It comes as no surprise that when there’s willpower and structure in one’s life, the effectiveness of targets becomes much higher. There is no doubt that reaching targets in life is fulfilling. The most practical way of approaching this is by introducing routine.
Imagine being able to wake up in the morning with a high level of certainty and peace of mind that gives you confidence that whatever you set to achieve during the day is going to get done. The first thought that comes to mind is…
“Been There, Done That…Yet ALWAYS failed”
Guess what…this does not have to be the case. Routine in itself can sound to be daunting but there are practical ways to switch this around. If you look around you, you can immediately identify areas where you can improve on and other areas that will allow you to gain more time for actions that are gauged to be of better importance on your relevance scale.
There is no need for expensive systems or highly complicated frameworks. Your first step is configuring your mind that you can win whatever you set out to achieve. Reprogramming yourself will not be a night-and-day change but will take some time. I have seen people who managed to notice the change in under 2 weeks and others that took slightly longer. Just remember that this is a journey and not a destination that you are after.
Having built a career in managing teams and projects, one of the most effective methodologies that I apply is Agile. Whilst agile is applicable for teams of people working together, it is based on a structure that allows for flexibility, change, and quick reaction to circumstances. How does this apply to the entrepreneurship journey?
The answer is simple. Given that the aim is to implement an effective routine in life, we must understand and clearly define the following:
- What are my daily & weekly life obligations?
- What tasks am I spending time on that are bringing little to no value in my life?
- What are my long-term goals?
- What are my medium-term goals?
- What are my short-term goals?
- What are my current patterns?
I will get into further details on the above questions in future posts as they all deserve to be explained and outlined further but if any of these questions are giving you the urge to answer them, then I suggest that you start taking note of these and document them. (Have I mentioned that I use Notion.so for planning everything in my life?)
Once all of the above is defined, you can start by creating a 7-day calendar and block out the time that you have to allocate to your current full-time job, commuting time, family time, physical activity time, and any other task that you give value to.
After doing this, you should end up with the residual time that you can allocate towards your new project or hustle. Make sure that you keep checking in with The 6 Rules In an Entrepreneur’s Life:
- Family is Important – without your family’s supprt, you will not be able to achieve your goals so make sure that you give the family all the time it needs from you to grow and function.
- Pay Your Dues – If you have any commitments, you need to make sure that you are able to oblige in order to avoid any future issues with whoever you made a committment to.
- Honour Your Obligations – If you are in employment or otherwise, ensure that you do not breach your agreements. Continue putting in all your efforts and remain committed to delivering whatever you have agreed upon in the first place. If your hustle is not independent of whatever industry or knowledge acquired through your current employer, then make sure that you make your position known to your superiors to avoid issues with conflict of interest. If this is not the case, then just speak freely to give your employer peace of mind that what you are doing is for the passion of doing business and not with the intention to undermine his business and your employment.
- Respect Your Body – This is the most important factor of all. Make sure that your body and mind are kept active at the same levels. By doing so, you will be optimizing performance and not risk overburning yourself with work. I know that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. The right ratio of Sleep, Physical Exercise & Mental Exercise is to be found. Fatigue is a word that should only be present in a dictionary and not something that you experience.
- Nurture Your Mind – Your mindset should always be that you are eager to learn more and constantly acquire new knowledge and revise on knowledge already at hand. By doing so, you will make sure that whatever you learnt in the past remains fresh in your mind and continuously update yourself with more relevant and current knowledge. Search for the right resources, read and listen to audiobooks. Follow the right people on social media. Take notes constantly.
- Rid Yourself of Toxic Relationships – If there are people around you who have no respect for who you are and what you do, do not be afraid to let that person go. People around you must be the ones who support you even though they might not understand the “why” and “what” of what you are doing.
After going through the above the next item on your list should be to limit screen time and adjust sleeping patterns. Numerous entrepreneurs and leaders have been hammering about the 5am Club. This unofficial club requires no membership. It is just a mindset for a productive routine. I have personally pushed myself to join the 4am Club instead, however, I have always considered myself to be a morning person.
The 5am Club – Starting your day at 5 in the morning allows you to make time for a quick 30-minute physical training session. This will automatically start your body and mind and hype up all bodily functions needed to increase focus.
Assuming that you have a 9-to-5 job also means that you will potentially start getting ready for work at around 7:30am and will not be home ready before 6pm. What this leaves you with is a 2 and a half-hour window in the morning and a 3-hour window in the evening.
Going back to agile, one of the principles is to split jobs into small tasks. With limited time, the most viable option is to look at the main tasks that you need to accomplish and split them into 30-minute tasks. By doing so, every day you are able to finish off 4 of these between 5:30am and 7:30am. Looking at things simply, the most viable plan is to split your day as follows:
|7:30am||Shower & Commute (Listen to Audiobook during commute)|
|5:00pm||Leave Work (Listen to Audiobook during commute)|