If someone told you today that by dedicating two hours every day to your project, you’d be worth £5 million in 5 years. Would you do it and work diligently on your project towards your goal?
My husband keeps asking me how I can keep myself so motivated with my new start up as I don’t really know if it will be a success.
I think that there’s the catch. Most of us would willingly work hard and learn new skills if we had certainty about the outcome. Unfortunately that’s not how life works. Most projects involve a great deal of uncertainty. And it’s that element of unknown that keeps us from trying to achieve our dreams.
I find it relatively easy to be motivated working on my daily business tasks with visible outcomes in the near future. But it’s much harder for a small business owner to carve out time for a long-term development projects that may or may not come to fruition in, say, 1,5 years time. The temptation is always to let the daily priorities fill out the whole diary.
Then I made a decision that something had to change. I’d be fiddling with the social media feeds still in 10 years time if I didn’t do something remarkable. To change my future would mean radically changing my daily habits. I looked at methods that had provided help for people to manage personal change.
Different diets and weight loss programs have been the pioneers of helping people manage personal change. The latest graze in the UK is the 5:2 diet where you are supposed to fast two days of the week and are still left with five days to eat as usual. It sounds easy enough and two days isn’t too big of a commitment for most. Kate Harrison has taken this idea one step further by attacking big life goals with the 5:2 principle. Do something towards your goals two days a week and you will see your life changing.
I thought the idea of dedicating two days sounded interesting at the start, but the reality of life soon set in. The problem with earmarking only two days for personal improvement or an ambitious project is that what ever you are doing isn’t doing to turn into a habit. If any disruption would come my way on the ‘dedicated day’ I’d get sidetracked and soon the week would be gone without any progress.
I needed to constantly condition myself to get results. Would an athlete train only two days a week for the Olympics?
My question was how could I protect my time and ‘secure’ more of it for myself, every day? I came up with an idea of extended ‘me-time’, almost like going to brush my teeth but not coming out of the bathroom until after 2 hours. Women often have to do that – literally - to hide, in order to get their projects finished. I too have children and work a lot from home so the demands of everyday life often get in the way of my big dreams.
So there it was, I’d work on my most ambitious projects involving future success for 2 hours per day, 5 days a week. I decided to find a better hiding place than the bathroom though!
I believe big change can be achieved by taking small steps. As a matter of fact, every successful project consists of a string of small steps. All we have to do is to pick a single project that is the most critical one for our success and will make biggest difference. Then dissect it into smaller tasks, all the way down to something that can be done in two hours.
The concept of two hours has given me a peace of mind. I know that my ambitious dream project has it’s own ‘lifeline’ within my daily schedule. I’ve cut out non-critical tasks and delegated as much as I can to free up the space.
Sounds simple? It actually is as long as you stick to it and keep protecting your time from the Time Robbers.
What is your ambitious project you’d like to complete? Could you use the concept of 2 hours a day to invest into something that is going to make a difference in the long run?