You Don’t Need More Time!
April 17, 2018
In mid-2017, I came to the realisation that I was trapped within a lifestyle prison that I had built for myself and I resolved to work myself out of the business that I'd spent a decade building into a success, in order to pursue a side-project that quickly turned into a multi-six figure business, and continues to innovate and grow.
Once I'd made that, albeit very hard, decision I had to figure out exactly how to make the transition.
In 2014 I wrote my first e-book entitled The Essential 14-Day Guide to Cutting Your Working Hours and Increasing Your Impact as a means of building myself a template and process within which I could become more effective within my business – and it worked, it still does actually.
So when the decision came around to leave my design agency in 2017, I refocussed on going through that process in an effort to create myself more time to work on my side-project at the time, Podcast Websites.
But I found a problem.
I didn't need more time. Not really.
I was so passionate about Podcast Websites and the bigger picture of building software for podcasters, that I naturally gravitated towards working hours of the day on it.
Drive, passion and motivation were getting me through the fact that at the time, I was running a couple of businesses.
I had the time, I had the passion and motivation, so why was I feeling like I was treading water and making no progress?
I realised it was because I had no space.
Space, time, it's, all the same, isn't it?
No, no it's not.
Time is something that we're always striving to create more of and to maximise.
Time is the asset, the finite resource that we often believe is at the centre of our productivity and our success.
But this is simply not true, in my opinion.
Sure, an understanding of how to effectively use the time that we're all granted in the pursuit of success, happiness and a fulfilling life is vital to achieving and excelling in your goals, but just as a horologist masters the tools of his craft to build pieces that are almost unbelievably constructed, time is a tool for us all to master in order to construct a day, week, month or year that moves us continually closer to the success that we strive for at that moment.
We must learn to use the time we have to our advantage and we must ensure that we invest each minute wisely, considering time the central currency that holds such a vital significance over our short existence.
We cannot create more time. That much is clear.
Rather, we can only choose to use the finite time that we have each day, wisely.
During the early days of my transition from design agency owner to software startup founder, I found myself wishing for more time when really, what I needed to create for myself was space.
“Space” in this context is the ability to create for yourself an environment that gives you the time, surroundings and mindset within which to think deeply, to consider each action deliberately and within which to focus not just on the ‘now', but on the ‘Where do I need to be, how am I going to map that path and what do I need to do today, in order to walk that path?‘.
Often, we try our level best to create the extra time that we believe will lead to more success in our businesses, but when we manage to develop that time we tend to spend it behaving how we've always behaved: catching up, ‘getting in-front' or winding down in order to recharge.
In the context of shifting my focus from one business to another I realised that creating the space to deliberate why I was carrying out the tasks that I was so enthusiastically carrying out within my side-hustle would allow me to not only bring a product to market that worked amazingly for podcasters today – I could do that with extra time alone, after all I knew what we were building right now – but with space to think, deliberate and to put myself into a new mindset, I could create a business that would be set up for the next ten years and that would bring with it some immovable ethics, values and cornerstones that could be relied upon even during the more challenging times.
“But how do I create space, not just refocus my time?”
Creating space to remove yourself from your lifestyle prison and to move into something new and fulfilling isn't a trick, nor is it a dark art that you need to study for years or buy courses on.
No, creating space is merely about investing the time that you create using tools such as the 14-day guide in such a way that you begin to shift your mindset in to one that is future-oriented and that allows you to carry out tasks with not only today in mind, but also tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and beyond.
Just like an athlete who runs faster, hits a golf ball further, kicks a soccer ball harder during a big game, when you're fueled by passion and motivated to build your side-project into something quickly, the time that you spend on that side-project is often filled with exciting tasks that you can't wait to tinker with, to try out and to shout about from the rooftops when they work.
And that's amazing, I wish that feeling could be bottled for us all to dip in to on the hard days!
Alongside that, though, we need to carve out time to think differently.
We have to carve out the time to draw inspiration from the books, documentaries, podcasts or YouTube series that are available to us that will move our minds from the business that we're in, to the business that we want to be in.
This might sound simple, but remember that creating space is about creating an environment for change and development – you cannot simply sit at your desk in the business that you're currently in and expect to develop the very best for your side-project.
In my view that simply isn't possible. You're a square peg in a round hole.
Space, for me, often takes the form of travel.
Very frequently I'll return from a few days away with clarity of thought, focus and more often than not, a decision made that became clear to me where before, it was clouded.
It's an abstract yet simple concept, really: we must all find a way to realise where our minds work at their very best & most creative and then use the time that we're able to carve out to harness that creativity and focus on implementing it for the good of the next decade, not just the next quarter and rather than being guided by passion and excitement, only.
Don't forget, the more you expect from yourself, the more you WILL excel!