How to catch the day....
We all have dream projects. Something that you've wanted to work on forever but can't get to because the hours, days, weeks, months, years slip away. Maybe it is a book project, maybe it is a new innovative product, maybe it is simply spending quality time with your team...but regardless, day after day, week after week, it doesn't happen due to the minutes, hours and days ...running out before you can dive in.
If only you had a magic net with which to simply capture those needed and wanted blocks of time. Well, you do. And you create it by using a simple 3-step technique. But the technique must be practiced daily to become second nature.
Step one is "making space"
Think about your dreamy project. Break it into blocks of time. Set goals and timelines for completion. And then clear space on your schedule every day! Clearly mark it on your calendar. Don't give into pressure to use the time for something else...no matter what. Proactively communicate that you aren't available during that time period. It won't be long until others start protecting the time for you by saying things like, "Oh Beth's not available from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. That's when she .....". Let them do the protecting work for you! Even better.
Step two is "honor the time" EVERY DAY work (or play) on this project. Turn off the phone, don't be lured into emails and put a sign on the door "Do Not Disturb. Available at 10:00 a.m." And then be fully present in that project or place for the entire time.
Step three "celebrate the place" Here are some simple ways to celebrate the commitment, the time, the achievement, the result of catching the day. 1. I have a tall glass jar in my office that is labeled "Gratitude". Every time I feel grateful for something, I scratch it on a piece of scrap paper (great use for the paper in recycling bin) and drop it into the gratitude jar. Great place to capture the wonderful progress on your project.
2. I have a friend who is witness to my on-going progress. At the end of each day I send him a simple email that lists three things that are evidence that I'm making progress on my goal. He has agreed to read it each day with no expectation of a response unless he feels moved to do so. This is a great way for me to intentionally reflect on my progress.
The only way to have time for the things that feed your soul, are important to you and keep you motivated and invigorated, is to schedule and honor space for them. When you do that, you'll be building a net with which to capture the day!