If time is money, then spending some of it on personal growth is an investment we can all afford to make. But, by and large, we tend to put them off until tomorrow, or next week, and focus on seemingly more urgent matters. We are all busy today; tomorrow looks less so.
Unfortunately, tomorrow never gets here in time.
How do you find time to accomplish a goal when your schedule and to-do list seem interminable? As court reporters who are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve ourselves in between high-demand deadlines and puzzling work, we’ve learned a few things we’d love to share:
- The first three hours of your day can dictate how your life turns out, so schedule them wisely. Should you wake up and lose precious minutes liking and retweeting the latest on Facebook or Twitter? Probably not. Instead, carve out a quick 20-30 minutes of speed practice, or study toward a new certification you’ve been dreaming of adding to your skill set.
- Set a timer. If you know you’ve got only a set amount of minutes to work on your dream, stay on task until you’ve used up that time. No checking emails, no snooze button, and no multi-tasking. Focus.
- Keep your carved-out time to a manageable minimum. It’s much more difficult to find two hours in a jam-packed schedule of depositions and court appearances, but it’s quite easy to break away from the hectic pace for a half hour or less. If you’re worried that’s not enough time to accomplish anything, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and slow and steady wins the race. (Yes, that hare was on to something.)
- Make this your top priority. If this goal doesn’t occupy your mind and get your heart racing, if it’s just a tedious task added to your already busy day, then you may need a new goal. When the going gets tough, picture yourself at the end of the journey, happy and successful and an asset to your firm. Stay excited about it, and your pace and interest levels won’t waver.
If there’s a goal that’s really important to you, don’t use a lack of time in your schedule or heavy workload as excuses. Give yourself permission to focus on your personal growth. Allow yourself to make an investment in your future self. You’re going to be amazing.