Organize yourself

Published at 2019/03/21

Couple days ago a friend of mine asked me: "How are you doing this? You have a full-time job, a family with 2 little kids and still find time to work on side projects, write a blog etc.?

Just organize yourself…

DISCLAIMER: I'm a father of two awesome kids and find myself kinda blessed by the fact that they're sleeping well through whole night: until like 6 - 8 AM.

Ok then, but what's the key?

…but don't think that it's easy…

I've learned that it's possible to develop and maintain side-projects while keeping work-life balance but… you have to sleep less.

You might laugh or think that I'm a lunatic, but summing things simply that's my secret.

If I don't have any extra interruptions, my regular work day have ~9 hours of work (7.5h of actuall work + all the breaks in the meantime). After that I typically run some home errands (grocery etc.) and then it's family time, which lasts until ~22:00 / 23:00.

And this is my time for any side-hustle, where I do my stuff for another 2-3 hours (usually 1 - 2 AM max)

…or that it's my 24/7 plan

Don't get me wrong - this is not my daily, 24/7 must-do plan. If I feel burned out I just watch Netflix or play some games. Sometimes I just go straight to bed because I'm just tired (and then I feel somehow guilty that I've "wasted" my free time to "just" go to sleep).

I know that I can't cheat myself and from time to time my body need to get a proper (more than usual 6 / 7 hours) amount of rest, but it's not that easy thing to deal with.

Yes, if I could choose to not have to sleep at all, I would be 200% more happy person (I hate sleeping, but it's not that I'm a workaholic - it's just a boring activity and I would rather spend it on something else).

Until I've got into this point, I've tried couple different approaches to find some time to work on side-projects such as:

  • waking up early, so I can start working on something in the morning, but usually kids were waking up as well and it was impossible to spend this time on something different than just early babysitting,

  • working on side-projects for short amount of time immediately after my daily job ends - that was a failure as well; I've found that my brain often needs a longer break after couple hours of coding, just to reset and switch context properly so I can focus fully on my side-project

  • work during the weekends - this one is a big no-no - weekends are for family (except nighttime - when everyone are sleeping I'm trying to work on something just like during the work week)

All of them was a better or worst bit of a failure - I think it's a very individual problem that everyone should solve exclusively to suit to their needs - what works fine for me, shouldn't exactly fit to you.

But maybe you'll find some of my ideas handy during the search for your very own, perfect self-organizing plan.

-- ł.

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