PIcture this all too familiar scenario - is this your weekly struggle?
You’re sitting in the office with a cup of tea or coffee. You feel that distinctive dull ache again, that little voice in the back of your head nagging, getting louder, that gnawing at your consciousness. Then you hear the little voice in your head again ‘I’m not meant to be here, I hate this job’. Then silence.
Amy in the office lets out a sigh and complains about the shortness of the weekend again. She says it every week. You know exactly how short it was, you spent it doing research on the alternative to the 9 to 5, trying to figure out what to do next. What else could I do? Is this an actual possibility? Am I just being silly? Where do I start?
You start by getting out of your own way. You start by looking inside. You start by looking at all the other entrepreneurs who started where you are now, doubting themselves, wondering if it was worth all the hassle. You start by asking yourself one very important question……
'How will I feel if I am still in this office a year from now?'
I was that soldier too, and I spent years in offices with all sorts of personalities, mostly negative, who couldn’t see the world outside of the office walls in terms of work. But things are changing…… opportunities are opening up for those of us who don’t want to be boxed in under fluorescent lights having to listen to annoying coworkers every day.
More and more people are turning their backs on the 9 to 5 life in search of one that fulfils their needs, that suits their purpose, that inspires them to make a difference. It’s not an easy decision to make, many people make it lying awake thinking about it in the dead of night when they realise they are not living their lives to their full potential. There are more opportunities out there than ever, it’s not an easy road, but it’s better than the office box stifling your creativity, your ideas and your potential.
'So how do I begin to get out of my own way, to start making the changes that I need to make to plan my 9 to 5 escape?'
1. Assess your current situation
Where are you at in your life right now, what areas of your life need improvement? Your career, starting a new business idea, your family, your relationships, your hobbies, maybe you’d like to get more involved in your community? Whatever it is, write it down
2. What do you want your life to look like?
What does your ideal day look like? Are you working, spending time with family, creating, starting your own business? How do you feel in this ideal day – energised, relaxed, invigorated, motivated?
3. What do you want more of in your life?
More time with family and friends, more creativity, more freedom to work on more interesting projects? Do you want to develop or explore that idea you have been thinking about for the last 2 or 3 years, but never did anything about it? What is important to you in your everyday life?
4. What do you want less of in your life?
Less stress, less anxiety, less feeling like a failure, less time working for someone else? Less feeling that you should be doing something more fulfilling?
5. Get organised!
When you are juggling all these different things, it’s important to value your time and get the most out of it. Some simple productivity hacks to start with when making a start on your business ideas include determining your most productive hours, doing the hardest thing first each day, turning off all email and Facebook alerts that only serve to distract, say No to things that you don’t want to do (stop pleasing everyone!), and decluttering your house and workspace to give you more headspace!
6. Break it all down!
When you have a big task ahead of you, the best way to approach it is in bite sized chunks, so break down each task into 20-30 minute tasks if you can, and just tip away at them every day, one by one, piece by piece. It’s amazing what you can get done in a laser focused 30 minutes each day!
7. Implement new habits
If you are planning your 9 to 5 escape, you need to implement new habits that will help you focus on your goal. Habit Stacking is where you add new habits around old habits. If you get up at 7am to have a shower, you could get up 30 minutes earlier than normal to implement some business ideas or write a blog, or do some business research on products or services you want to create. In the evening while watching telly, you could write your to do list for the following day, or write your thoughts and ideas down in your journal. It takes time to make new habits into old habits, but soon it will just like brushing your teeth in the morning, you won’t even have to think about it, it will just come naturally!
There are many doubts and fears around taking the step into entrepreneurship, what if I fail, what if it goes wrong or I make a fool out of myself? However, if the alternative is to work for someone else for the rest of your life, and never trying to give your business ideas a shot, never knowing what your full potential could be. Deep down, you know it’s the only option.
For more information on Getting out of your own way, check out my workbook on the homepage, and get clarity at the start of your entrepreneurial journey!