Those are just a couple examples of intentions I set for myself when I made the decision that I wanted to start my own company and leave my “secure” 9-5 job back in 2007. By taking action and repeating those intentions to myself (almost daily), it created a sense of focus and desire to work that much harder at getting my own business up and running.
Juggling your entrepreneurial life after work
One of those intentions needs to be dug into a bit more and that’s your after hours work schedule. Because a normal job creates structure and a fairly rigid schedule, most people want nothing more than to come home, lounge around, kick their feet up and be lazy.
If you want to start your own business, you’re going to need structure in the beginning to make sure you’re actually getting work done and putting in valuable time and effort. Kicking your feet up isn’t going to help you escape the stranglehold your 9-5 job has on you.
Here are a couple tips on how to get into a routine after work:
Don’t try to dive in head first with a new schedule, you’ll never stick to it. For the first week, just try to get on a schedule with one thing (maybe it’s dinner time).
On the second week, give yourself an hour of relaxation time after dinner, but cut yourself off after that hour is over. We all have favorite TV shows, but just sitting on the couch watching them doesn’t help us start a new career. Each week add a new change to your evening schedule.
Family comes first
Come home and immediately devote time to your kids, your spouse, your pets, etc. If you get home at 6 p.m., spend an hour doing something with your family that doesn’t involve TV, a computer, or anything technology based. If you have kids, this is a great time to wear them out before bed.
If you don’t have kids but have a spouse, spend some quality time with them and avoid talking about work of any kind. Go for a walk, get some exercise, make a delicious meal together.
When it’s time to work, shut out the distractions
When you start spending time working on your next business (maybe 8pm – 11pm), be focused only on that. Turn off notifications on your phone. Close all the tabs you have open on Google Chrome. Shut your email down and don’t look at it unless that’s part of your work. Spend these limited hours actually working.
You may not be a fan of having a schedule at home, but that’s only because you work at a job you don’t enjoy and it forces you to have a schedule you don’t enjoy. Make an effort to appreciate your time away from your 9-5 job, and I guarantee giving yourself some parameters won’t feel the like the worst thing ever.
Set realistic daily, weekly, and monthly goals
Now that you’ve created structure and a schedule for yourself, start working on goals for your new business. Through trial and error, I’ve found that creating three sets of goals works really well for me (and people I consult with). The sets of goals are daily, weekly, and monthly.
Daily goals will most likely be your smaller goals or to-do list items. Each evening that you start working, you should make a list of goals you intend to complete by the end of that night. This small exercise should only take five to ten minutes of your time (at most) and I find it best to physically write these down so you can then cross them off. It always feels great to cross things off a list!