Think about places that might be eating up valuable hours:
- Television - We are now in the world of 24-hour broadcasting and ongoing news services. The media has a goal of capturing your attention and is therefore good at it. You can feel mesmerized and lose track of time as you watch one program after another after another. Before you turn the television on, make a decision as to how long you will be watching. It might help to actually set an alarm clock to remind you that there are other things to do.
- Internet and computer games - You will never be able to research every information site on the internet and there will always be a high score to beat! The idea of "just one more game" is dangerous as it erodes your time. You and your family members need to be mature about and plan the time you will invest on computers. In fact, parents who offer half hour blocks of computer time to their children as rewards are far more respected than those who give the children unlimited access and then try to take equipment away as punishments.
- Driving - Whether you are required to drive long distances to work or are the designated driver for sporting events, you will find that this time can be used wisely. Your stereo can turn your car into a university on wheels. Perhaps you have been wanted to learn another language, about a specific topic or merely enjoy learning about other people. Try ordering courses on CD or audio books for your car stereo. I find that often I don't want to leave the car when I am in the middle of an interesting CD.
- Procrastination - Avoiding what you don't feel like doing doesn't solve the problem. When you develop a list and set a time limit for accomplishment, you will find that the tasks are completed in the time that you might otherwise avoid them.
There are many other things that might steal the time that you could use towards fulfilling dreams. Begin with an assessment where you actually write down exactly what you do each day. At the end of the week, review the journal and think about the ways that you might recapture hours and reassign them. It won't be long until you start smiling about the positive changes you have made.