I was going through all the suggestions you gave me for topic from my latest contest and there are a few that are repeated continuously:
#1 How to make money online
#2 How do you manage your time
While I definitely take a look at mixing Finance & Making money online with The Financial Blogger, I want to dedicate this post to time management. This is probably one of the biggest challenges one faces in his life; manage your time among work, family, friends… and now starting a business to reach financial freedom!
Am I Superman? Nope.
Am I workaholic? Nope (I used to be but not anymore)
Am I about to burn out? Hell no! I’m in top shape and well rested.
So how do you do it? I don’t know; so I’ll let you figure it out. Here’s my daily schedule (4 days a week).
4h30: RING A LING!
This is the time I wake up 4 days a week when I work at the bank. It’s darn early but I found it easier to get up at 4h30 than at 6 or 7am. I guess it has to do with the sleep cycle. Don’t frown, you should try it a few days, you will see that it’s easier than you think.
I wake up at 4h30 and do the following in this very specific order: quick shower (very hot water, no soap, just to wake me up), start with coffee and eat my favorite breakfast; Breakfast Pita with Nutella. I spend about 10-15 minutes on my laptop looking at 3 very specific things; my daily income (yeah!), my daily stats (yeah!) and my hockey pool ranking (oh yeah baby!). Then I leave.
5am: Relax and enjoy the ride
I have to drive 1 hour to get to work. This seems very long for some but in fact, at 5am, I don’t get any traffic so it’s very pleasant. This is the time of my day where I think of what I am going to do. I make my schedule in my head while listening to podcasts or simply the morning guys on the radio when I’m tired.
6am: Work it up!
When you wake up that early, you need something to boost you up. Some people use coffee, I prefer going to the gym for an hour. I’m burning down both my stress and my fat at the same time ;-). It gives me the energy I need to get through my day as well.
7h30: Time to write
As I mentioned before in my pillar post on how to manage several blogs without burning out, I have a list with a bunch of ideas on my USB key. I then pick any topic (just like this morning) and start writing. I write until 8h30-9am depending on how well my inspiration goes. During that time, I have turned my computer at work but I haven’t looked at my email, my files or my work schedule. Writing is what counts; put everything aside. Distractions are easy to find, ignore them!
9am: Time to work!
I have already resumed my day as a financial planner, so I’ll skip this part since you can read this previous post. The important thing to remember is that when you work; YOU WORK! It’s nice to be social and have a second coffee with people but this is taking you away from your main goal; reaching financial freedom. Do you prefer making friends at work (that will change every 2 years anyways) or build a solid income stream that will make you financially independent? I obviously chose the latter.
The funniest part is that most people at work really like me. I spend my lunch time talking to people and “making friends at work”. You need time to relax as well. Lunch hour is made for this ;-).
4pm: Time to leave!
I have a work agreement where I can leave at 4pm (as long as my clients are happy). I do this 3 days a week and work until 7pm the other day. This is how I can cope with my hours and not leave anything behind. I am able to avoid most traffic once again but it usually takes about 1h20 to make it home. During this time, I listen to the music I love or the radio. I don’t want to think about my job or my company… just relax!
5h30-8h: Bunch of stuff happening!
When I get home, my kids are usually watching TV. So either they leave it and we play together or they keep watching and I clean my email with my laptop in the kitchen while my wife is preparing supper. Since I manage my email throughout the day with my BlackBerry, I only have to clean my stuff once I get home and I don’t have many people to answer. I usually check my company in general for about 30 minutes and then spend time with my family. I also prepare my clothes and my coffee for the next morning.
8pm: Relax / Work / Hockey?
Depending on the evening, I either relax with my wife in front of the TV, work with my laptop when she is watching shows I don’t like or studying or, best of all: watch hockey (while working with my laptop). I love watching sports while working; it’s fun and relaxing while I get things done at the same time. My wife likes it as well as it gives her time to read or do anything else.
10~11; Go To Bed!
As you can see, I don’t need much sleep to be fully functional. I used to sleep between 9 to 10 hours a day. Now, with 5-6 hours, it is more than enough. I recover on Wednesdays (my online company day) and on weekends when I usually wake up around 7 to 8am.
The Secret of Time Management… What Secret?
I don’t know if there is a secret to time management. The only thing I know is that I apply the Pareto Principle and that when I do something, I DO SOMETHING… not 10 things at the same time. Concentration definitely helps one achieve more stuff in your day. The rest is only a matter of organization!
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