Finding the time to build a product, even with kids

Published Under mindset
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Alex Everitt @alxevt

Anyone with young children will know, finding the time for a conversation is an accomplishment, let alone building an app or starting a business. As developers, we have the skills to build a product, all we need is time.

So where do you find the time?

Burning the midnight oil may work for a while, but it soon becomes less productive and will eventually take its toll on the rest of the day. That leaves the morning, or more precisely the time before you normally get up. Waking up early for most people is a challenge although if you claim not to have enough time to pursue what’s important to you, why not start early.

Starting work a 5 am may sound crazy, but it open’s up a window of uninterrupted time to get work done.

If you’re the person who hits the snooze button as soon as the alarm goes off the following tips may help and even transform your life.

The psychology

In a nutshell, we can think of our brain as having 2 parts, the part capable of long-term planning and the part that manages our short-term actions e.g. the fight-or-flight behaviour. There are entire books that explore this subject in great detail but for the sake of brevity lets just say when you wake up it’s the short-term actions part of your brain that controls whether you hit the snooze button.

Getting up 101

Next time the alarm goes off, don’t think about ANYTHING, simply swing your legs out of bed and stand up immediately. Within a second you’ll be out of bed and the planning part of your brain will have the chance to take control. It’s that simple. By the time you are up and moving away from the bed, the planning part of the brain can take over.

Plan your morning

Getting up isn’t always enough. When you wake up, you’ll find any excuse to get back under the covers so you need to remove as many obstacles as possible. First, make sure you have something ready to wear. Rummaging around your wardrobe will feel like a chore and something to put off for another 5 minutes. Second, plan a few easy tasks to get you off to a positive start.

Plan your evening

Once you get into a routine of getting up early, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep which means getting into the habit of earlier nights. Over time, your routine will change and you’ll find yourself far more productive. Try swapping late-night tv for a book as you’re more likely to fall asleep sooner

Don’t overdo it

Finally, the whole point of getting up early is to do more. If you’re unwell or planning a late-night, give yourself a day off otherwise you’ll be less effective throughout the day and less motivated to stick at it.

Have you got any tips about how you found more time, let us know in the comments

Tagged as: startups