Why planning is so hard?
Good plan is, when You are doing things in time…
When amount of things, which you have to do is overwhelming, it simple means that Your plan is not good enough.
You can always make fantasies about how much You can do this week…
You can imagine, that this week will be The week…
But after some issues, and first encountered problem You give up, or feel like this is not to You.
Sometimes living without any Plan is better than doing Plan, which predicts too many things to do…
Because You will end with nothing.
What do You have to Plan first?
I think that most important is to Plan the next day morning.
Because, when You have planned those initial 2-3 hours in home (and at work), it simply means, that You will have energy to actually get up from bed.
Because, You know what You have to do, and You are not wasting time in wondering.
After those initial hours (especially after weekend).
You know, where are You at right now in Your projects, and You can adopt that knowledge to Plan rest of the day, and the day after.
Have You ever been in the state of mind, when You know, that You are not sleeping, but don’t want to open eyes, to be aware?
This is because You haven’t Plan anything, or the thing, which You have planed is a wrinkle… And You don’t want to figure out that (yet).
You probably heard about that to be most effective, you should do the most hard thing, first, when You are at work…
You should start with the difficult stuff, to have more energy, and satisfaction, that You already done hard stuff, and You can keep going with those easiest ones.
I do have one change for that rule…
Do something, what You have planed, but what is really easy for You…
This is a good kick…
After the initial success, You can do the hard stuff, and then return for other tasks…
In this way You will be done with You work before lunch…
Keeping balance in life
I have to say sometimes it is really hard to live in such amount of fronts.
I do mean family life, 9-5 work, and business.
But this is the beginner cost, we probably all have to handle with.
When business become bringing profits, this is the time, when You can celebrate, and spend much more time with family, and friends.
Sometimes it is a black hole.
Everyone of us (beginning entrepreneurs), have this time, when We aren’t exactly sure, if this business thing is good path.
Especially those ones with soulmates in the side.
I have this privilege, that I have with me person, which knows, why I am doing, what I am doing…
But, is it fair that I am spending so little time with her?
Keep everything balanced
I am thinking now from different perspective…
What is the most important thing in my life?
Try to ask Yourself this simple question.
Is is work?
Is it business?
If both answers are negative, this is the best time to actually make some changes, to make Your life more balanced and squeeze as much from time, which You have as You can.
#1 Don’t do everything by Yourself
This was probably the biggest think, which I have understand recently…
If I do want to succeed, I really can’t do everything by myself.
I have to find a team, which I can use, when it is time for work done.
My week has only 168 hours, and it is impossible to do everything by myself.
I have to setup systems, to make my business automated as much as I can, and make money as a broker.
I could made 100% for myself, if I’ve done all of the work myself.
I could made 70% profit, if I hire some coulee guy to make the work for me for stabile salary
I could outsource the whole work, and earn 30% of the contract.
Probably the first solution is most profitable, but only for short therm…
And this is the difference between businessman, and a specialist…
I preffer to do 10 contracts in the month, and earn 30%, than do 3, and earn 100%.
Because in those 10 I probably spend 2 hours on each of them (worst case scenario).
And this is really on what I do wanna focus on.
#2 Plan Your free time, same as You plan Your work time
I have problem with just spending time with doing nothing…
Or focusing on the wind, or sun…
But this is really important to get as much as We can from resting time.
The end effect is that, what really matters…
Not how much time You did spend on achieving this effect.
If You can work only in weekends, and You do have to spend time on other stuff, like spending time with friends, and doing home related stuff…
Get back to the point #1 and outsource more work.
Find Your gap in the day, when You can spend 2 – 4 hours without being distracted, and make Your work done.
After that You can rest all day.
I do mean that.
If You have to wake up at 4 AM, simply do that…
At 8 AM probably all of Your family members will get up, and You can spend the rest of the day with them…
8 hours in the week is much more than 0.
8 is less than 40, but it doesn’t have to be the cause of delays.
