Plenty of people out there – maybe the majority of us – really want to break away from the often mind-numbing cycle of the daily office job routine.
As an alternative to sitting around and grinding at projects that you don’t really care about, on behalf of a company that may not really care much about you, it’s likely that you’ve thought about your chances of making it as an entrepreneur.
By all means, you certainly should do what you can to set yourself up as an entrepreneur, and to make a success of your small business venture, or creative passion project. After all, thanks to the Internet and the various digital tools now available to us, it’s easier than ever before to get started, and to structure your life so as to have the best possible chance of success.
So, where are you likely to meet hurdles on your path to entrepreneurial success? Well, there are many potential issues that could arise. But first and foremost, it will tend to be poor time management that absolutely sinks your prospects, and masterful time management that serves as the antidote to this, and that radically boosts your chances of “making it.”
Here are a few tips for managing your time so that you can make a living doing what you really love.
Automate and streamline as many elements of your day as possible
The sheer wealth of information out there today, and the ease with which we can access that information, means that a huge number of opportunities are ripe for the seizing at any given time.
Another dimension of this information-abundant landscape we occupy, however, is the fact that we can all easily find ourselves sinking a major amount of time into various forms of distraction, and may find ourselves being led down unproductive pathways largely without even noticing it at the time.
If, for example, you are going to do a Google search everyday to identify the latest marketing news for your business, don’t you think there’s a very high chance that you’d end up becoming sidetracked and falling down the rabbit hole of click-bait articles, entertaining videos, and all the rest?
Well, luckily, there are certain potential solutions to these issues. For example, there is an Amazon Alexa Skill called Internet Marketing News, which means that if you have an Alexa device, you can get a daily “digest” of relevant headlines and information snippets recited to you, in a largely automated manner.
Automating and streamlining as many elements of your life as possible is not only a great way of reducing some of the innate distractions that you’re likely to encounter, but also ensures that you don’t sacrifice an undue amount of time in your day to admittedly necessary admin tasks which can nonetheless be achieved much more quickly with a bit of strategic automation.
Find and guard a chunk of time each day to spend working on your side venture or project
A consistent message that comes to us from successful leaders in business, successful artists, and high achievers of all stripes, is that you simply need to turn up at the appointed time each day, and do the work that has to be done. Whether you feel like it or not.
What’s more, you actually need to deliberately and intentionally schedule in time for your most important obligations, because otherwise, it’s highly likely that you will find yourself stumbling around in an unfocused haze, and getting far less done than you should.
Whatever your particular creative endeavour or side project is, pencil in a certain time in your daily schedule where you will work on it, regardless of your other commitments that day. Then, when the time comes, go and do the work regardless of how you feel.
Likely, you’ll find that once you actually make yourself start, you will quickly gain that “motivation” that you felt you were lacking beforehand.
Don’t let those “wasted” moments actually go to waste
The writer, Laura Vanderkam, points out in her book “168 Hours” that many people are very quick to complain about a lack of time, and keen to fantasise about what they would do if they could only find an extra “15 minutes a day,” but are pretty terrible at actually managing the spare moment they do have during the day.
One of the best ways of helping to drive your personal and professional development — so as to increase your chances of being able to make a living doing what you truly love — is to stop letting your “wasted” moments actually go to waste.
In other words, find ways to turn those generally unproductive windows of time in your schedule, into periods that actually do something useful for you.
Here’s a common example: many of us have long commute to work each day, maybe two hours, maybe more, and spend that time sitting being a bit resentful, and essentially not doing anything productive at all.
So, why don’t you start listening to self-development, and professional-growth audiobooks and podcasts on the way to work and back?
Play with “resistance” to fend off distraction, and facilitate productivity
The writer and habit coach, James Clear, does a good job in his book “Atomic Habits,” of pointing out that a major factor in whether or not a positive habits takes hold, or a negative habit is dissolved, is the amount of “resistance” involved.
Humans tend to be creatures of comfort, and we are generally inclined to follow the path of least resistance most of the time.
In the context of habit setting, this means that simply making it a small degree “easier” to act out a positive habit, or a bit more irritating to act out a negative one (setting up a web blocker to make it more of a pain to visit social media, for example) will often be enough to change behaviour.
Apply the same philosophy to your quest for
*This is a contributed post.