Who hasn’t wistfully looked out the window, while sitting at your day-job and thought about the million dollar idea that will free you to pick what you want to do each day, where you want to live, and how you go about checking on your growing millions.
For some, the perfect dream life is beating the Jones’ with better houses and cars. For others it is a simple life with freedom to travel. There are many ways to make a million dollar dream life.Â But I really hate to burst your bubble: no matter what path you take to achieve your dream, the path will require hard work.
But it doesn’t have to be hard work 100 percent of the time.Â It doesn’t have to completely take over your entire life.
It doesn’t have to mean 15 hour work days — 7 days a week.Â Is it possible to achieve your big dreams working just two hours a day.
Working too hard
Working in the U.S. has a lot of cultural impact, especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I often feel that I have to earn the right to take time off from working.
There are times that I pick up my iPhone after 10 pm to look at email. There is no logical reason for this.
Just because you are connected to work digitally, doesn’t mean you HAVE to be.
In fact there are studies that show that a mid-day nap will actually increase your productivity. Try telling that to a few workaholics you know.
It’s about how you work
What is the difference between an 10-hour workday and a 2-hour workday? Cutting out the junk.
Really.Â It’s that simple.
Certainly there are those situations that force you to occasionally work 15 hour days.Â They can be situations that stem from your work or your life. If you are a mother looking after children, sometimes your workdays can be twice as long as the average worker.
But for the most part social conditioning is what causes you to work those extra-long hours.
If you perceive that your success stems from working long hours, then working all the time can be a chronic problem for you.Â Bigger — better — greater — longer doesn’t necessarily give you a meaningful life.
Many 60-hour a week workers are just bad at saying, “NO!” They feel like they might be turning down something that will insure a promotion or provide the opportunity to make more money.
Being an entrepreneur is different.Â Entrepreneurs have no one to blame but themselves for putting in long work hours. It’s alright to own up and accept responsibility for the work life that you lead.
80/20 Rule – Change it up
You have more control of your time than you realize. How you are spending it?
Have you ever thought about leveraging your time by just focusing for short bursts in hour increments? Have you ever thought that you might be more productive working one good hour than working for four?
Why just one hour?
- It has been proven that 1 hour is about how long people can stay focused on a task
- An hour is short enough that people don’t need a break
- An hour is long enough to accomplish a great deal of work
But you have to eliminate the distractions during this one hour of pure work — no answering phones, no checking email. No chatting with co-workers.Â No staring out the window.Â No auto-alert email pop ups.Â No checking your iPhone.
Just pure work on one task you want to accomplish for the day.
Use one hour work bursts to direct your energy towards completing a handful of critical tasks. You will be surprised to find out that you actually increase your productivity and have more time to enjoy your dream life.
You may find that you can accomplish in two hours what it used to take you 8.
You don’t need to put in the endless back-to back hours to achieve the work results you want. Your body and mental focus suffers when you put in the long hours.
It’s about finding the right balance.
Balance and Illumination
When you are mindful in times of rest, you are observant in times of movement. If you have self-mastery in times of rest, you can be decisive in times of movement. If you have stability in times of rest, actions will not lead to unfortunate results. Rest is the foundation of movement, movement is the potential of rest. When you do not lose the constant in movement and rest, your path will be illuminated.
– The Tao Te Ching, 13th century classic text of Taoism
What do you do with the other 80% of your day?
Spend your “down-time” following new pursuits. Read a book.Â Take a class.Â Invest in yourself.Â Plan your retirement.
Do research on your big dream.Â You don’t know what it is?Â Then buy theÂ Find Your Dream eBook and get startedÂ designing your million dollar idea or your perfect dream life. Â But spend your non-working time discoveringÂ who you really are by challenging yourself to learn something new.
What will YOUR 2-hour workday look like?
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and serial entrepreneur who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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