Use those 8 hours as effective as You can…
Don’t distract by other things going on in Your surroundings.
This have to be most precious time of Your work day, after that You will be rewarded.
Plan rest of Your free day, go to the cinema, or play ball.
#3 Don’t rush
If You have 2 hours on the week, this is also not a problem.
It just simple mean, that You have to probably wait a little bit more for effects.
You will maximize the #1 point.
Don’t be frustrated if it is another week, with 0 effects in Your business…
Frustration is destructive, I know something about that, because I was there…
I have buried much more projects, than You could imagine.
Because I have planned too much, and couldn’t achieve this in time, which I have planed.
The final tip
I do realized that, it needs time to figure everything out, and
The most important is to never give up!
Remember that the most fun time, is when You actually are chasing the habit, not after You catch it.
I don’t want to wish You, to be the chaser all the life, but catching everyday is as bad as that.
Keep up with work, and let time do everything else.
Like You could noticed I did some changes on the internal calm website.
Also I did create today two posts in the row (didn’t mention it before but yesterday I was back home, and just simple go sleep just after opening the door of my apartment).
And I really don’t want to mess with those dates in WordPress.
I know that I could change the date of the post, or simply hide it…
I will not do this, because like I mention before those daily updates are just for keeping the track of my progress (ups, and downs).
I am learning a tone in the process, and actually keep knowing better myself.
I feel bad, when I didn’t write a post for all day (24 hours for writing 15 minutes article is a reasonable amount of time).
But this is only showing my weaknesses, which I am fighting with.
Back on the track…
As today is Saturday, I really wanted to make some changes on internal calm, which I have been planning during the week.
As You know Jan 25, 2017, was a blast because I write about 3000 words in few hours, which were divided for 5 articles (as I had massive backlogs).
The same day I did some initial changes, but because I have been out of my private laptop back then I couldn’t finish.
So now is the time to actually make this website a little bit more readable, and organized.
Organizing the workspace
I have to say, that when I am in the work zone I am used to specific tools.
When I am prepared for work, and am in my actual work zone I am following specific rules.
To avoid distractions.
I really do like sport, especially football (in European style), so I am keeping track on updates, and news.
When I am doing that? Probably to often…
But I follow one rule, which keep me out of those distractions during my work time.
One simple rule to avoid distractions during work
I am using only my phone for reading sport news, and other fun stuff.
My private laptop, and work laptop have different purposes.
So I am programing my mind to work for myself, when I am sitting in front of my private laptop, and work for my company when I am in front of work laptop.
In this way I am much more efficient…
When I finished what I have planned, or when I have some break, I can simple stand up, and grab phone to update my football database.
Using different tools for different applications
I have there web browsers installed on my MacBook.
Each of them have their own purpose, and thanks to keeping this rule alive I can do more.
SAFARI – I am using to writing blog posts, editing WordPress sites (my own, and my clients websites)
GOOGLE CHROME – research, and study (when I am searching some how-to’s, and researching info for my ventures).
FIREFOX – SEO (I have a bunch of tools installed on Mozilla, and keep using it).
Try this simple tactic to keep more focus on what are You currently doing, and be consequent.
I guarantee that You will do more in less time.
Difficulties with time management
As I mentioned before on this blog, I do have work, which effects my other ventures.
I am starting, and ending my “9-5” everyday differently, so I can’t plan everything from start to the end.
Also I do have lot of stress…
I know that whole plant, in which I am working depends on me, and my skills.
As a programmer in Industry I do have often days, when I know that this is the deadline, and if I can’t figure something out, to move forward with the project.
There will be money consequences on my firm.
So when I am actually in one of my client locations (unfortunately most of clients are far from my home, so when I have to dive to them, I am staying for couple of nights in surrounding hotel).
As I have tried many times to actually do something else in those days, when I am during this business trips.
I actually never achieve my goal.
