Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

3 Keys to Schedule Your Dream Job

Note: This is a guest post from Michael Hyatt. Michael is a bestselling author, virtual mentor, and entrepreneur. You can find him on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Finding meaningful work can be challenging. It usually involves a mix of passion, proficiency, and profitability. If you’re not emotionally engaged, competent, or getting paid enough to cover your bills, you’ll wrestle with burnout, frustration, and worse.

3 Keys to Schedule Your Dream Job

But let’s say you know exactly what your dream job is. You’ve got your sights set on something right up your alley and smack-dab in the center of your sweet spot.

Now what?

We’ve all been around people who seem like they have their dream job, but can’t quite make it happen. Maybe that’s you. You know what you were called to do, but you just can’t seem to get the traction you want. Or, maybe you’re flying high but feeling down because your life is totally out of balance.

I’ve got one piece of advice, and it works for both conditions. Following this strategy has enabled me to stay productive with work I love for decades, whether in the corporate world or as an entrepreneur. Here it is:

Schedule your dream job.

I discuss exactly how in my new book Living Forward: How to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. It comes out next week, but here’s a sneak peek at three tactics to make time for what matters so you can gain the momentum you desire and sustain it for the long haul.

1. Schedule your priorities

And I mean all of them. Sometimes we know exactly what we want to accomplish work wise. We charge forward full of energy and enthusiasm. But in our extreme focus, we can easily neglect everything else.

I love Gary Vaynerchuk, and I love his book Crush It. I’ve recommended it countless times. But sometimes we stay in perpetual crush-it mode and miss other areas of our life that give us meaning, don’t we?

Put your work aside for a moment. What about your significant relationships, your health, your spiritual life, even your hobbies? Here’s the reality: What doesn’t rank doesn’t fit. If you don’t schedule time for all the things that matter in your life, your dream job will become a nightmare.

2. Schedule your week

When you’re scheduling your priorities, it’s best to start with your ideal week. What does it look like? Are you preserving the kind of margin you need for everything that matters?

Why your ideal week? Because it puts you in the driver seat. It’s a way to proactively prioritize. Your taking a stand for what matters most to you. Without doing the advance work of scheduling an ideal week, it’s too easy to slip into a reactive mode and get sucked into other people’s agendas.

The trick is to take everything you want to accomplish across all the areas of your life and get them down. It becomes your template for meaningful action. And the more precise you are, the more productive you’ll be.

When we’re vague on our time, our work feels vague too. Tasks expand to fill available time, and we find ourselves making far less progress than we want or are capable of.

3. Schedule your year

This might seem like a stretch at first, but it’s critical for making significant progress. Once you know your priorities, you need to protect them. The best way to do that is to set aside the nonnegotiables: holidays, vacations, work travel, key meetings, and so on.

Then you want to block time for discretionary activities like conferences or other enriching events.

This is a great opportunity to get clarity about your targets. One of the ways we find happiness is to make significant progress towards meaningful goals. That goes for all of life, but it’s critical for our work.

Without big, compelling goals, work becomes humdrum. And the best goals have deadlines and incremental steps you can schedule. Maybe it’s writing a book or launching a new business. Whatever it is, get the key dates on your calendar.

These three tactics should point us to an important fact: Meaningful work cannot be disconnected from a meaningful life. A dream job is one part of a dream life. And getting intentional about our time is the first way to make that dream a reality.

Michael’s new book Living Forward show how to integrate our daily work with our dreams. If you preorder it by February 29, you’ll get $360 worth of bonus materials and tools to help you design — and get — the life you want. Don’t miss it!

What is your dream job? How can you apply the principle of scheduling to your dream job? Share in the comments.

About Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is the bestselling author of Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World. He is the founder and CEO of Intentional Leadership, an online leadership development company. Michael helps overwhelmed high achievers get the clarity, confidence, and tools they need to win at work and succeed at life.

