Finding Time To Do What You Love


“Retreat” Painting by Sage Boyd

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”

We all have the same 168 hours each week.  Why is that some of us are rock stars, best-selling novelists, or have prints of their art in homes everywhere? 

Surely most of these people were not millionaires before they became famous, or at least happy doing what they want to do.

Thoreau also said, “if one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to live the life which they have imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

So HOW do we find those “common hours” to create our magic, our dream?

I found that a little bit of introspection of how we consistently spend those 168 hours each week can lead to profound insights and some changes that can free up 20 to 35 hours “common hours” every week to create a wonderful life.

I found five simple ways we can find those “common hours” to Make Dreams Come True!

 Watch Less TV

Studies show most people spend an average of 3 hours each evening watching TV.  I got rid of my cable service and subscribed to Netflix, and promised myself I would watch no more than 1.5 hours in the evening, which captures 10.5 “common hours” each week!

I go to sleep earlier, and get up earlier, which gives me an hour and a half each day to work on a painting or write my blog.

Because of this one change I have been able to consistently write two or three blogs a week, as well as create two to four paintings a month!

Condense Errands

Do your grocery shopping and other errands once a week.  I keep a stenographer pad handy all the time, and when I think of something I need, I add it to the list.

Saturday morning is errand time.  I organize my list before leaving the house, and plan my trips logistically.  A logistical list not only saves time, it also saves money, using less gas.

Typically, most people run errands four times a week.  If that average errand time is an hour and a half, your weekly errand time is six hours.  It you do it all in one trip once a week, and it takes you four hours, you’ve saved two hours and a lot of gas!

Phone Time

We love our phones.  We love to text, email, and talk.  Before you know it, you’ve used two or more hours each day. precious “Why not let family and friends know what you’re up to? Tell them you are setting aside two hours on Sunday to converse with friends and family.

You need to be strong on this one, and maintain the boundary.  If they care about you and want to see you happy accomplishing your dream, they’ll understand.  They might even become inspired by your dedication and start making changes in their own time management (or lack thereof).

This discipline could save you at least six hours a week (and that’s probably a mild estimate compared to reality).


Ouch!  The bane of all time-saving seekers!  The secret is: unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe!  Ruthlessly and relentlessly!  Most emails are unsolicited ads tempting us to spend money.

If you spend an hour a day on emails, and get it down to 30 minutes, you capture three and a half more hours a week to use to create your dream. (Three and a half hours give me time to do research for my latest painting or blog.)

Better yet, if you check emails four times a week instead, you’ll save five hours!

House Cleaning

One of the best things to give yourself is hiring a house cleaner.  If you’re on a tight budget, have them come in once a month.  Scrape the money together by giving up three coffee breaks a week, or perhaps a meatless dinner two times a week.  Prepare more of your meals. You’ll save a ton by not purchasing processed foods, and be healthier for it.! Turn the thermostat up or down a couple of degrees.  Don’t leave the lights on, and consolidate laundry loads. Keep track of the money you save each time you save time on something and put that savings in cash in an envelope marked “house keeper”.

It feels so luxurious to have someone else clean your house!  You’ll feel so great, your creative juices flow, and there you are, sitting at the table, sketch pad and pencil in hand, creating a new dress design!

You gain at least 12 hours more for your dream, by letting someone else clean.  And you’ve helped someone else by giving them a job!


Here is a list of the “common hours” you’ve captured with these simple disciplines that can change your life by giving you the precious time to create your dream:

  1. TV time                                   10.5
  2. Errands                                     2.5
  3. Phone                                        6.5
  4. Emails                                       3.5
  5. House Cleaning                       12

Total Dream Catcher Hours            33 Hours

“Barrio Shadows” Painting by Sage Boyd, from the “Barrio” in Tucson AZ, where Sage lives,