Practice #5: Time plus effort equals success. Goals require some amount of time and effort to achieve them. In our time management training we emphasize that you can do anything you want in life to create your idea of happiness and success; perhaps just not all at the same time.
Everyday responsibilities put pressure on us
We all have demands on us, and there are only 24 hours in a day. When you subtract time spent sleeping (and remember the importance of enough sleep), working, taking care of the kids, managing your home, preparing meals, and other necessary activities, there’s only so much time left to work on your stated goals. You need to make room for the happiness and success you want.
When you prepared your habit list, you identified the barriers to achieving your goal. Did you find that your current life and schedule supported your goal, or did you discover many barriers in your way?
How time and physical space gets in your way
Time and physical space are two common barriers to making progress on your goals. Here’s how these two issues could be impacting you. Your time is over-committed with any combination of paid work, volunteer work or other activities. You realize that to achieve your goal you’ve got to allocate time to do it. Getting more physical activity might be one of them. Where is that time going to come from?
Physical space can also come into play. You want to write your novel or start a business idea, but you have no dedicated place to work at home. You have a place to work at home, but it’s filled with so much clutter it distracts you and compounds your stress.
You need to make choices about what’s currently important to you. You might need to let go of some commitments or give up other activities that are not as high a priority. Remember, this is a judgement you’re making just for right now while you’re working on your one life-improving goal. Make room for your current goal by freeing up time. If something is truly important to you, you’ll find the time to do it.
Determine the minimum space you need then anoint it as your place to work on your goal. If you’re a couple living in a studio apartment, your only option for quiet space might be the bathroom. We actually know a couple who faced this. When they moved out of their studio, their top priority for their next apartment was simply a separate bedroom with a door. Is there a common space in your building? Are there places near your home that are options? Many people work on their laptops at coffee shops. How about your local library? Look into shared office spaces for a nominal fee.
Get rid of the clutter
Too much clutter can distract, even paralyze you. You need room for thought and introspection. That’s hard to do when you’re overwhelmed by stuff. Make your space clean and organized.
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