How To Work on Your Dream When You Don’t Have Time

Posted by in Career Success, Time Management | 17 comments

You have things you need to do every day.

It feels like too many things to do in a given day.

TiempoCreative Commons License Montecruz Foto via Compfight

Likely, you think you don’t have enough time to do everything you’d like to do.

You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all b-u-s-y.

As a result, we don’t believe we have enough time to work on our dreams.

However, let me tell you what the real problem is.

It’s where we put our focus.

Our hours are soaked up by the varied responsibilities and priorities we have in our lives.

As a result, we live our schedules and we talk ourselves out of doing anything even remotely related to our dreams.

We’re just trying to get through the day.

So how in the world can you squeeze in dream time when you have no time?

The solution?

Focus on the tasks and not on the amount of time it will take.

It’s a subtle shift, but when you begin viewing your dream as a series of short term tasks and not a huge, overwhelming mountain of a dream you will give yourself the gift of hope.

Some days, you will only be able to take a baby step toward your dream.

Other days you’ll be on fire with your amazing productivity.

Either way, you’ve had a victory.

String together enough victories and you’ll find yourself moving forward one small step at a time.

Here’s four suggestions on how to shift your thinking to accomplish your dream:

1. Clarify your priorities. Michael Hyatt’s Creating Your Personal Life Plan is an excellent resource to help you get clear on your priorities. You’ll need this when life gets crazy and you have to choose between your dream time and the necessities of your daily reality.

2. Set yourself up for success. Have a way to capture those ideas you come up with for your project tasks. Then when you sit down to focus on those tasks you can hit the ground running. You may only have 30 minutes on any given day. Start with task one and go through your list with the time you have allotted. It may take you a week or 6 months to finish. However, you’ll finish your project if you just focus on completing one task at a time.

3. Cancel your cable. Read that again. Yes, call your provider and drop the “c” bomb on them. The first 30 days will be hard. After that you will wonder why you ever watched TV. On average, you’ll give yourself an extra 2.7 hours every day by not watching TV. You can either watch actors perform a good story on TV or you can choose to live an interesting story yourself.

4. Embrace the tension. You will never figure this out completely. You won’t find yourself achieving perfect balance with your schedule. That is the beauty and chaos of life. Some days you will quit on your dream. Then you’ll realize your dream is what makes you feel alive. You’ll start the balancing act again.

You’ll still be busy. You may become busier than is comfortable. However, it’s your dream and it’s your life. You just might find you have time for both.

Question: What would you do if you felt like you had more time?


Free Book Giveaway

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I will choose a winner at random on Monday, May 28, 2012. If you don’t hear from me via email you unfortunately didn’t win.


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  • Jonathan

    I love this article! =) Insightful, purposeful, and easy to read all at the same time!

    • Thank you Jonathan for your kind words. I’m glad you liked the post. Hope it is helpful for you on your journey to doing work you enjoy.

  • Disnewordsmith

    My passion is promoting education, so I make time to volunteer with the alumni association at my alma mater.

    • That’s fantastic Diane! What a great way to leverage your relationship with your school to live out your passion.

  • Great advice Adam. It does require intense focus if we want to move closer to our dreams and avoid distractions. This is a great statement, “Focus on the tasks and not on the amount of time it will take.”

    I’m looking forward to connecting with you and reading your blog.

    • Thanks Dan, I appreciate your kind words. You’re absolutely right about our dreams requiring intense focus. I think those who can remain focused will achieve their goals. I’m glad you like the blog and look forward to continued connection as well.

      •  I agree. Have you read the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson? It’s a great read.

        • Unfortunately, no I haven’t read it. I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks for telling me about it.

          •  Ya, it’s a great book. It talks about daily steps over time will lead to achieving great things.

            • Just added it to my Amazon wish list. It looks right up my alley. Thanks Dan!

              •  Your welcome. When you do read it, let me know what your think. Have a great night and weekend.

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  • Oh geez. #3 totally got me today. I have a few shows I enjoy watching, but they are TWO HOURS per episode! Lately I’ve started to feel like these may be shows I should stop watching. Even without canceling our cable, not watching those shows would give me an extra 2-4 hours per week. WOW!

    • Alana,
      We cancelled our cable three years ago and it was one of the best decisions my wife and I have ever made. We both have been more productive, have read more, and just feel like we have more time (sort of). The first month was hard, but after that it got much easier. Now I get bored when I watch a movie or TV. It’s weird. Jon Acuff once said he likes watching TV, but he loves how working on his dream makes him feel. I think it’s that way for me too. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re still on the fence I recommend Don Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. It will inspire you to want to live a better story.

      • Adam, I have listened to Don Miller’s audio book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. I think it’s time to listen to it again because both you and another friend mentioned it to me in the past week or so. 🙂 

        Are you referencing Jon’s book “Quitter”? It is a book I purchased recently (along with Introvert Power, thanks to you Adam :)) I’m reading through Introvert Power right now, but plan to move to Quitter next. 

        How did you and your wife come to be on the same page for canceling the cable? Did one want to do it and the other had to warm up to the idea? 

        • I love Quitter! I can’t remember if that is where I read that or it may have been on a Ziglar Success 2.0 conference call where Jon was the speaker. 

          Initially my wife and I cancelled the cable as a financial decision so she could stay at home with our newborn daughter at the time. However, she was more into it than I was initially – especially because I couldn’t watch sports any more. But now I love it, so now we are in alignment on this one.

  • I’m a real estate Broker in Sacramento and I want to shake people off this idea of ‘Dream Home’. Plan the life you dream of living and select the ‘Right Home’ for that. Overspending on a home purchase closes a lot of doors for many years to come. Having a career you love is a great way to live. I think we share some similar views and I blog on this subject at .

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog Bill. I know exactly what you’re talking about in regard to selecting the home for you life. It sounds like you give wise counsel to your clients in this regard.