Life moves in many exciting directions, but along the way it's often a struggle to decide which goals to pursue—or, maybe, how to go about pursuing multiple goals!
In this blog post, I'll give you some strategies for pursuing multiple goals so you can feel better about chasing that new dream that's vying for your attention.
Pursuing Multiple Goals: An Experiment
Lately, I've been making exciting progress in my writing goals. I've recently finished Round 3 of the ROW80 Writing Challenge. Now, after about a week of thorough research and interviews, I've finally found—and hired—an editor to take a look at the fourth draft of the Goals book I've been working so hard to publish this year. I find it fitting that I'm inspired to write a post about goals when I'm about to release a book on that very subject!
As exciting as achieving these goals have been, equally exciting—and a little dreadful at the same time—is the recent added interest in pursuing a goal that's been a dream of mine for some time. Not a nagging, "I-must-do-this-at-all-costs" kind of dream. It's more of a "back-burner" dream—but it's still a dream, nonetheless. What is this newly acquired goal? Recording my very first debut solo album.
I've been debating whether to release this idea so soon. The recent desire to pursue this newest goal has caught me a little off-guard, and I don't want to announce any commitments I can't follow up on. However, I believe it's something that can potentially be accomplished in a very small amount of time, so I'm confident I can achieve it.
What have I decided to do about these two simultaneously exciting goals (publishing my book and creating a debut album)? I'm glad you asked. Simply put, I'm an all-in sort of guy. I like to do things well or not do them at all. And when two projects excite me as much as these have, I can't see myself not pursuing both goals. Now, the question becomes "How do I take on multiple projects and avoid risking burnout and overwhelm?"
Stepping Back from Creative Projects
Obviously, I can't focus all my energies on both goals at the same time. But there's a fortunate set of circumstances that has appeared in my case. Fall break (a period of two weeks) is coming up in October, and now that I've finally managed to hire an editor, I can take that extended time to focus on creating my album without worrying about book revisions until the edits are complete.
With the completion of any creative project, it's best to step away for a period of time—how much time will be different for everyone. Before you pick the work to pieces and form it into the best representative of yourself that you possibly can, it's good to let it rest first so you can feel confident in picking it back up again, dusting it off, and viewing it with a fresh set of eyes.
Now that I have an editor working on my book, it will give me just the opportunity I need to step back from the editing mindset myself and enjoy a different kind of creativity; in this case, recording music instead of writing a book.
With the completion of any creative project, it's best to step away for a period of time to let the work rest.
Strategies for Pursuing Multiple Goals
Having said this, here are some strategies I've developed for pursuing multiple goals, without the added pressure that usually accompanies simultaneously taking on other tasks.
Smart Time Management
My first strategy for pursuing multiple goals is to designate blocks of time on your schedule that will make it easier for you to pursue them. In this instance, I'm fortunate to have an entire two weeks off from my main profession (teaching private music lessons). This will give me plenty of dedicated time to recording an album. And while I hope to spend only one of those weeks making the album, I can use the other week to finish it, if necessary.
I've already taken the time to plan ahead, allotting which days of the week I want to work on each task during the recording process. Anticipating the amount of time each part of your multiple goals will take before beginning any project is definitely a wise use of your time and resources. In regards to recording an album, there are many areas to plan for. I'll list a few here that have come to mind.
- Day 1: Experiment with recording equipment and setup, decide on best-sounding mic placement, etc.
- Day 2: Record Rhythm Guitars
- Day 3: Record Guitar Solos, Fills, and other bells and whistles
- Day 4: Record Vocals, if possible (will need to borrow a decent mic, or else reserve this task for the final week of Fall break)
- Day 5: Mix and Master album (at least the instrumental tracks)
- Day 6: Bleed over tasks from any of the previous days
Anticipating the amount of time each part of your multiple goals will take is a wise use of your time and resources.
While I'm busy recording the album that first week, I can clear my mental reserves of any work that needs to be done on my book since my editor will be hard at work doing that for me. After all, that's what I'm paying him to do! By investing in the professional help I need to produce a book that people with a goal-oriented mindset will enjoy reading, I'm investing in myself the freedom to pursue the goals that make me feel more fulfulled as a creative person.
Hire Outside Help
Which leads me to my second strategy for pursuing multiple goals: Hire the help you need to accomplish your other goals. Currently, in my own business, I have one dedicated person—a virtual assistant, or VA—whom I use for all my graphic design needs. In the past, I've had as many as three or four VAs at one time, especially when I was building my Bluegrass Guitar Essentials course from the ground up.
Although it's often easy to do the tasks you like to do, it's not always profitable. Yes, you like to do them—you may even enjoy doing them—but do you love doing them? If not, you should seriously consider hiring someone else to do those tasks so you can enjoy the leisure of doing the work you love, that work for which you were made.
Although it's often easy to do the tasks you like to do, it's not always profitable.
Currently, I'm experimenting with utilizing only one VA so I can afford to hire an editor for my book. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to see my dream of becoming a published author—with one of my own books—come true. At the same time, I'm actually having a blast learning how to use new software—mainly the recording software I'll be using for making my album.
When you take the time to research, interview, and hire others who can do the tasks you merely like doing—or, even better, hate doing—you can say "Yes!" to the things you love doing. What you spend in money, more often than not, makes up for itself in what you gain back in time and the joy of loving your work.
Allow for Potential Setbacks
Any time you plan to take on new projects, you can bet something will come along and attempt to wreck those plans. Flexibility is essential if you are to be successful in achieving any of your goals, especially when pursuing multiple goals. So allow for the inevitable mishap every now and then; your life will be much smoother for it.
I'm not sure what to expect when I begin working on my album in a week or so, but one thing I expect to be frustrating is having to wrestle with the mics and fumble with the settings in the recording software I'm getting used to. That's why I've allotted an entire day to account for setup and getting used to my equipment. Thanksfully, based on the list I made above, I now have some ideas of what could potentially cause problems before diving head-first into the project.
Life becomes so much easier when you expect the unexpected. I'm not telling you to have a doom-and-gloom attitude about your work; I'm simply stating the facts. If you've ever tried tackling multiple projects, I'm certain you understand exactly what I mean. It's best to be prepared for potential setbacks when pursuing multiple goals. Doing so can mean all the difference between getting merely knocked down and staying down.
Any time you plan to take on new projects, you can bet that something will come along and attempt to wreck those plans.
Onward Toward Success
I don't know what awaits me in during the recording process, but I'm confident I can tackle whatever rears its ugly head, thanks to the three strategies I've just laid out for pursuing multiple goals. I'm also confident you can do the same if you put these simple methods into practice.
Once again, here they are in order:
- Strategy #1: Smart Time Management
- Strategy #2: Hire Outside Help
- Strategy #3: Allow for Potential Setbacks
With these strategies in mind, let us all move forward in pursuing our multiple goals. When—not if—you've reached them, be sure and leave a comment below to share with us how you did it! Onward toward success!
P.S. If you would like to stay updated as to when my "Goals book" will be available, click on the link to the Books page below and subscribe to my email newsletter. It's absolutely free and you can unsubscribe at any time. Plus, as my way of saying "Thank You," I'll give you instant access to two of my short stories to enjoy, one of which has amassed nearly 10,000 reads so far!
CHECK OUT MY BOOKS...
If you would like to see more of my writing, be sure and check out the books I've already written, as well as those I'm currently working on, by visiting my Books page.
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Question: Have you been successful in pursuing multiple goals?
Leave a comment below and tell us how you did it.