Is Finding Your Passion Really A Priority?

Posted by in Career Success, Time Management | 13 comments

One huge obstacle to finding your passion is thinking we don’t have enough time.

What time is love? Myxi via Compfight

You may have a job, a significant other, kids, ailing parents, church or volunteer commitments.

It just seems like your life is already maxed out. 

How in the world will you find the time to search for your passions?

As a result we don’t think we have enough time to find our passion.

We choose how to spend our 168 hours every week and often we choose things we like rather than things we love.

When I was in my 20’s I would go to work all day and then come home to play video games.

Football and baseball games were my favorite and I could spend hours creating the perfect team and going through a virtual season.

I liked video games – still do in fact.

However, at some point I realized that video games were not getting me closer to my goals in life.

So I took stock of what I was doing that was either helping or hindering me from achieving my career and life goals.

Then I eliminated the things that were getting in the way of achieving my goals.

Here’s what I’ve learned after going through this process:

Be intentional with your time. Time is a vacuum and if you aren’t clear on your priorities someone or something else will fill your time for you. You may or may not like what they schedule you to be doing.

Create a time budget. Just like a financial budget you can create a time budget. Spend your 168 hours every week on paper before they begin. I sit down almost every Monday morning and review my schedule for the week. I schedule in the most important items I want to accomplish or make sure I spend time with the people most important to me each week to make sure I allow enough time to do those things.

Set some boundaries. In order to ensure you’re making time for your priorities you’re going to have to say no to some things. Sometimes that means saying no to things you like so you can work on things you love. That may be video games, tv time, movies or something else you enjoy. None of those things are bad but you must ask yourself if doing those things is going to get you closer to your goals or doing work you love.

Time is our most precious resource. Time is the one resource we cannot replenish. We can always make more money but time is slowly ticking away never to be reclaimed. We really only have now, and now, and now. Be thoughtful and intentional about the use of your time so that you don’t squander the rest of your days.

I once heard someone say they could tell a person’s priorities by looking at their calendar and their bank statement.

In other words, where do you put your time and your money?

Take stock of those two things and you’ll have a good gauge of what is really most important to you.

Question: What’s one thing you can do this week to ensure you’re making your passions a priority?

  • Whatever it is, I say write it down. Write down how you will spend your time, or create a schedule, Write down your reasons for wanting to pursue your passion(s). If you don’t know what your passions are make it a priority to understand what they are..

    • That’s a great idea Scott. When we want to achieve a goal we have to check in with our “why” every so often to stay on track. At Ieast I know I do. Thanks for your comment.

  • Debbi Lloyd

    Thanks for a new perspective on a major issue that I struggle with week in, week out. I work very hard lots and lots of hours each week, but some of those hours are getting lost on the less important activities. I will begin re-evaluating that right away.

    • That’s great Debbi. It’s a constant evaluation to ensure you’re spending your time on what’s most important. If you stay with it you’ll start feeling better about how you spend your time.

  • Love the time budget tip – I have a planner and lists galore but I think I will have a particular one with my time budget – I really like that Adam! We all get the same 168 hours – we just have to put them to the very best, most productive use!

    • Yes, it is such a good way to make sure you’re focused on your priorities Ann. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps to map out your week to ensure you’re accomplishing your goals.

  • Adam, thank you for this excellent post! These are powerful and practical steps for pursuing our passions. There is truly a beauty to boundaries and time-budgeting — and both are invaluable tools for paving purposeful paths!

    • Thanks so much Caroline. Yes, boundaries and time-budgeting are essential to achieving our goals in all areas of life. We must be intentional with our time. Thanks for your comment.

  • I need to take another crack at a time budget. I got a little depressed last time I tried and gave up. However, that isn’t the right approach. To be intentional with how you spend your time you have to PLAN ahead.

    • Yes, try it again Tom. Just like a financial budget, it never actually plays out like we want it to. However, you’ll be closer to your ideal than you otherwise would without a time budget. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps to schedule your priorities every week.

  • Dave Unger

    A time budget is a great idea, but it’s only half of what you need. You also need to track how you actually spend your time.

    I use Outlook to schedule appointments for myself. Even if I’m not meeting with anyone else, I put an appointment on my calendar to show what I intend to focus on at a given time. That’s my budget.

    Then, throughout the day, I update my calendar to show what I actually did. That’s the equivalent of a bank statement. At the end of a week or month I can go back and add things up to get a reasonably accurate summary of how I’m spending my time.

    Outlook has a really useful feature I only started using a few months ago. It lets you apply “categories” to items on your calendar. That provides a quick way to color code appointments. Now I can glance at a day, week, or month and get a quick sense for how much time I have spent on my top priorities compared to routine tasks or doing things for other people. It quickly helps me see if I am honestly focusing on my top priorities or letting myself be distracted by other things.

    • That is a fantastic idea Dave! I love the idea of having a bank statement of how we spend our time. You’re right, that is the other half of the equation. Thanks for sharing your practice.