I've been thinking about how full my goal list is. Become an accountant, real-estate developer, novelist, mother, invent cold-fusion...you know, the usual. When the goal list is as crowded as this, where do you find the time to make progress on them all?
Sliders. No, not the little hamburgers, you're on your New Year's diet, anyway. I'm talking about little things you can slide into your day.
Take my list, for example. I am learning to become an accountant. That is taking up the main bulk of my discretionary time. But, every couple of days I log onto Craigslist and realtor.com to check the housing prices in my target area. I'm not at the point where I have the time or money to achieve my goal of becoming a real-estate developer on the Gulf Coast. I can, however, build my knowledge of the subject. This way, when the time comes for me to move to the coast, I have knowledge of housing trends over several years and am ahead of the game.
I also have the goal of becoming a published author. I don't have a good solid chunk of time to spend every day in pursuit of this goal, but I can slide it in between other tasks. Tonight is the once-a-month meeting of the sci-fi writing group at the local bookstore. My husband has an errand he has to run on that side of town and I'm getting him to drop me off and come pick me back up when he is done. Two hours from the time I leave the house until I return. My time budget can spare that once a month. I just slide it right in. It is not a big commitment, but it keeps the goal alive and anchored in my mind.
I also try to keep a notepad and a book with me wherever I go. The book is for filling my word well and the notebook is for fishing from it. I can do either in ten minute increments throughout the day. Traffic was unusually light and I got to work ten minutes early. Great, I pull out my notebook and jot down a bit of dialogue that has been bouncing around my head or a topic for the next blog post. The line at the deli is super long? Great, I read a chapter in my book and turn a frustrating situation into a step forward.
Because I have limited time, I try to leverage my sliders for maximum benefit. I want the activity to accomplish one of three things.
1. build connections with others with similar goals - support is critical in goal-achievement (writing groups, or supporting a fellow blogger)
2. builds knowledge (reading books and blogs on target subject, doing a bit of homework, studying target market)
3. concrete production (writing that is project specific, taking a certification exam - *I have one that is going to take 45 minutes online, that I have to squeeze in sometime in the next week*)
As for cold-fusion, there is a documentary on Tesla that I've been meaning to watch.