Time: we all have it but somehow we are often looking for it. Because we are in the beginning of a new year, I hope to inspire you with 10 ways to find time to do what you love.
1 - prioritize - if you have many priorities, you have no priority at all. By definition, a priority is the right to precede others in order or rank. Decide what is your one priority and focus on that one thing. Running has been a priority for the past 7 years so I focus on that instead of focusing on other things I could be doing.
2 - set goals - the result you get from prioritizing your efforts towards doing what you love is your “goal.” Setting goals is a great way to find time to do what you love because goals are like maps: they give you direction and margin as you focus on your objective.
3 - do not procrastinate - one of my greatest discoveries 17 years ago when I came to America was the definition of the word “procrastination.” I learned that if I finish what I start I will most certainly win the battle against procrastination. Once you and I prioritize and set our goals, it’s important not to procrastinate but to do that which requires our immediate attention. The more you fight against procrastination, the better you become at finding time to do what you love.
4 - get organized - but do it the savvy way. I’m not talking about organizing your sock drawer but getting organized to do what you love. When it comes to running, I make sure all my clothes and shoes are ready to go. When it comes to writing, I make sure all my supplies are ready to go so I can simply write during the time I set apart for that pleasurable activity.
5 - ask for help - living in community is a beautiful thing because you find people who are willing to help you do what you love. Those great individuals can be great assets when you are finding time to do what you love. I often ask for help so I can have one hour to write or read uninterrupted. Recently I have asked friends to help me brainstorm a concept for a book idea. When it comes to running marathons, I have asked friends to help me for a few hours so I can train or compete. I have learned that asking for help elevates the human spirit and it connects us as community.
6 - have all you need? - there is nothing worse than setting out to do an assignment and spending half of the time looking for your supplies. Be sure to have all you need in order to do what you love. Take inventory and have that list available so that your time is well spent.
7 - put it in your schedule - most things I write down in my schedule happen. I have the habit of putting the things I love in my schedule. This habit reinforces the fact that I have a goal. It also helps me make them a priority. I also go the extra step and keep that schedule visible so that I have that constant reminder of what I need to do.
8 - prayer - Telling God about your desire to do what you love is a great thing. After all, He did say we should pray about everything. I often go the extra step and ask God to help me make time to do what I love. Those few hours a week make the overall fabric of life richer and joyful.
9 - resting - a tired body is not capable of working to its fullest potential. You and I will do what we love more efficiently when we are rested. Rest is a discipline because you need it daily. I have been challenging myself to rest when I am not asleep. I take a body check and try to perceive any tension. I let go of the tension and proceed with a more restful mind and body. I throw a prayer in the process because God is the only One who can keep me in perfect peace as my mind is fixed on Him because I trust in Him. I know that the key to do what I love well is to rest well.
10 - recalibrate - we are not robots so we need to step back and recalibrate often. When it comes to finding time to do what I love, I recalibrate every weekend. I look at the week ahead and I plan the time I will spend doing what I love. I devise carefully about what strategy I will use in order to make my good habit happen. If your desire is to cook more often, the day before going to the grocery store is a good time to recalibrate. You may take inventory of your supplies. You may plan your menu. You may think about meal prepping. I ran my fourth marathon Sunday so I am deep in the process of recalibrating for the next marathon season. I am resting my body and my mind. I am rethinking everything from gear to training plan to nutrition. I am certain that I will have a better approach to long distance running if I take the time to recalibrate.
2016 is the time to do what you love. I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know if they work for you and how so. Have a productive day my friend!