I Don't Have Time

Series: growth October 28, 2012

Is there something you’d like to create? A project you want to build? A goal you want to achieve?

With the likes of Malcolm Gladwell and Peter Norvig telling us that it takes thousands of hours and many years to master something, your dreams and ambitions can easily stall as reality sinks in.

How do you get the inertia to start when the finish line seems so far away?

I’d like to write a book, but I don’t have time to do all that work.

But do you have an hour to outline a table of contents? Could you write 500 words today? How about emailing five bloggers that might be interested in reviewing your book this week?

Nathan Barry, a normal guy from Idaho with a wife and kid, found the time to write his book in thousand word chunks.

I’d really like to start drawing, but I’m no good and don’t have time to learn.

Do you have time to draw one sketch today? And again tomorrow? Could you steal enough time to read a chapter in a book every week? To visit an art museum once a month?

Jonathan Hardesty, an aspiring artist who started at “rock bottom”, did one sketch or painting every day. It took him years of work, but he went from untrained to professional artist.

I love documentaries and want to make my own someday, but I don’t think I’ll ever find the time.

Can you send an email to a subject you want to interview today? Could you edit just one interview this week? Do you have a free weekend to film B-roll next month?

Tim Cawley, with a day job in advertising, squeezed in work on nights, early mornings, and holiday breaks for two years to complete his documentary. It’s now showing at film festivals across the country.

Gradual progress is crazy powerful.

When you frame something as a giant, amorphous task (get healthy, become a designer, start a business) — it can seem impossible to fit into your busy schedule.

Break it down into smaller pieces that you do have time for.

With time and determination, the impossible will become the inevitable.

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