Let me guess: you don’t have enough time to do _____.
How to accomplish big things with little time: A formula
I get it, because I have a lot on my plate, too. Given, me and you might have different things on our plate, but regardless of what it is you’re trying to accomplish, I know because you’re reading this post that you’re up to big things.
In fact, that’s why I’m writing this post in the first place.
I want to help you accomplish those big things even if you only have a little amount of time available. I’m even going to share the exact formula I use to successfully accomplish big things with little time.
What matters most
Here’s how I see it: we have as much time as we give ourselves to accomplish the things that matter most to us. So before we even dive into the formula that I want to share, I encourage you to take some time to really think about that.
What matters most to you?
List out the big things you’re looking to accomplish.
As you’re creating this list, I want you to recognize the things you’re giving your time to that aren’t important to you.
Recognize the things you’re taking on – mentally, physically, emotionally – in your every day life that aren’t bringing you one step closer to the big things you want to accomplish.
In doing so, I can guarantee that you’re already going to start freeing up time just by recognizing what you’re currently spending time on that you could be giving back to yourself to dedicate to the things that matter most.
See? We’re already giving ourselves more time to accomplish big things, and we haven’t even gotten to the formula yet!
Okay… moving on.
The Big Things, Little Time Formula
So you’ve created a list of the big things you’re looking to accomplish, right?
This could be anything – it doesn’t have to be related to your business. It might be:
- Finding time to focus on you, your health, or your wellness;
- Related to the time you spend with your family (and wanting more of that);
- Finishing a project that you started months ago but never finished…
Once you have your list, the formula works like this:
You take a big thing, break it down into smaller pieces, schedule time to take purposeful action on each of those smaller pieces, and track your progress along the way.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
That’s because it is. Do not complicate this formula, because it WILL help you accomplish big things in little time.
You might be wondering what the catch is, and I’ll be straight up: there is one small catch.
An example of the formula at work
In November of 2014 I published my first book on Amazon: The Fire Path.
But leading up to me publishing the book (i.e. while I was still creating it), I had a lot on my plate.
- In the process of redesigning Podcasters’ Paradise, along with reorganizing the content within;
- Working on creating a Year in Review post for EOFire to talk about key events in 2014;
- Still organizing, scheduling and managing weekly live Podcast Workshops;
- Publishing on the blog and the Kate’s Take podcast 2 times per week;
- Writing our weekly newsletter for Fire Nation;
- Creating a weekly digest for both Fire Nation Elite and Podcasters’ Paradise;
- Managing engagement in our 3 Private Facebook groups (FNE, WOF and PP);
- Working on hiring a new Virtual Team Member;
- I could go on, but I won’t…
Given all of this, I was trying to accomplish a big thing (self-publishing on Amazon) with little time, and the #1 thing that helped me reach my goal even though I didn’t feel as though I had a ton of time to dedicate to it was sticking to the formula.
Here’s what that looked like
1. Identify my one big thing
I started out by creating a list of ALL the big things I was out to accomplish, which included publishing The Fire Path book, along with everything else listed above.
This list represented the things in my business that were most important to me (and to the success of our business). In writing this list, I also realized there were a whole bunch of other things I was dedicating my time to that weren’t as important as the things on my list, and therefore, I was able to cut those out (or delegate them) and gain back more of my time.
Next, I turned my focus onto one big thing at a time in order to draw out this formula (because you’ll end up doing this for every big thing on your list) – for this example, my focus was publishing my book.
2. Break it down
Then, I took publishing my book and I started to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
I knew that in order to publish my book on Amazon, I would have to:
- Write it
- Edit it
- Re-read it
- Pay attention to the details
- Format it
- Images as JPEGs
- Single spaced
- No bullet points
- Save as htm file
- Design a cover
- Outsourced (I’m horrible at design!)
- Market it
- Social media channels
- Blog posts
- In our welcome email series
- Interviews on others’ podcasts
- Upload it to Amazon
- Determine pricing
- Write description
So breaking down the individual steps I would have to take to make publishing my book happen gave me smaller chunks to accomplish, which allowed me to get each of these individual steps done in less time.
Having a plan in place and a clear picture of the individual steps it’s going to take to accomplish something is integral to making this formula work. The reason you’re able to accomplish big things with little time is because you’re breaking big things down into more manageable steps: writing an intro is a lot more manageable (and takes much less time) than writing an entire book.
Each small step will lead you closer to your big goal.
3. Schedule time
Once I had the steps broken down, I was able to create a timeline for myself, which then helped me with actually scheduling specific time to work on each of the smaller steps that would get me to publishing the book.
Not “I’ll write the intro once I finish this one last thing“.
It should be “I’ll write the intro on Wednesday morning at 9am, and I’m going to give myself 1 hour to do it“.
This step is very important, because this is what’s going to allow you to take purposeful action towards accomplishing your big thing. Every time you accomplish an individual step, you’re going to be bringing yourself one step closer to your big thing, giving you the necessary momentum to continue making progress.
4. Track progress
Speaking of progress, with a schedule in place, I was able to actually track my progress towards accomplishing my big thing.
If I ever found myself lagging behind in one area, or if something was taking longer than I expected it to, then I at least had the opportunity to correct course along the way since I was tracking myself.
If you don’t track your progress, you will likely find yourself 1 year down the road wondering what ever happened to that book project you wanted to accomplish.
I want to help you accomplish big things even if you feel like you only have a little amount of time available; I hope this formula will help you do just that by giving you a plan to follow every step of the way.