How to prioritize side hustles #buildszn

Here’s the fourth update of #BUILDSZN.

I’ve been just plain busy

I missed last week’s update because client work with Grow Development took priority. I’ve had some project launches, project turnover, and family events over the weekend.

This update got pushed to Monday, then Tuesday, then on Wednesday I removed it from my task list and decided it could wait until the next week. I’m choosing to have grace for myself since this is a self-motivated project.

How do you prioritize side hustles?

I have a “Builder” Twitter list and saw this conversation pop up there. I was very intrigued by the entire thread.

Jason Cohen and DHH were discussing if Basecamp was started while working 40 hours per week. I took a screenshot and posted it into a private Slack I’m in and I’ll re-post it here for you to read:

I totally guffawed at this line “… it was ~40h weeks working. I love how incredulous this appears to Americans”. I have to admit building a startup with just 40 hours per week does sound foreign to me. Maybe it’s time to embrace other cultures?

Today Nathan Barry mentioned this exact same conversation in his blog post titled “Can you build a successful startup in 40 hours per week?” (he links to the tweet from Justin Jackson that started it all) and in his post he gets to the root of the question extremely well.

Don’t confuse hours as an equal measurement for results.

Don’t confuse hours worked with progress.

He says it depends to the quality of the time put into the startup. Whether it be 2, 5, or 40 hours, if those hours are not quality time moving the project forward then they aren’t valuable. Nathan calls this time “focused time”, but it could also be called Deep Work.

I talked about the book Deep Work by Cal Newport on episode 7 of my podcast and I recommend the book often.

Progress of BUILDSZN

I have been tracking my time during #BUILDSZN and have put a total of 20 hours toward the project over about 40 days. That’s about half an hour per day. In reality this time has been spent in bursts mostly on writing or learning new tools.

Twenty hours doesn’t feel like a lot of time spent, and I don’t think that’s enough time to make my targeted launch date of January 1st. I am happy with what I’ve learned so far and believe I’m closer to finishing than I was when I started, but something needs to change to make that targeted launch date a reality.

What changes need to be made?

At this point one of these needs to happen:

  1. the launch date needs to be pushed into the future
  2. the date needs to be turned into a soft launch date
  3. I need to spend more time building in the remaining three weeks of 2018

I’ve realized that I don’t enjoy working on the weekends so I need to move #BUILDSZN time to week days and rely less on sprints on Saturdays and Sundays. How can I do this?  How would this time get balanced with client work and working on my plugin shop? The best move for me is to add the time to the front part of my work day and let the rest of the day go longer if needed.

I normally start work at 9am or 10am. The time I wake up varies because I don’t use an alarm clock. If I start using an alarm at 7am I can be ready to start work by 8am. That’s an instant extra hour to put toward building.

I don’t like waking up early so I’ll probably subconsciously fight this. I will also need to find a way to build the habit of having the first hour of work be deep work.

So those are my two goals for this week:

  1. Integrate building time into my schedule at the beginning of the day
  2. Focus on making the additional time deep work focused on building

I’ll report back next week on how this goes! See you next week!

If you have any questions or comments get in touch here.