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Personal and Work Projects

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  • Personal and Work Projects

    I work for my employer 9-5 and also have my own personal projects that relate to v.important 30k+ goals e.g. starting a business. Each day my NA lists show personal actions alongside work actions - I am too honest to work on personal projects during work time YET 9- 5 is my high energy time. Does anyone else have this problem: what do you do? By the time I get home in the evening and ready to work again at8pm I have low energy.

  • #2
    Does your job allow you to set a flexible schedule? One approach might be to work on personal projects during a long lunch hour and/or before work. Another might be to work four 10-hour days and use the fifth day for personal projects.

    You're essentially trying to work on two jobs at once, which is a fundamentally difficult thing to do. The only real solution may be to either lower your standards at your day job to make it less demanding, or accept slow progress on your personal goals.



    • #3

      I don't know your work situation, but I created a single @Work category for all my work NAs. Since I spend most of my day in a cube with phone and computer, there was no real need to separate tasks.

      I do have a "@Projects Work" to seperate work projects from my personal "@Projects" list.


      • #4
        I just got done with a month of this very thing...I had to get much better about utilizing my lunch time, and I also took a few vacation days at my full time job to work on consulting stuff. Nobody has to know why you're taking it. I also kept separate lists as others have suggested here. You should give that some thought - nothing's more stressful that sitting at your day job staring at an NA list that includes a bunch of personal stuff you'd rather be doing...


        • #5
          I do "easy" personal work (e.g., light research, brainless chores) in the evenings, and save harder personal work for the weekends.


          • #6
            Good "basic training"...

            The good news about your challenge of working 9-5 then developing a business idea/plan in the evenings: it's great basic training for the reality of being an entrepreneur.

            The reality of anyone running a start-up (including myself) is that the work doesn't end at 5pm (in fact, it could go 24x7). If our investors and Board members could have us work 8 days a week, they'd vote for it in a heartbeat!

            GTD keeps me alive/sane in the entreprenurial world because:

            1. It allows me to relax in the midst of uncertainty and focus on what needs to get done to move the business forward, rather than mentally rehearsing its failure by thinking about the overwhelming number of things I'm responsible for. It was the opening premise of Dave's book in this context that drew me to it in the first place. "It's possible to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control...", quoting from memory.

            2. I am able to strike a balance between work and family (one of the toughest challenges faced by any entrepreneur!) - taking advantage of the "wierd times" as Dave calls it. Moving venture financing deals and customer/partner relationships forward, or setting expectations with Board members and investors are really transactional in nature, so 10 mins is usually enough time to move things forward in amazing ways!

            3. I can track large numbers of "loose ends" - from a single-word change in a pending legal agreement to keeping my vision of the business alive with part of my weekly review dedicated to thinking at altitudes above 30,000 feet in Dave's terms.

            Moral of the story: how you address the challenge of handling multiple, challenging roles and working long hours and having to make decisions when you're tired is great basic training for the challenges faced by even the most well-heeled entrepreneurs in the best-planned start-ups.

            It would be interesting to get a group of people together to discuss specific applications and customization of the GTD methodology for entrepreneurs, though not wanting to lose the versatile/generic nature of this powerful approach.



            • #7
              Idea for major goals...

              Another idea for addressing a major goal:

              Take a vacation (somewhere exotic always works for me), bring a notebook and a pen, and start writing the vision for your business, then move to the details of the business model, critical unmet customer need, etc.

              Over the course of a few hours over a few days in the right location, without the external day-to-day pressures, it's amazing how far you can move a major life-goal forward.

              The good news is that you could come back and either (a) have a vision for a business that excites you and gives you the energy to take it to the next level; or (b) you realize that, for some reason, either the vision isn't there yet or it isn't the right time or right opportunity - allowing you to adapt your focus on other areas.