from a nights sleep, the entire day ahead of us, the time is full of potential. But as the day wanes on, and you think about all the things you need to do, your phone is pinging, you make one choice over another, time runs away, you talk yourself out of it, will power decreases, the potential reduces. That is where discipline comes in, and straight up, doing some of the things that at that point in time, you just may not want to do.

My partner has a presentation meeting every quarter. It is solidly his least favourite meeting and even worse, doing the presentation itself. His role is really busy and rarely finds time to do it during his working day.

But because he is being held accountable by the audience of that meeting, his manager and his team. He finds the time to get it done.

So why is it acceptable, to not get things done? Because we are our own manager and team? Nothing will happen if we don’t do it? Why are we so okay to let ourselves down? Because no one is holding us accountable.

The amount of times I have handed my partner the power of accountability partner for endless things, exercise, not eating chocolate every night etc.

I even remember going to the gym at 5am with my friend, because the universe knows there is not a chance I would make it there by myself unless I knew I could be letting someone else down.

So, my first piece of advice;

1. Get an Accountability partner or Coach – Having someone who you rely on, and vice versa, is a game changer. Like I said about the gym, I would never go, unless someone was relying on me. At work, my partner would happily not do that presentation, unless someone was going to ask him where it was? & sometimes, having a paid professional can be better than a friend depending on your relationship. Tough love and reminders of WHY you’re doing this can be necessary. So knowing that you can emotionally detach from the person who is being tough on you to push you towards the goal you signed up for, helps. They’re also not afraid to say what needs to be said, whereas friends and family, might let you off a little more, or be worried about offending you. Accountability partners/coaches will keep you on track, so unless you want to fire them a million excuses and let them down, you’ll get the work done.

2. Time Boxing – Its going to sound so obvious but it is so effective! Box your time. Box yourself. For example, when I started one of my first projects, it took me an eternity to complete it because I always found excuses about not having enough time. Till – I decided that twice a week, because it was all I could manage, 8am till 9am, so for 1 hour, I would work solely on that project. - Put it in your work diary if necessary, so no one else can put a meeting in. - Book a meeting room if you’re in an office. - Put your phone on silent or airplane mode. - Bring all your drinks, snacks, everything you could possible need in that 1 hour with you. - Close all the other tabs on your laptop of phone. - Make sure you are UN-disturbable. - Tell your partner to take the kids out/do it during school/nursery or EVEN, go to library, café. Anywhere quiet. By taking this approach you have pre-planned your time. Prepped all your possible distractions and neutralised them. You then have that window of time, to focus on nothing but your project. Whether it is 10 minutes, an hour or 4 hours. You decide.

3. Stop finding reasons why not – Again, sounds very simple. But honestly it is surprising how many people are not even willing to look, to see, if they can find the time. When we actually analyse what we do in the hours of the day, it can become quite clear that we do not make the most of some of the time we have.

If you can honestly say you are an exception to that rule, then ultimately it comes down to choices. Are you willing to ask for help? Receive support in creating time?

My partner has taken my son out for a few hours on a Sunday morning before, so I can create peace and work on my passion. It is not something I wanted to do, but I had to do, because my longer term dream of having time freedom with him, was bigger.

As a family we do everything together, every morning nursery walk, pick up, parties, swimming lessons, park trips, etc. but the other week I said to my partner, you don’t need to come to this two hour birthday party, go and have 2 hours to work on something for you.

He does not need my permission AT ALL and would have happily come and got down with Disney, but unexpectedly, he had space, time and an opportunity.

Essentially, look at where you spend your time, and be strict with yourself, even just for 10 minutes a day.

4. Say No – This was a tough one for me, because I am very much a YES person. But sometimes I had to start saying no to things, in order to prioritise myself and my time. It can be easy to say yes to everything and be a very busy, sociable person, but your people will understand, if for a period of time, you go a little off radar, or don’t go for after work drinks, or skip a coffee or a play date.

Good people in your life will appreciate what you’re doing means to you, and will be ready and waiting to celebrate with you when you’re done, or have the space to be out and about again.

I remember as a kid trying to revise for exams, not my strong suit, and my mum would tell my friends when they knocked for me that I was studying and couldn’t go and play.

Now it is time to be that person. Because if you keep putting everything else, before your dream, that’s all it will remain, a dream.

So there we are, four of my top tips for finding time when you don’t have any! Essentially, they all require you to be a little bit more organised and a little bit more selfish! But, it is not selfish, when you are prioritising yourself, your dreams, your happiness and your peace. You will be glad your did, when you’re living the moment you only dreamt of.

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