Over a week in and I have to admit the whole leaving thing hasn’t really sunk in. The idea of no regular salary, performing regular tasks (updating well status diagrams anyone?), they are all now a thing of the past yet not fully appreciated.
But freedom! I have to admit, it feels great! The first few mornings of waking up and not needing to get ready for the office grind is a feeling I’ve never really experienced before. Admit it, even when you are on vacation you always have some part of your mind thinking over something work related. And so this is all rather refreshing. I am a man of leisure!
But, oh the dangers. How one can so easily fall into the pitfalls of bad habits and laziness. Sleeping ridiculously late watching Netflix or partying on a school night, enjoying the lazy mornings, heck some of you might even admit to watching daytime tv!
Once you’re out of work you need to maintain momentum. Momentum lets you remain self motivated and allows you to get things done. Starting this blog is a keen example of that. Had I not got this up and running within a week of leaving, I doubt if I would have managed to get things together at all. I also have a blog plan for the next 2 months and I started writing this post before the first one went up.
And so we come to the idea of discipline. The need to keep a strict regime. Remember, you ain’t getting paid to be slack anymore. And let’s be honest, it is much easier to slack than work. Your business isn’t going to magically grow overnight nor are clients simply going to throw themselves at you. It requires effort. To combat this I’ve come up with a few rules I’m going to stick with:
- Go to bed at a regular time – alas 3am every night is not a sustainable way of living unless you’re a multi star DJ.
- Maintain at least ‘normal’ working hours. I admit however to preferring a slightly later start as well as working a bit later at night. But regularity is maintained.
- Be prepared for long hours – sometimes stuff just needs to get done. Suck it up.
- Ensure I continue with my regular gym/sports schedule – I find it helps keeping my energy levels up and so this will remain an important activity.
- Budgeting – not just for any future venture but also personally. That bank account is only going one way and it is not up.
- Maintain professionalism – keep up appearances. Don’t dress completely down. There are still benefits to dressing well
- Set targets and goals and stick to them. If you don’t achieve them assess why and readjust. To aid this I’m using a mindmap to show my projected weekly activities along with my deadlines.
Compared to my previous post, this article was much more boring to write. But I think it’s important early in my blogging days to talk about the mundane aspects, it’s definitely not all rock and roll. This is the gritty non-sexy reality of being an ‘entrepreneur’ (or let’s be honest, being unemployed…). But keeping a few simple rules should ensure you stay afloat that little bit longer. I’ve probably missed a few key points that should be on the above list. Let me know what you think!
4 thoughts on “The art of staying disciplined”
“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.”
― Frank Herbert
Yes yes and yes…but don’t forget to enjoy this for a little as well….a slow unplanned morning in let’s say Amsterdam may occasionally, I imagine, lead to meeting very interesting people, or to spontaneously walking into an exhibition or stuff like that where one may get new thoughts ideas and incentives. And…you’ve worked continuously for 10 years…a little, under-control “slacking” is very well deserved!
Fair points Fleur. I can and probably should enjoy after working 10 years work. The business will likely take longer to get going than I think. If I don’t get frustrated by that and enjoy the slower times for what they are I think I’ll have enough time in-between to enjoy myself 🙂