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  • Hi Michael, I’ve preordered Living Forward and am looking forward to its arrival. In addition to creating my own life plan, I would like to create one with my husband. Can this be done as a couple? How would you approach it as such? Or should we each do our own and then develop couple/family goals from that?

    Thanks for the great guest post, Jeff.

    • I don’t want to speak for him, but I believe Michael and his wife Gail share their life plans with one another. If I remember correctly, they have a yearly tradition in which he, Gail, and her brother all get together to go through their life plans and share them with one another.

      • Thanks, Jeff. I thought Michael did something like that. I’m getting ahead of myself and want us to get on board as a couple right away, but one step at a time. Focus on mine first.

      • That’s actually with our goals, but the same principle applies. Thanks, Jeff.

    • Julie, absolutely. Daniel and I recommend that you create your life plans separately and then get together to discuss. It makes for great conversation. You will quickly see where you are in alignment—and where you are not.

      • Thanks, Michael. Last night, we actually scheduled a time for each of us to get away. Now once we get your book, we can begin. Forward!

  • Joshua Little

    Hmm maybe the VA wrote this paragraph. Several typos.

    “You know what you were called to do, but you just can see to get the traction you want. Or, maybe you’re flying high but feeling down because you’re life is totally out of balance.”

    • Or maybe we’re all busy and even the best of us occasionally misses a few wayward typos. Just corrected them. Thanks for the heads up, Joshua. 🙂

      • Joshua Little

        Awesome – I know I miss more than my share. All the best, love your work! -Josh

      • Thanks for taking the hit on that one, Jeff. Totally my bad. I appreciate you fixing this.

  • Heidi Shaw

    After 20 plus years in the workforce, I am FINALLY understanding the importance of work/life balance. I have put off so many other major life events because my work seemed so unfulfilling to me. I have put so much emphasis on work, that the rest of my life just kind of labored behind me. I watched everyone else make major life changes and it seemed as if they breezed through them. I couldn’t figure it out. It makes more sense now.

    • What was the catalyst, Heidi?

      • Heidi Shaw

        I moved to Arizona four years ago not realizing why, exactly, I was doing it. In the course of those years I went back to school to get my degree in Veterinary Technology (a major life event that I would have normally ditched). In doing so, I finally learned how to pursue things in life while acquiring new things (like relationships, etc), maintain the already established and do so without my head exploding. I was easily derailed in the past. I now understand the importance of, and PEACE IN, prioritizing. I needed to get away from some things to learn that. I feel creative, excited and refreshed. My first degree is in Mass Communications and I always said I would be the next Barbara Walters of the world. I believe I can achieve that now!! 😊

        • Awesome, Heidi. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ll watch for you on TV. 😉

  • waoo yaar nice web site great work 🙂 best of look.I ss one of categories if you a career option fast. At least for women hOT.

    Maha Butt

  • Emily Fincher

    My local bookstore allowed me to take the book home early, so i’m looking forward to diving into the content. This is timely as I am working towards launching my own business soon. I’m already struggling with work/life balance working four jobs trying to make ends meet. I’m looking forward to planning my work schedule based on my own priorities. I don’t have much of a social life at the moment, nor do I spend much time with my parents, nor do I spend much time dating. It’s all work at the moment and it’s getting depressing. I hope to find strategies within the book to help me combat that.

  • Excellent tips! I reserve some time each Sunday night to plan my week and calendar. I’ve also learned the value of diplomatically saying “No thanks.” Because if you don’t, other people will fill your calendar. Looking forward to the new Michael Hyatt book!

  • My dream job is what I’m doing now – providing administrative assistance and writing services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Now time to make it pay the bills. Thanks Michael!

  • dan pre

    thank you for such for a great resource http://www.buyadsenseac.com

  • Hi Michael. I’m doing my dream job right now but i was struggling with some things just because i haven’t deadlines, i was just doing the work. Now with this information i think i have a feedback for this month so thank you for sharing Michael! 🙂