One question I get all the time when I release something is: how do you find the time? Although this is false, you don’t find free time, you make it. Because as soon as your time becomes free you fill it with an activity: playing, reading, sleeping, thinking. This is Parkinson’s Law: your daily activities expand to fill the time available.
Time is your most valuable asset. With time you can make whatever you want, be it money or anything else. With some money you can afford some more time and with some more time you can get some more money. Success builds upon successes.
A few years ago, after releasing my first successful open-source projects, some people told me: “appreciate the time you have now, because once you have kids you won’t have time for this anymore”. A year later, my daughter was born, the same year, I released tinyrb the most complex coding project I ever did. Now I have two kids, more projects than ever and managed to quit my job doing only what I love.
How to Make Time?
Everyone’s life is different. Of course, now I get pretty much all the time that I want (but I still have to plan for it). But I’ve always found ways to make time for my projects. Here’s a quick recap of hours I saved to dedicate to my projects when I had a job.
Work from home: -2h/day
Sleep less: -2h/day
Don’t watch TV: -2h/day
That makes an extra 6 hours per day. 30 hours per week (without the weekends). That’s almost another workweek right there and I haven’t cut a minute from the things I love, like spending time with my family and reading books. I don’t always spent all this time on my projects, but when I have an idea, I can make things happen in a week or so. The point is, this is my time, I decide what I do with it.
Here are a few more examples of useless activities you might have done recently: checked-out Google+, Installed OS X Lion.
You might be thinking: “but I have to keep up to date with latest technologies”. I’m not saying you shouldn’t, but you certainly don’t need to try every new technology that comes out the minute it comes out. Let other people filter it for you.
This is Hard, I Need My Night of Sleep and Forget About Working From Home
Yeah, life is hard, I agree with that.
The Four Hour Workweek has a chapter on how to work your way up to working from home full-time. It’s hard, takes time, guts and determination. I started with only one occasional day per week, then a few more, then full-time a year later. You can plan for it and make concessions (like a smaller salary, remember: time is your most valuable asset).
How to Find Motivation?
I remember a year ago, I found this video and that was quite a revelation to me. I know it can be cheesy, but sometimes that tasty cheese is all you need to get the energy needed :) (oh what a cheesy pun!). It all boils down to: how bad do you want it? Not bad enough if you can’t make time for it.
When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breath, then you’ll be successful.
Or if you're into coding, join my free class on rebuilding a Ruby web server.