What passions do have in life? What could you do for hours and days with pure excitement that would fulfill you? Perhaps its volunteering, gardening, computer programing, helping kids, reading, blogging, woodworking, fitness, or kayaking.
What would you do everyday if you never had to worry about money and you could do these things you liked all day, everyday? Really think about it and figure out how much time in a given month you do these things your passionate about.
Perhaps you have a long list of things your love doing. Are you actually finding time for these things or are you letting life get in the way? See, many people I have talked to, have passions and dreams that they never end up fulfilling because they think they don’t have “time” or “money” to do these things. Or they think that they are too “old” or that its too complicated to start.
Here is the thing, if you added up all the free time you have in a given day, you might just be surprised how much time you actually have free that is unproductive. Take into consideration the time you drive to work when you could be listening to audio programs, or the coffee breaks, or the times you are being unproductive at home.
If you start by taking one simple step at a time to live your dreams and passions, you will be starting to get there. It does not take 5 hours a day to get what you want in life. It can help, but is certainly not the only way.
If you find 30 minutes a day to focus on your passion, you will be on your way to doing something that fulfills you is something you are meant to do.
30 minutes a day for an entire year is the equivalent of over 4, 40 hour work weeks! That’s an entire month of working!
Everything adds up and you should have no excuse for not finding that time to discover your passion and living it.
Now lets say your still wondering, “How do I find my passion?” Ask yourself what you would do for fun and free, if you never had to worry about working another day in your life. Make a list of these things and start living them everyday.
If you live more aligned with your passion, you will be much freer from all the stresses in your life and one day will be able to live to your full calling in life.
Find your passion and start living it!
Do you ever have times in your life where you are unproductive and get into a bad habit?
You might get distracted by a Facebook notification and spend the next hour looking at pictures of your “friends” random mobile uploads and “like” many of them.
Perhaps you turn on the TV to find out the weather and end up watching five reruns of I Dream of Jeannie.
Maybe you start watching TV and end up eating a entire bag of chips and chug down the rest of that 2 liter Coke.
Or maybe you take a “break” by watching one youtube video and end up watching the Evolution of Dance and 20 other videos that added no value to your day.
Now my question to you is: Are any of these things “bad”? Absolutely not. We all have times where want to get away from things and just need a break from whatever we are doing. However, it starts getting “bad” when these things start controlling your life and your productivity starts going way down.
The trick is to find habits that will be good for you and have a positive impact on your well being. You want to find things that will start empowering you and make your quality of life even better. I am going to assume that just like a normal growing human being, that you want your life to grow and get even better. In order for this to occur you simply need to find some empowering things to do in your life. Try replacing your current habits with things that are more fulfilling/empowering/meaningful/healthier. Here are just a few examples:
1. Replace Facebook with reading
2. Replace soda with water, tea, or a juice
3. Replace sleeping in with exercise
4. Replace playing video games with learning a new hobby
5. Replace a bag of chips with fresh fruit
6. Replace a donut with a protein bar (but not the sugary ones!)
These are just a few ideas of things you could replace in your life. Once again remember that you DO NOT need to replace EVERYTHING. If you replace just a few of your habits a week, you will start to notice results.
Decide to change one habit this week. See how it goes and then change one habit every several weeks. You will be surprised how quickly things turn around and how much more productive you will become.
Do you really know how you are using every minute of your day? All 1,440 minutes of it? Many people I talk to, get to the end of the day and realize that they got much less done than they wanted to. Then they go around complaining to everyone that they don’t have enough time in their day! We tend to get boggled down by all the little thing in our life and forget to focus on the bigger things that give us juice and are considered productive.
Have you ever decided to do something that you thought would only take a short time (like checking your email, checking the sports score, checking your Facebook feed, ect) and then got distracted to find out that several hours went by?
Once we start to do something, we tend to build momentum. This can be a good thing with some things, but not as positive with things that are unproductive. To help figure out how to better manage your time, you must first figure out where it is going. There are a variety of methods to do this and I’m going to focus on a few of them here:
1. Use a software to track your time-there is a lot of software out there that will track everything you do on your computer and will analyze the data in a nice graph by different categories (programs used, time on websites, ect). I have found this to be helpful because then you are able to see where your time is going. You might find out that you are checking your social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace 20 times a day each and not consciously realize it. There are a variety of free software tools you can find to do this job.
2. Print out a Daily/Weekly Calendar-write down everything that you are doing hour by hour no matter what it is. This might seem time consuming at first, but you will really see where your time goes. Remember to be honest!
3. Make a list of everything-get out a sheet of paper and everytime you do something, write it down. Use a small notebook that can fit in your pocket if you want to. Be sure to include most EVERYTHING you do. Your list may look something like this:
7:40-drive to work
8-arrive at work
11:30-talk to coworker
1-work on project
5:30-get home from work
8:15-read a book
11-go to sleep
Once you look at where all of your time is going, you can then start to determine where you can be more productive and waste less time.