My typical day looks like that:
- Wake up at 7 AM
- Go to work at 8 AM
- Finish work at 8 PM
- Get back to hotel, do some reading
- Get sleep at 11 PM.
So I have decided that if I can’t actually do some creative work then.
I can handle with my health in those 4 hours of day, which I have left.
I have signed to a Gym, and try to go sweating there every day after work.
Those 2 hours on different equipment is a blast for my stress, and feel of comfort the day after.
Typically I am spending 3 days (2 nights) out of home, so I can go to the Gym 3 times a week (which is recommended amount according to my coach).
On the rest of time I do have a simple plan:
- Reading emails, and writing back to my clients, and my contractors.
- Reading Blog posts about SEO, and Marketing (what is my biggest area of interest).
- Sleeping, and relaxing (Normally I do not sleep for 8 hours a day).
How I am going to realize this plan
To make things straight, this is only my Plan, when I am during business trip for more than 1 day, and I have to work long hours, which makes me less productive for my own projects.
When I am at home I do have much more to offer.
Those weekends, and hours after work are really the core of my development…
Of course I also want to spend as much time I can with my Girlfriend, so this is really important for me to plan things upfront.
A few days ago I have read about planning weekends.
After deeper thought, it really make sense…
Each weekend I do want to do something fun, what makes me more relaxed, and keeps me waiting for this opportunity.
Thanks to that I can be more focus on work, because when I will finished I will reward myself.
I don’t mean doing every move according to some scenario (there is place for spontaneity).
It is just a self motivator, which can only make me start working earlier.
What changes in my mentality in 21 days
First of all, I have never been so consequence about exercises… I feel that I am much more effective, when I am moving… Not sitting all day in front of monitor, and figuring out the problems.
Making my body more oxygenated makes me much more energetic. Yesterday I was at Gym first time this week (other days I was swimming), and I have to say that I feel a blast today…
It is 7 PM right now, and I don’t feel tired at all… I feel like I can done so much more today (like writing this post).
Now is the great time to deal with emails for my business… I do have client, which I am working with, and Yes I hope this will be long term (now I am on the beginning phase of fixing his website).
I have finished my work (after 12 hours), and I feel like I could work for at least 6 more, but the plan is much different.
I will go to the Gym at 8, but first e-mails, blog post here, and some research of my Evernote List
Make a list, and Plans
Like I mentioned I am using Evernote. Probably I could use it much more for documenting my private photos, but I am not.
I am saving only my notes, plans, and ideas.
Everything, which is poping into my head have to be noted in Evernote in special section for New Ideas.
If someone asked me which three tools I do recommend to have on every computer it definitely will be Evernote (also Microsoft Excel, and Afinity Photo).
I have this problem with ideas, when I did not document it I simply forget about them…
So every time, when I am thinking about some new project, or about something new which i could done with myself, I simply make a note, and once a week (Saturday night), I do an Overview about what i do have in my new Ideas Inbox…
Sometimes some of them just not make sense anymore (after deeper thinking about them), but other ones need to be categorized, and actually i can make a Project from them.
About making lists in Oldschool I do recommend Getting Things Done. I have actually read this book three times, to understand the knowledge properly, and I am trying using it with Evernote.
I have started been a Gym addict for 2 weeks. It makes me more stressful, and focus, also haven’t been seek for a while, so I also “blame” for that sweating out everything, which is wrong in my system.
To be clear, I am not eating super healthy… But I am trying to eat the last meal 4 hours before sleep, and reduce the Fast Foods (earlier I did eat at least 2 Pizzas in the week).
I do want to lose some weight, but exercising is great for my mind, and for reducing my stress.
I do actually thing, that much more effective for me is, when I am exercising in the morning, unfortunately, when I am driving to work, only swimming pool is opened in my surroundings.
Also what I did, which make a massive change is thinking about sport…
Earlier I thought that I do need hours every day to make a change… So I did not those hours, and did not exercise.
I noticed something.
