“I’m Too Busy.” Sound Familiar?
This is something I struggle with on an annual basis (during tax season). I have a real job – one that exists very far away from my internet projects. I have no problem meeting the obligations of that job, even if it’s stressful at times.
Sometimes, however, the real stress isn’t about what I’m doing at my job – it’s what I’m not doing outside my job because “I’m too busy.” I have projects that I’d like to be working on, but at the same time, I also want to enjoy what little free time I have outside of work (which tends to happen when you’re working 60+ hours a week).
So how do you fight this urge to simply say, “I’m too busy”? How do you maintain productivity with your side projects when your “real” life is consuming most of your time? This post will be short and sweet, but hopefully it’ll generate some good discussion.
I’ll be honest – this post is kind of selfish. I’m writing this in the hopes that I can figure out how to get myself back to being productive while I’m really busy with my “day job.”
Here are some of the ideas and ramblings on my mind…
Fighting the Urge to…Enjoy Your Free Time?
I think this is the most difficult part for me when it comes to being too busy. I’m all about working hard, but when you’ve been working hard for 12 hours in a day, it’s hard to come home and keep working when you know you don’t have to.
Furthermore, we all have things we enjoy doing: watching TV, playing games, hanging out with friends and family. When your day is cut short, you need to make the difficult decision of what you cut out. Sometimes, because you’ve already been working all day, you find it a lot easier to cut out the extra work.
Mini To-Do List
This is something I need to get back to doing. Having a to-do list, even if it’s small, can really help you stay accountable to getting something done.
When you break down your goals or tasks into bite-sized pieces, they’re a lot easier to tackle. Maybe all it takes is creating a one-item to-do list each morning before you go to work, so that when you get home, you know exactly what you need to do.
Sometimes half the battle is just figuring out what, of the many many things on your list, you should work on. And often times, you find yourself throwing your hands up in the air and deciding not to do anything, because of the overwhelming list of things to do (I know this happens to me).
Here’s a good Tim Ferriss quote:
“Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.” – Tim Ferriss
One thing I often forget to do is revisit my goals. Sometimes when you’re feeling unproductive, all you need is a glance at your goals to whip yourself into shape. As I look at my 2013 goals, I realize I have a long road ahead of me.
As much as I’d like to, I don’t think I can put them off until after April 15th (the tax deadline), so I need to find a way to do something each day (even if it’s really small) that helps me inch closer to my goals.
Look Back to Things that Motivate You
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with your goals – hopefully your goals motivate you.
But there are other good motivators out there. For example, I love reading about Pat Flynn’s success story with his niche site that started out as a little informational site about security guard training and has now blossomed into a vast resource that earns him over $3,000/month.
Stories like that are incredibly motivating (to me), and sometimes that’s the push you need to become productive again.
What About You?
I told you this post would be short and sweet! (I’ve got work to do.) What helps you to become motivated when you feel like you’re too busy to do anything outside of your real obligations (regular job, etc.)?
Please do share in the comments – thanks!