This is a guest post from Drew Tewell, author of The Dream Job Program: Get the job you want. You can purchase it on Amazon, or get it for free when you subscribe to his blog. You can also connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
“The secret to not flaking out on your friends and family while still pursuing a dream is going to work before your world wakes up — that’s what I’ve found, anyway.” – Andy Traub
Do you have something that you love to do, something that you would do for free if you had the money to pay your bills and take care of your other responsibilities?
I love blogging. For me, there is nothing else like it. Writing and connecting with other people are things that I can do all day for days at a time.
But I also have a family and a day job. I have responsibilities that are very important.
We all do.
If you are like me and you are pursing your passion, I’m sure you have had to deal with the tension of doing what you love and also being responsible in the other areas of your life.
This or That
I have a two-year-old son, Hudson. He is the best ever. I love him so much.
But when 7AM rolls around and he comes wondering out into the living room, rubbing his eyes as he wakes up, and I am in the zone, writing, I have a choice. I can either focus on him or I can keep working on whatever it is that I am writing.
Sadly, I often go with the latter rather than the former.
Just the other day, I was supposed to be picking my parents up from the airport. I also needed to take the clothes downstairs so the laundry could get started. And last but not least, I told my wife I would go and get her something to eat.
I only had around 15 minutes until I was supposed to leave. What was I doing, I was finishing up a blog post.
I am sure you have your stories as well. So what can you and I do to make sure we are being responsible spouses, parents, employees, etc. as we pursue our passion?
I believe the key is what we do with two of the twenty four hours we have every day; the first hour and the final hour.
The First Hour
Your first hour is the foundation for your whole day. You want this hour to go great so that you can build on it and have a great day.
The Final Hour
Your final hour is not only the end of your day, but also the best time to prepare for your first hour tomorrow.
This is the most important of the two. The reason is because you can use it to prepare for your first hour tomorrow.
If you don’t go to bed on time, and if you don’t get ready to make the most of your morning, you are going to lose out on some of the most productive time you will have to pursue your passion.
Here is the strategy/schedule I am using to make sure I am being responsible in the areas that matter most in my life while pursuing my passion.
4:30 – 5:30 The first hour (get ready, pray)
5:30 – 7:00 Work on my blog
7:00 – 8:00 Hudson
8:00 – 8:15 Drive time
8:30 – 4:30 Work
4:30 – 4:45 Drive time
5:00 – 8:00 Family time
8:00 – 8:30 Talk to Jen (my wife)
8:30 – 9:30 The final hour (get ready, prepare for tomorrow)
3 Steps to Plan Your Ideal Day in 30 Minutes or Less
Step 1 – Write out your daily tasks
Take 15 – 20 minutes to think through and write out what you do every work day.
Step 2 – Block out the actual time you plan spending on each task
As you write out what you do, write out the time that you plan to do it.
Step 3 – Go over your day as many times as you need, until you feel it is good
Once you have written out what you do and when you plan on doing it, go over it again and again, thinking through each task and also making sure you are not forgetting anything.
You have a purpose. You have been given a gift. Make the most of your days so that you can pursue your passion responsibly.
Question: What tips do you have for making the most of our days?
Thanks for having me over, Jared!
Sure thing bud! Hope people get awesome value from it!
These are some great tips and very useful.
Thanks, Kimanzi! How do you do it with three kids?
Love the breakdown and the family time – super important. One thing I try to do is remind myself of the little things – especially with the kids – that I will never get to see or experience again. I highly recommend an early start time as well.
Thanks! And I agree, we only get one opportunity with our kids while they are still kids.
Thanks David, glad you stopped by and contributed to the conversation!
GREAT reminder, Drew. On my prayer list every day is “Lord, please don’t let me miss my kids’ childhoods.” I love the reminder of the two most important hours of the day, too. I have the first hour down, but the last hour is a problem. I’m going to ask my husband to keep me accountable to using it to get ready for the next day.
Yeah mine too…I’d like to use my last hour to wind down a bit but sometimes it feels like I’m running and jumping into bed. Drew really did a great job laying out some plans here 😀
Time can go by so fast, especially when we’re busy. We can also use some of the first and/or final hour to slow down, as Jared alluded to. Thanks, Melanie!
Great reminder to be purposeful with our time. I do my “blog stuff” after my son goes to bed at night and our family time, but agree it can easily get out of hand if I don’t set some limits!
For sure. Limits are a definite key!
Thanks, Tom! It’s easy to really get into what we’re passionate about.
Great message, Drew, and timely. I make a list of what I have to do each day and attach priorities to it.
It always feels good to cross things off.
Thanks, Dave! Sounds like you have a plan. Getting things done is satifying.