Remember: It is perfectly alright to have downtime where you are unproductive. Just remember that you want to make sure you are getting the important things done in your life that will make you fulfilled.
You may be surprised how many things you do that you don’t even realize are a waste of time. You may find that you waste too much time doing something, which will lead to figuring out a better solution. Go out and make this activity fun and even challenge your friends to do the activity with you for a week.
Everyone has something to be proud of in their life no matter who they are. There are many accomplishments we have that we don’t even realize and give credit to ourselves. The fact that you woke up this morning and are reading this is an accomplishment.
Think for a minute about some things that you have achieved in your life. How many can you think of?
Try going back a year…Then 5 years…How about 10 years? Keep going back.
You should be able to come up with at least a few off the top of your head or maybe you can come up with a few dozen. As you go through your life, you tend to have goals and then later forget that you have achieved them. Things you take for granted now, may have been something you would have done anything for in the past. The idea here is to make a list of things you have accomplished. As you go ahead and do this, you will see that it is possible and that you are able to do more than you might have thought.
Spend 10-20 minutes to write down everything that you can possibly think of.
They don’t have to be the biggest achievements like winning a gold medal at the Olympics, but anything that may be an accomplishment for you. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
Can you walk? That’s a great achievement you may not even have thought of.
Perhaps there are some awards you have received.
Have you ever helped someone by volunteering?
Have you gotten hired for a job?
Achieved a goal in the past?
Had a successful relationship in the present or the past? (maybe with your kids, a friend, or an intimate relationship)
Don’t worry if you think your achievement is not significant. Write it down anyways! Anything that makes you feel accomplished and will motivate you is the key to this exercise. Keep all the negativity out of this activity. Everyone has something they have achieved an can feel proud of in their life.
After writing down your achievements, review them. By doing this you will be able to see that you have been able to do things in the past and that you are capable of achieving your current goals. Remember that your past does not equal your future and that if you have been able to do ANYTHING in the past, you have the potential to reach your current goals.
Consider reviewing this list when you are down or unmotivated. The state of being proud and grateful will change the way you react to your life situations. You might just be surprised how simple a few thoughts can positively affect your life.
Everyone wants more free time in their day to get the things done that really matter to them. The problem is that many times we end up getting caught up in things that are not important or even “productive”. Take a few minutes to see how you can apply some of these things to your own life that have the power to free up more time in your days and allow you to live a more fulfilling life.
1. Outsource-Make sure you are using your creative mind and doing the “bigger picture” things in life. Don’t get tied down doing all of the little tasks that take a lot of your time. Consider outsourcing things that use up a lot of your time and do more productive things like setting a vision and generating new ideas. Two great resources are Elance.com and Guru.com. Find out how much your time is worth per hour and consider outsourcing things that don’t “pay well” according to what your time is worth. If you work for a company, consider running the numbers on how much time and money could be saved if you had an assistant. If these numbers seemed beneficial, consider putting in a proposal to your boss to hire an assistant.
2. Reduce checking email-Set certain times during the day to check and respond to email so that you are not checking it all the time and getting distracted. You might just be surprised how much time you are taking to check email and what its doing to your productivity. Once you stop what you are doing, check your email, and get back to what you were doing, you have lost valuable concentrated time and thoughts.
3. Get off the internet and Facebook-Similar to above, set times as to when you check the news, Facebook, blogs, YouTube videos, and everything else online. Perhaps you want to schedule a time after you have been productive for several hours. The way you start your day is what will determine how the rest of your day goes. This means that if you start by being unproductive (checking the news, Facebook, etc.), it will be much harder to get going and be productive. There are however some things that might need to be done for work that may include using Facebook or the News, but the point here is to schedule times when you will check these things that may not be as “productive”.
4. Use NET Time-This means “No Extra Time”. Find times during your day that you can multitask and get two things done at once. Great examples of this includes listening to an audio course on your drive to work or listening to an audiobook as you workout. Perhaps you want to listen to the news or that audio program as you make dinner. NET time allows you do “be productive” and get more things done while you typically would not be doing anything else. See my post about NET time in more detail here.
5. Be healthy-Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you feel better during the day and be able to get more things done. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition and exercising. Simply put, you will feel more alive and be able to get more things done in your day if you manage you stay healthy.
6. Track your time-Carry a list around for several days and write down EVERYTHING you do on it. This includes sleeping, eating, driving, exercising, taking a 10 minute break, checking Facebook, and everything else in between. If your honest, you will be surprised just how much time you waste every single day. Take this list and go over it to see what you can cut back and where you can free up more time for the things that really matter in your life. (EDIT: See new post here about Tracking Your Time to Be More Productive)
Go out and apply at least 1 or 2 of these tips in your life. If you are a real go-getter, apply all of them and see what impact they have. Knowing these things are not going to help you if you don’t take any action. Go out there and make them fun!