Every morning I do make a shower… It takes me 15 minutes…
So instead if this shower I am driving to swimming pool for a 30 minutes, when I do have 20 minutes of effective swim, and waste only 15 minutes (so I wake up 15 minutes earlier).
Thanks to that simple role I have energy for hole day, after 20 minutes…
Don’t start anything more than twice
This rule is pretty simple… Each time, when you are starting something You need time to understand that thing, and next work with it…
It doesn’t matter if it is choosing new phone, or making a business decision.
When You start something, next drop it off for a 2 weeks, next time, when You will do something with this thing… You basically will have to start from the beginning, what means You have wasted time, when You have been handling with this thing last time…
every time, when I decide to do some research about something I want to get to the point, when I can finish some sentence…
And, when I say finish, I mean buying something, or making some decision, or getting to the point, when I can say, ok… This is ended loop, next time when i pick this topic I can continue from here.
Maybe You have started something, but someone interrupted You, but try to not make same mistake more than twice…
Trust me on that, this is pretty simple, and can make you much smarter, when it goes with dealing with Your time.
Learning to switch
After a three years work for my company (and I mean my 9-5 job), I have to say, that I developed a great mechanism to switch my mind from work mode (and work problems), for another ones.
I have to say in the beginning of my carer it was pretty stressful, and I remember that I was exhausted in the Friday… Because I was thinking about problems in work all the time.
Literally everyday, before I was going to sleep, and in the first place, when I wake up…
I do have work, where companies, in which I am working (my company clients), rely on me, and my Programming, and Management skills.
I don’t want to brag, but I have s pretty stressful job…
When sometimes something goes wrong… The potential losses could been counted in hundred of thousands of dollars…
Didn’t major everything (yet)
My issue is, when I came to one of my clients for few days (and stay at hotel). This is difficult to me to switch after work…
I am working late (12 – 14 hours), and after that I steel feel that I did something wring, and tomorrow it will be shown in front of my face…
I have to say, that I should have a degree when it goes to local clients, where I don’t have to stay for the night…
After I cross the door of my home I literally forget about everything…
Seriously… I can focus in my projects, plans, and everything else.
Until… Someone calls me, and say that something is wrong, can I help (sometimes they are calling in the middle of the night).
The I do need some time to switch back, solve the problem, and switch again.
Don’t take this in the wrong way… I do love my work! I think it is challenging, but I do have to spend lot of hours out of home, also the money is not as great as it should, so long story short… I am thinking about online business from 15 months now…
It is not easy, but it is simple
This is a quote from one of the Glen Allsopp presentations about SEO (hope I don’t destroy your backlinks profile for viperchill with my links :)).
And it really fits to learning how to switch…
Because, when You want to learn how to switch your mind, You need some other goals in Your life, beside work goals.
And I don’t mean buying better car, or better house (those are really important goals), because the will make You less opened to switch.
Because those things need money, and where is money there need to be work done…
And if Your only support is Your day job, it means that problems in Your work can destroy your dreams about Your ideal car, and home.
Another goal means, some other projects in Your life…
Maybe it is hobby?
Maybe some other side work, which You want to provide?
Or maybe You just want to learn how to play on the piano?
Other goals can make Your switch really easy…
I want to create a SEO Agency, and other businesses, which I can simply outsource the work, and become only the face of operation.
It is not easy, but it is simple! (sorry Glen).
When You know, that after finishing work You have to do X things for improving Your website, or another things, it will make an excitement, and actually be a cause of not thinking about abything else (especially Your daily job).
Think for a second…
Yes You probably have lot of other stuff going on. Wife, kids, and hobbys… But are all of those things really keeping Your attention from Your work problems?
If not try with some projects, and try to learn something new, what You can use in Your projects…
This is the real core of learning how to switch.
PS. I do have a really long article about learning how to switch in plans. Because I already have learned that. I will write about my problems with that, and how I am dealing with that.. So keep in touch with my Internal Calm Journey!