Part 1: The Harmony Schedule
After a full day of work, you come home and shift gears to work on what you really want to do—run your own business. The topic is dear to my heart because I have lived this lifestyle for a good portion of my working life and understand the challenges. The Harmony Schedule has helped me balance a full-time job and a new business.
Balance Doesn’t Work
When you’re starting a business, you may find yourself feeling anything but balanced. It is my belief that you cannot have balance when you start a business, especially if you‘re also working full-time. Instead I prefer using the word “harmony.” Harmony recognizes that all areas of your life will not be equal but that they can be in sync. This is a time in your life that needs determined focus.
Managing your priorities is crucial. It all starts with how you plan your week. Typically most people plan their week around their day job, then chores, social commitments, exercise, hobbies, and if they’re lucky, they squeeze in time to work on their business. The problem is that you run out of time and energy pretty quickly. Understanding and working with your natural rhythms can make a big difference in moving your idea forward.
The Harmony Schedule
I recommend that you do something that may seem counter intuitive – start planning your week backwards. The idea, which I call a Harmony Schedule, is that you start by scheduling things that really excite you first, but only plan to do it for a short time. If you have a hobby that really excites you, limit it to one evening or an afternoon a week. This can be something like playing volleyball or going out to dinner with a close friend. This is what you can consider “Inspiration Time,” and is still important to make time for.
The next thing to schedule is “Rejuvenation Time.” Most of us sit in front of computers. One of the first things that get neglected in starting a business is exercise. Exercise makes a big difference in your energy, but is also tied to long-term income according to a Finnish Study. You don’t have to over commit, but make sure to schedule exercise two or three times a week for 30-60 minutes at a time to help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
Finally schedule activities centered on your business. Be as specific as you can. For example, on Tuesday from 8:00-9:30 pm, you might plan to work on Market research. Commit to do this at least three times a week. Now schedule everything else you need to get done. This may not feel natural at first but it will bring results in the long run.
Principles That Underpin Harmony
When you work on a task, stay focused only on that task. Multitasking doesn’t work.
Stick to the plan, and hold yourself accountable to your schedule. You are developing new habits that will serve you in the long run.
The whole premise to Harmony Schedule approach is that we feel less overwhelmed if we have something to look forward to, to ground us, and to inspire us. The problem isn’t time—its intention. You can have more energy if you give yourself permission to be “off-balance.” It can ease the pressure and still keep you on track. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect— aim for harmony instead!
This post is part one of a three part series. Stay tuned for Dominik’s next article on internal conversations that sabotage your efforts.
Written By: Dominik Loncar, Futurpreneur Canada Entrepreneur-in-Residence, firstname.lastname@example.org