My 2-year-old son kicked me in the face when I tried to write this the first time.
He was climbing on me, slapping my computer, and jumping on the couch next to me while I tried to focus on just getting something written down before the day got too hectic to think straight.
I was too late.
I realized he needed me to be Dad right then, not in an hour or two, and that was more important. So I closed the laptop.
If you have commitments, a full-time job, and a side project you’d like to be doing full-time, you know exactly what I experienced.
So how do you make it all work?
How can you pay the bills, spend time with the family, and work on your dream – all without letting any of them go to ruin?
I would be lying if I said I have a secret for you.
All I know is, you have to make time for all three, and you absolutely have to remember which order they go in.
Think about your eulogy.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Do you want to be the guy who missed everything or who was stressed out and irritable all the time? Of course not.
Keep that in mind next time you’re making decisions about what to invest your time in.
Truthfully, there will be times of imbalance. When you’re learning a new skill or creating a big new project, you’re going to get out of whack. But you have to bring yourself back in in a reasonable amount of time. Don’t let it get away from you.
I think the best thing to do is to plan on sleeping less. Seriously.
Either wake up before everyone else gets up and work on your side stuff or do it after everyone goes to bed. Don’t do it while your son is jumping up and down on the couch next to you crying for your attention. That feels like crap.
Lunch breaks are good too. It’s a solid hour every single day, and if you plan it right, you can get a lot done in that hour a day.
Whenever it is, make time for yourself every day, but schedule that time around everything else.
I actually used to write blog posts while driving to the store to pick up things we needed. If we needed diapers I would go to the store and take my phone so I could use Evernote and speech-to-text in my iPhone to actually “write”, or speak, a blog post into my phone.
It probably wasn’t the safest thing in the world to do, but I kept my eyes on the road and I was able to accomplish something on an otherwise useless ride to and from the store.
Whatever you do, don’t guilt yourself into giving up on your dream altogether, but don’t talk yourself into thinking it’s the most important thing for right now, because it’s “building you and your family’s future”.
Your wife and kids won’t remember how great it was to build your dream from the ground up. You’ll just be the person who’s not in the pictures, and you’ll hate yourself for it.