Words By Tara Wagner

How to Make Time For Your Goals When You’re Just Too Busy

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I want to show you how to make time for your goals, whether that is business goals, self-care goals, relationship goals.

What do you need to do or redo in order to consistently make space in your week for the things that matter the most down the road?

Watch here or read below.

How to Make Time For Your Goals When You’re Just Too Busy Click To Tweet

Now, this is super simple. I’m actually going to break it down to four steps that you’re going to take. But just because it’s simple doesn’t make it feel easy. I tend to walk clients through this because there tends to be a lot of emotional challenges around making some of the decisions and doing some of the things that you’re about to do. Again, simple, but it’s going to feel difficult because you’re going to make some really tough choices here.

So I’m going to do this on paper. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Literally, you can do this with me. It does not take that long. Pause the video as you go along. Or watch this whole thing, come back, and watch it again to take it step by step.

Step #1 – Calendar Review

So your very first step is going to be a calendar review. This is going to enable you to get a big picture of what’s actually going on right now.

We think we know what’s going on. We’re in the midst of it day by day, right? But it’s sort of like not being able to see the forest through all of the trees. We get lost in the weeds of everything happening, and we need to be able to take a step back to gain that bigger view and really be able to make these decisions.

So what you’re going to do is actually draw out a calendar. You can do this digitally if you prefer, or print out a weekly calendar. But I like to just keep this simple and not add a lot of steps to it.

I am going to draw out by creating 6 lines.

Our goal here is to write in our current schedule.

For instance:

  • You work a 9-5 – you’re going to block off the time that you do your 9-5 work.
  • Then maybe we’ve got a 30 min. commute – we’ll want to add in this commute time before and after.
  • Perhaps you do your grocery shopping on Saturday – so we’re going to add groceries there.
  • Maybe you’ve got a dance recital for your kids on Wednesdays or their lessons are on Wednesdays – write that in
  • Don’t forget we also need to actually eat dinner – so let’s write that in whenever that works best for you.
  • Then, of course, sleep. That would be really nice. So we add that in.
  • And what time are we waking up?
  • We got to get ready for work. So we’re adding all of that in.

What you’re going to see by the end of this, once you get everything in here, is an honest view of what’s left.

A few things to remember as you go through this:

Go through your calendar over the last 3 months and look at the things that have been on your calendar that maybe you’re forgetting because they don’t happen on a week-to-week, consistent basis.

Also, make sure that you’re adding in a cushion. So let’s say your commute actually takes 20 minutes, but sometimes it’s 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s even 40 minutes. You may want to add that in there so that you’re being as realistic as possible.

Oftentimes, I have clients do this and they give me the best-case scenario. Then 10 weeks go by and they’re like, “But this isn’t my normal week.” And I’m going, “Honey, if it’s happened the last 10 weeks in a row, guess what? This is your normal week, and this is why you’re not having the time that you want to have for the goals that you’re trying to work on because we’re not being honest about where our time actually goes.

We think that the non-ideal things aren’t happening as often as they actually are, but we actually can plan for them if we just take this honest look. Write it all out so that it is on paper, black and white in front of you.

The reason you want to go through your calendar is to look at things that you might be forgetting.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I forgetting?
  • What usually happens on Saturdays or Sundays?
  • Do I have parties that I go to?
  • Do I have family events that I need to go to?
  • What’s going to happen in the next 3 months?
  • Do I have taxes that I need to sit down and do?
  • Maybe there are doctor’s appointments that need to be configured into this somehow. When do those happen when they do happen?

When you are pretty sure that you’re done with this, and it usually takes about 10 minutes to really complete it completely, when you’re sure you’re done with it, then ask yourself, “What’s left? What do I have available to my goals at this point?” Now, this can be a very sombering view. Don’t let it depress you, because what we’re going to do next is going to free up some additional time, but we just want to know where you’re starting from.

Step #2 – Mindless Time

So your next step now is to look at this and outline or highlight mindless time. This is time in your week that you are doing things that don’t fully engage your brain.

This could be:

  • Your commute
  • Getting ready for work
  • Doing dishes
  • Doing chores,

Anything where multitasking becomes a simple and actually recommended habit and not a bad habit. When you have all of that mindless time highlighted on your calendar, go ahead and ask yourself, “How can I fill this with things that will help me to reach my goals?

For instance, there may be particular things that you want to learn. There may be mindsets that you need to be focusing on or practicing. There may be things that inspire you, that encourage you, that motivate you, that keep you on track. That’s the time to consume that type of content.

The other thing to do with mindless time is to turn it into family time.

Family time does not always have to mean sitting down around the table with the family or sitting on the floor with the kids playing. Really, what family time is is connection, conversation, and that can be happening during many different things in your day.

