I'm often asked how I have been running this website for twenty years on top of all the responsibilities one normally has in life (house, family, kids, work, etc.). In a nutshell, I compromise: the same way I set aside time to do the dishes or mow the lawn, I set time aside to work on the site. I may no longer have all-day to write several lengthy articles per week, but I'm dedicating a modicum of time to writing, coding and experimenting: I make me do it. I have a set amount of time allotted and a clear understanding with myself that if I don't complete everything during that period, that it is okay. Some days are more productive than others.
It's not unusual for me to see peers start up projects with goals and dreams, only to then see them being abandoned on some forgotten shelf, collecting dust, claiming a lack of time as the culprit for its demise. Start Up Clarity's article How to Make Time for Your Side Project basically debunks the whole mantra of I Cant Find the Time. The time is there, if you really want it to be:
Youre busy. I understand. Its difficult to find the time between your day job and taking the kids to school and … football practice and … and and and.. You might not be able to find the time but you can make the time. The first way to make time is the one you were hoping to avoid: compromise.
Compromise is all about making concessions. You dont need to cut something out completely but perhaps you can cut down. Instead of watching two episodes of your favourite tv show, how about working on your side-project first and then rewarding yourself with just one episode. Next time youre invited out to drinks with friends, perhaps you can say that youll be there but an hour later. Use that time to make progress on your side-project.
Focus is another strategy that can make time. Youve probably got lots of side-projects; theyre all exciting in their own way. Instead of working on all of them, stop, focus on just one. Focus on getting one launched and then you can go back to any of the others if you want. Otherwise, you might be spreading yourself too thin.
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