Life is complex. Work, school, family, career (which is separate from work), brand, relationships, and, oh yeah, our passions. As complex humans we tend to want to achieve complex goals (e.g. goals made up of many tasks). For instance, I have a friend Tia who works in education, serves on a nonprofit in her free time, is starting a business, and still manages to rise as a brand leader on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This along with the other dimensions of being a superb daughter, reliable sister, active community leader, and woman growing into her own creates a week that ebbs and flows, and sometimes feels like an intense juggling act. Finding balance as she leads as a nonprofit board member (her first time around btw) means is fitting in one more complex role into her life. How could she possibly squeeze in everything and still maintain her brand of composed and in control?
It’s taken me years to refine a time management system that ensures I am meeting the goals that matter while living the life I want. Although, I am still adapting and trying new systems, there are a few key principles that matter consistently.
1. Commit to something
A nonprofit that strives to grow a powerfully empowering networking of women means that you have face a lot of goals to chew through before the vision is fully realized. Meetings, deadlines, worksheets, and email correspondences can quickly come before you and it can feel comforting to ignore it and hide. Yet, part of you made the decision to be a part of the mission in the first place, which means there is a reason behind you decision. Within that reason is your motivation.
Write down the why behind your commitment. This is the something that you can turn to when you are forgetting the motives you had.
2. Set goals
Writing down or otherwise documenting your goals gives your brain something simple and concrete to solve. Your mind is a powerfully calculating tool and you are the command master. Set small SMART commands and your brain will do the work for you.
3. Put it in Your Face
How do you make sure the things you really want to get done actually get done? You have to constantly remind yourself until you have it finished. To keep your tasks at the top of your mind, find a place you look at often and place those goals there. For me its my homepage, a small notebook I keep in my purse, and a calendar on my desk.
4. Measure It
Review your history and cross off what you successfully completed. You’d be amazed. Once I stumbled on a five-year goals list I made for myself in high school and I had completed about 80% of the tasks even though I left it at my dad’s house when I moved away to college. When you celebrate your small successes you rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit to continue doing more.
5. Talk about it regularly
It can take a while, but even the most stubborn of individualist must admit humans cannot exist alone on an island for long. We need others to grow us, to support us, and to hold us accountable. Set goals and share them with others and then return and share your achievements and failures. Communicating is the first step to bringing the ideas inside our heads into reality.
How do you manage to squeeze your passion into your daily activities? Let’s chat.