If you’re sitting there doing your hair, get your kids in the bathroom and play, and sing, and have fun together while you’re doing that. Have them help you make dinner or clean up dishes and have conversations about their day. Ask them questions, joke, play, and make it fun.

The more you connect and have family time during some of these otherwise mindless activities, the more you’re going to be able to let the kids or the family do their own thing while you take time for your goals. Once their cup is filled, they’re not going to ask you to fill it while you’re trying to fill your own cup, right?

Once you have that highlighted, go ahead and write down the action steps to make that happen.

For instance:

  • Download 5 audiobooks
  • Subscribe to 10 podcasts that are specific to my industry
  • Find kid-friendly recipes so that we can be cooking together

Turn it into an action step, a specific thing that you’re going to do so that it actually gets done.

By the way, a little bit of what we’re talking about here is called “time blocking”. And if you’re curious about that, be sure to grab my free download Time Blocking Boss. It includes some action steps to take to help you to rearrange your schedule even more.

#3 – Move/Remove

Number three is to look at your schedule again and ask yourself, “What can I move or remove, and how?”

By “move”, what I mean is maybe you can group like things together so that they take less time. By “remove”, what I mean is maybe there are things you can uncommit from, things that you can sacrifice or let go of. Even things that you think can’t be moved around often can.

  • Maybe you work 9-5 Monday-Friday, but you could actually work four 10 hour days instead and free up an entire day just for your goals.
  • Maybe you can cancel Netflix.
  • Maybe you can uncommit from obligations or things that you promised to be doing for other people.
  • Maybe you can have someone else take the kids to their lessons.

Another example of this is cleaning less often or just differently. Instead of doing a big, deep clean every Saturday, maybe you’re doing 30 seconds here and 30 seconds there throughout your days so that you’re easily keeping the house clean and not having to dedicate a huge chunk of time to it. Maybe you’re going to go to bed earlier, stay up a little bit later, cancel Netflix, hire somebody.

Whatever it is, what I want you to ask yourself is: “What could I move or remove if I really wanted to?”

Just make a list of possibilities, even if right now your brain is telling you, “I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t possibly change my work hours. I couldn’t possibly stay up later or get up earlier. I’m not a morning person. But if I was, what could I do? If I was willing to try something new, what could I do? if I really wanted to, if I was going to pull out all the stops, what are the things that I could move or remove in order to prioritize what I know really matters to me?:

When you have this list, it’s up to you what you want to actually act on. No one else is going to judge you for this, but yourself, which I know can be the harshest judge of all.

But keep this list because maybe you’re just going to tweak a couple things now and come back to it to tweak a couple things later. The point here is to stretch yourself to come up with new options instead of allowing your mind to tell you it’s just not possible.

#4 – Proactive Solutions

Number four is proactive solutions.

I want you to look at your calendar. I want you to look over your last few months. I want you to look ahead to your next few months and ask yourself, “What’s likely to throw me off? Is it just going to be my morning routine? Is it going to be the kids getting sick? Is it going to be some unexpected bill that comes up?” Something that might happen based on what’s likely to happen based on what has happened in the past.

Our goal here is to look at things like upcoming birthday parties or interruptions at work or at home when you’re working on your goals and solve for those things now. “What can I do to help me proactively prevent or solve for these problems? If these things were to come up, what can I do to stay on track with my goals regardless?

Remember the quote “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? That’s exactly what we’re doing here. We’re getting proactive to prevent the things that are going to throw us off.

So when you’re done with all this, the most important thing you can do now is to actually look at the schedule and outline: “What’s the time that I have? What time have I been able to create?

But here’s what’s crucial: Actually schedule specific tasks into that timeframe now. If you freed up every Friday between 1-3 but you leave it as a blank space, guess what’s going to happen when you need to schedule a doctor’s appointment? It’s going to go in that blank space. But instead, if that space is filled up with write the book, exercise, train for the marathon, that space is going to be saved for the goal that you’ve actually put there. You’re going to be able to tell that doctor, “I’m not available Friday at that time, but what about Monday at this time?

Success is scheduled.

If you don’t put the specific tasks and steps related to success on your calendar, it will not happen. Don’t open up all of this space and expect magic to happen. Nature abhors a vacuum. Open up all of this space to immediately put in the things that matter the most to you.

FREE TIME BLOCKING BOSS GUIDE!

To help you to do all of this, I’ve created a free guide to walk you through time blocking!

It will help you make sure you’re time blocking the right things and every step laid out to help you along the way.

It’s called Time Blocking Boss, and you can download for free by clicking the button below or click here to learn more.

What about you, boss lady?

I’d love to hear from you! What’s YOUR best tip for making more time for your goals?

Scroll down to leave your comments!

xoTara-teal

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