9 Powerful Ways to Find Enough Time for your Goals

Wouldn’t it be great to have more time? With a few extra hours a week, you could final­ly accom­plish those goals that have been on your list for so long … but your life just seems to get busier and busier.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can find time to reach your goals – in fact, you already have enough time, you just might not real­ize it.

Here are nine pow­er­ful ways to find more time, start­ing now:

#1: Track Your Time for Sev­er­al Days
Where does your time real­ly go? If you’re not sure, then keep track of your time for a few days. Record what you’re doing in 15 minute inter­vals. You may want to focus par­tic­u­lar­ly on trouble-spots: times of day when you tend to pro­cras­ti­nate.

Look for any time sinks – tasks or activ­i­ties that are tak­ing up a lot more time than you thought. Can you cut down the amount of time you spend on these – or cut them out of your day alto­geth­er?

#2: Break Your Goal into Lit­tle Chunks
If you have a huge goal like “run a marathon” or “write a book”, you’re obvi­ous­ly not going to accom­plish it overnight: it’s going to take months or even years of effort. Big goals can be daunt­ing – but by break­ing them into lit­tle chunks, you make it much eas­i­er to get start­ed and to keep going.

Spend a few min­utes writ­ing down the next five small steps that you need to take to move towards your goal. These might be steps like “find a good train­ing plan” or “buy new train­ers” or “go for a 15-minute jog today” if you want to run a marathon next year.

#3: Real­ize That Even 10 Min­utes is Enough
It’s often easy to put off work­ing on a goal because you don’t have enough time. Sure, you might have 10 min­utes to spare – but you think you need a whole hour or two. Even 10 min­utes, though, is enough to make some progress towards your goal.

Find lit­tle tasks that you can fit into 10 min­utes … you’ll be sur­prised how much they’ll add up over a week or a month! If you’re work­ing on a book, you could spend 10 min­utes brain­storm­ing top­ics, adding to your plan, or even writ­ing a new para­graph of the con­tent.

#4: Block Out a Whole After­noon or Week­end for Your Goal
Of course, it’s not easy to accom­plish your whole goal in daily 10-minute incre­ments: if you want to run a marathon, for instance, you’ll need to train for longer than 10 min­utes at a time. This is when a diary or cal­en­dar becomes a vital tool to help you towards your goal.

Look ahead a few weeks, and see whether you can block out a whole Sat­ur­day after­noon – or even a whole week­end – to spend on your goal. Mark that time now in your diary or cal­en­dar, and don’t let any social events or chores creep into that space.

#5: Get Help from Oth­ers
You don’t have to pur­sue your goal all on your own. Even if you don’t know any­one who can help you in a direct way, with advice or even use­ful equip­ment (per­haps none of your friends have never pur­sued a sim­i­lar goal), you can get peo­ple to help you free up some time.

If you have kids, for instance, how about swap­ping child­care with a friend? That way, you could have a few extra hours each week to focus on your goal.

#6: Use Your Lunch Break
If you’re in the habit of grab­bing lunch at your desk, start using your lunch break to work on your goal. You might not be able to spend the whole hour – but you could at least take 30 min­utes to go for a brisk walk, or to do a lit­tle extra work on your book.

Don’t feel guilty about tak­ing a prop­er break, either (even if your col­leagues don’t tend to). As well as feel­ing good about mak­ing progress toward your goal, you’ll get a much-needed rest from your work – leav­ing you more able to focus on your work dur­ing the after­noon.

#7: Use Your Com­mute
If you nor­mal­ly drive to work, how about lis­ten­ing to an audio book on your jour­ney? Pick some­thing that ties in with your goal (e.g. you might choose a book about writ­ing, or a moti­va­tion­al one to help you stay on track).

If your goal relates to exer­cise, can you walk, jog, or cycle to work? This obvi­ous­ly isn’t prac­ti­cal for every­one – but even if you have a long jour­ney, you could get off the train (or park your car) fur­ther from the office and walk the rest of the way.

#8: Set Your Alarm 20 Min­utes Early
By get­ting up just a lit­tle ear­li­er, you can make time for your goal before all the busy­ness of the day has begun. That might mean 20 min­utes of exer­cis­ing or writ­ing, per­haps before the rest of your fam­i­ly is awake.

If you’re wor­ried about being too tired, try going to bed ear­li­er. Most of us don’t accom­plish any­thing much in the 20 min­utes before bed – where­as when we’re refreshed in the morn­ing, we can get a sur­pris­ing amount done.

#9: Get Bet­ter at Say­ing “No”
One big rea­son why most of us don’t have enough time for our goals is because we say “yes” too often. We take on com­mit­ments that aren’t a good fit for our true aims