As I talk with people about going after some of their big dreams and goals… I often hear about the obstacles (real or imagined) that get in the way.
One of the biggest challenges that people bring up is…
“I don’t feel like I know enough to make a change.”
Plus… it’s almost like this feeling has an annoying and ever-present little side kick.
“I don’t have time to do anything about it.”
Can you relate?
Do you struggle with the feeling that you’d love to try something different… or pursue something new… but at the same time… wrestle with the fact that you don’t seem to have an extra 5 minutes to spare to think about it… let alone 5 days to take a class on the subject?
Take some small but significant steps…
Well… as you may already know… we’re all about equipping you with strategies that you can apply right now… no matter how busy you are… so you can pursue that big dream or goal.
We often call these… “small but significant steps.”
Today’s small but significant steps will help you to learn new stuff… even if you don’t feel like you have 5 minutes to spare!
These strategies will help you…
- dig into some of those concepts you’ve been wanting to explore
- read that book you know would help to equip you for that new position
- research that idea that has been at the back of your brain (0r heart) for years
STEP 1: Find your “commercial breaks”
We all have them. They are those 5 to 10 minute blocks in our day that are lost time.
Stopwatch (Photo credit: wwarby)
They are a little like “commercial breaks” during your favorite tv show.
You know… those time blocks that exist… but kind of just melt away.
- Maybe it’s that 8 minutes while you’re waiting for everyone else to come into the room or hop on the line for that meeting?
- Maybe it’s the 10 minutes while you’re waiting for your friend to show up for coffee?
- Maybe it’s when you’re in the lobby waiting for a doctor or dentist?
- Maybe it’s that 10 minutes waiting for your kids after school or after soccer practice?
- Maybe it’s that… well let’s just say… that “private time” when you’re in the restroom. (Yeah… I’m going there too!)
Find those commercial breaks. Find those minutes.
They are there.
But often times… they just get lost… don’t they?
What do we typically do with them? Well, if you’re like me… (when I don’t have a plan)… you fill those minutes with hopping on facebook, by reading a 2-year old magazine on the coffee table or by listening to the radio.
Well… what if you used some of those “commercial breaks” more intentionally?
What if you had a plan for some of your “commercial breaks?”
Think about it. If you just found 10 minutes a day… over a week’s time… that’s a full hour! I know that doesn’t seem like a lot. But if you add that up… over a year’s time… that’s would make for over one full 40 hour week devoted to that big dream or goal!
Pretty sweet… right?
So let’s move on to step two…
Step 2: Use “Minute Maximizers.”
I know… I know… there might be a part of you saying, “Oh great… here comes the rainbows and little pony strategies. Like… think positive thoughts and you’ll learn ALLLL that you need to know.”
Nope. You won’t get any of that here… although I will admit that like rainbows AND little ponies!
MINUTE MAXIMIZERS are specific strategies that help you to use those COMMERCIAL BREAKS more intentionally.
When it comes to learning new things… here are some examples of MINUTE MAXIMIZERS:
“A READ IT” File:
This is a simple strategy that a number of time management gurus have talked about. The basic idea is that you use a folder (or series of folders) and you keep them close at hand.
Then… when something comes across your radar that you want to read… instead of taking time to stop and read it right then and there (because you don’t usually find this stuff when you actually have the time to read it)… you print it off… rip it out… or photo copy it… and put it in your “READ IT” file.
Then… you keep your “READ IT” file with you.
So you can pull it out… while you’re waiting for that meeting… or that appointment… or for your plane.
Simple… I know.
But… just think how having the things that you actually WANT to read… close at hand… could help you maximize your commercial breaks?
A BATHROOM LIBRARY
Okay… I’ll admit it. My mom was not a big fan of what she called “potty jokes.” And trust me… I’m a guy… so my list of jokes involving bodily functions seems to have NO END!
But… I wont go there today.
I’ll just say that everyone has time in the bathroom… and sometimes… especially for moms… this can be the only truly protected 10 minutes of the day!!!
So… what do you have close at hand for reading… in your bathroom library?
Seriously… think about it. What’s close to your toilet?
Old magazines? A book that’s been there for years? Something that looks nice… but won’t help you to go after that dream job or big goal?
Okay… well… I’m going to suggest something weird. Maybe it’s even gross. BUT… we’re talking about equipping you to go after your BIG dreams and BIG goals… and we’re all short on time… so… yeah… I’m going there!
GET INTENTIONAL ABOUT YOUR BATHROOM READING!
Now… it doesn’t have to be out in plain site if you like to keep your bathroom orderly. But… again… be intentional. Have something close by… so you can use “that time” wisely.
So… take the challenge and go home tonight and take a good look at your “BATHROOM LIBRARY.” Choose to have something close by that you WANT to read. Something that might just help you go after that BIG dream or BIG goal… 10 minutes a day.
And hey… if your family pushes back on the amount of time you’re taking in the bathroom… you can blame me! Tell them…
“Mitch told me I needed to read in here at least 10 minutes a day!”
I’m sure that will help!
STEP 3: OWN IT!
Now, you’ve heard me talk about the INTELLECTUAL IMMUNE SYSTEM before.
It’s my concept that says our intellect has a similar immune system to our body’s… not… medically… but metaphorically.
As a result, if we get hit with a new idea… even it’s one we like… we will tend to reject it over time because it came from outside us. (Think about the last time you committed to a diet… a self-help based 5 principles book… or some advice from a friend… and it bombed. Yeah… there’s a very good chance that was your Intellectual Immune System that got in the way!)
So… the only way to beat the IIS… and really take in the new information you are learning as you use MINUTE MAXIMIZERS during your COMMERCIAL BREAKS… is to ask yourself a set of questions so you can own the new information.
That’s right. Because if you own it… then it comes from you. And if it comes from you… your Intellectual Immune System won’t kick in… and you’ll have a much better chance of retaining and using the information you are gathering!
Here are some “OWN IT” questions:
- How could these ideas apply to me?
- How could I modify this approach to better fit my situation?
- How could I experiment with these ideas… and move towards my goal or dream?
A simple 3 step process to help you to learn more… so you can better equip yourself to go after your own Project: Dream Job… and those big dreams and goals.
More importantly… you can find those COMMERCIAL BREAKS and use your MINUTE MAXIMIZERS to OWN the information you need… to go after your very own… PROJECT: DREAM JOB!
Who’s with me? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Join in the convo… and click comments!
Also, I’d LOVE to hear from you on the best ways you make time to learn about the things you want/need to dig into. So leave your suggestions for everyone! I’m sure you’ve got some great ideas and we’d love to hear from you!
Oh… and hey… to you people with interior design big dreams… shoot us some ideas on how to organize our bathroom so we can have stuff in there that we want to read… but so it looks nice! Seriously… help us out with a comment or a suggestion!
Keep dreaming big and helping others to do the same,