Let Your Actions Back Up Your Talk

Occasionally, I find myself in this embarrassing situation. I tell someone my plan for renovating my house, my latest book, or another random dream. Cool, they say, do you need help with that?

I stare at them realizing I haven’t touched that book in weeks, researched costs for the renovation, or fleshed out that dream. I’m talking about what I want to do and forgetting the most integral part of any dream – Action.

hear me out

My goal for this post, and I hope many before it, is to lead you to action, something I find I lose every now and then. I read books, blogs, and websites, but forget the most integral part of all of the learning and research. The follow through.

This is what Part-Time Novel is all about – becoming a writer in the margins of life. But in order to become anything you must actually work on that thing.

You can’t just talk about wanting a better marriage. You must spend quality time with your spouse. If I said I love you to my wife but never spent time cultivating our relationship, they’re just words.

Whenever I become unsatisfied with something, it is usually because of my lack of follow through. I have not taken the time to sit down and work on it.

This past weekend I thought long and hard about what I wanted in the next six months. Books, proposals, new website launches, etc., and I developed an action plan, not just a list of to dos, and have been working on them every day.

How about you? Do you ever find yourself talking and not acting?

What do you need to act on today?

Time is the currency we all have. Use it well.

How To Make More Time For The Things You Love

If you are reading this chances are you want to do something extraordinary. The problem is that you need margin in your life to make it happen and just don’t have the time.

How do you create this space?

hourglass

No one can conjure up another three hours each day unless you are Hermione Granger with a Time Turner. But what we can do is cross examine how we spend our most precious resource and see if it matches our long term goals.

FINDING THE LOST HOURS

Get ready. This may be painful. Do you watch The Walking Dead? Is Sunday ‘football day’? How much time do you spend on Facebook? These are the lost moments, or hours, that we need for our passions.

If you want to go after your dream, something has to go, at least at first. There is no possible way to continually add new items to your agenda. When you have your empire up and running, perhaps you can sneak in a little football, but not now.

WHAT TO DO NOW

Now is the time for action. Now is the time to push harder than ever before or as Jon Acuff puts it, we must hustle. The best way to do this? Evaluate the time we spend on things other than our spouse, family, and job and then ask ourselves if several hours of football-like activity is worth our long term goals.

Are you losing time each week? How can you reclaim those hours and put them to good use?

 

What You, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allan Poe Have in Common

Despite the fact that we seem to think otherwise, we have the same amount of time in a week as the greats, one hundred and sixty eight hours.

We may have more distractions today, but they had cholera and diphtheria.

Often we blame the lack of time for not getting things done, but I’d like to argue that we have all the time we need, if we use it appropriately.

This past week I decided to sit down and parcel out my time. I was determined to prove to myself that my writing projects were suffering because of my lack of time and not lack of commitment. So I made an Excel spreadsheet.

After I divided up everything, spending time with my wife and kids, eating, and the occasional shower and teeth brushing, I had 1.75 hours left in each week day. I have weekends but sometimes we are traveling or out of town. I used weekdays because I wanted time I could count on to create a solid schedule.

At first I was depressed. How can I have that little? Life is busy and full and I love it, but that was a punch to the gut.

Then I added it up. 8.75 hours.

I sat back. I have ample time to write 3 blog posts, and work on my books. Add in the occasional free weekend and that time rises to 11.25 without using an afternoon or two.

So I failed. I wanted to prove to myself that I did not have sufficient time to write. Now, I realize I have all the time I need just like every writer before me. It’s up to me to use it well.

Do you have things that suck your time away that don’t match the goals you have for your life?