Picture this. On Friday morning you rush to the hospital with a sick child. Your partner is crying and you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep. You cancel your 11 a.m. consultation with a potential client who's clearly annoyed.
At 4 p.m. you're supposed to start a brand-new college teaching job. Luckily the doctor gives the little one the all clear just in time to rush home for a quick shower. No time to review your lecture notes. You survive class, but a million tasks wait at home. You can't get to them because friends have decided to "check-in," and they're staying for dinner.
Saturday morning you visit a coffee shop to work on that presentation for your day job. It's due Monday. You're about to put on headphones when a stranger strikes up a conversation. He's your ideal client, so 90 minutes later you say, "Sorry, 1 have to get going." Looking at your phone you find three texts that say, "Hey is this meeting happening?"
You missed your virtual team meeting for your side hustle, so you reschedule--that product launch will have to wait. At home you ignore the dishes from Friday's half-eaten breakfast, open your laptop, and spend seven hours on sales calls. So much for Sunday off, you spend it finishing that presentation. Monday you're back to the 9-5, and give a surprisingly expert performance. Nobody detects the cloud of chaos swirling around you.
This is life for most side hustlers: simultaneously invigorating and pressure-filled.
Is "having it all" inseparable from chaos? Yes, but no. Some disarray is built into the pursuit, but you can take back control. Here are 12 efficiency secrets for busy people like you who are building a side hustle while juggling a full-time job, a social life, exercise, sleep, and 47 other desires.
SECRET #1 | CLARIFY YOUR PURPOSE
Clear conviction is an unstoppable force. A clear "why" provides at least 80 percent of the motivation needed to achieve anything. Unfortunately, clear purpose is rare among side hustlers. Many say, "I'd like another $1,000 a month," or, "I want to quit my job." But when the sick kids and bad deals inevitably come to test your grit, "Gee, I'd like more money" will not carry you over the mountain. Success demands a "burning desire," to paraphrase Napoleon Hill. And the only way to create that fire is to connect with your purpose at an emotional level.
Humans put forward logical explanations for decisions, but science says we make them with emotion, in our limbic brain, well before our rational brain gets involved. Take the time to get emotional about your purpose. Write and think about it. Walk in the woods and scream it at the top of your lungs. Once your Why is lodged in your heart, abundant motivation will tame the chaos.
SECRET #2 | CREATE A "WILL NOT DO" LIST
The Latin root of decide is "to cut off," and cutting the nonessential is as important as selecting priorities. Most achievers have no trouble codifying clear goals but then let time-sucking "opportunities" creep into calendars. Be ruthless with your time in order to grow a business while balancing a full-time job and life responsibilities. Essentialism author Greg McKeown calls this "The...