How Do I Find The Time To Change Career?
If you are currently holding down a full-time job, then you are probably wondering how you are going to find the time to make a career change or start your own business (or even just think about it). I’ve written this post for you! (though it will interestingly also work for those of you who have too much time on your hands).
You can either watch the video or read the post below (Or do both as I never stick to the script!).
The Scenario: You know you need to make a change and that staying in your current job is not sustainable – As a matter of fact it’s probably making you ill, unhappy or just purely miserable to be around. However, you are probably also feeling that when it comes to time, it’s pretty much out of your hands as an employee to control.
You go to work in the morning and work flat out all day. Even your “lunch break” is a mad dash out to grab a quick sandwich and a mad dash to get back to your computer – And once you leave work all you want to do is head down the pub, go shopping or pass out in front of whatever TV show is currently being talked about…More escapist than true recovery.
The Remedy: Don’t worry – I’m not going to talk to you about traditional time management techniques. I don’t actually believe in time management per se – I believe in controlling what you CAN control, as opposed to managing what you can’t. And that’s why I tell my clients to focus on creating consistent ROUTINES. Especially for those times when how you spend your time IS up to you. The best time for this is your morning:
One of the fastest and most efficient ways to create time in your life for your career change is to implement and honor a MORNING ROUTINE around it!
That’s right – pay yourself first – We can all control our early mornings – Get up 1 hour earlier – Set a timer and start building, exploring, designing and test driving the career or business you really want – Start investing in yourself now. Then do it 5 mornings (or at least 2) per week for now.
CONSISTENCY is the key word to making big and lasting changes in your life. By putting in place a consistent morning career change morning routine, you automatically put yourself on the path of making your career change inevitable.
HOW TO DO IT: Less is more when it comes to your morning routine, so pick just one thing/task to work on per morning (if you finish it and have time left, you just start the next one) – It could be “Write and send a personal email to John from Uber to invite him to my networking dinner”, “Research and connect with a Meetup.com group within the wearable technology industry” or “Set up Facebook ads for my pop-up event.” All the good and concrete stuff that will help you test drive your career change or business idea and as a result get you out from behind your computer screen!
Personally I get up a 5am 5 mornings a week when I’ve got a big project on and the night before I write on a post-it note what my one thing is, so I know exactly what I’ll be doing that morning.
Action: The trick with new routines is to not overwhelm (or scare yourself) too much initially. Treat the routine as an experiment, rater than something you have to do for the next 60 years. A bit like dating before you commit!
I recommend implementing and sticking to your Career Change Morning Routine for at least 6 weeks as an experiment. You don’t have to do 5 days a week straight away (though I highly recommend it). What I do recommend though is that you start with a minimum of 2 mornings a week and then add more mornings over time to work up to the full 5 mornings a week.
Be realistic about what’s going to work for your unique lifestyle, but do also honest about whether you are truly making your career change a priority in your life and schedule accordingly. What matters most is that you are consistent with actually doing the routine – whether that’s 2 mornings or 5.
After the selected experiment time frame you review and decide if you want to continue. You might even want to go all out and go up to 7 mornings a week, allocate more time for each morning or even theme your mornings to reflect what to focus on for each day. Or maybe you’ve got what you wanted after 6 weeks and you can tailor the morning routine to the next thing you really want.
My friend, Hal Elrod, has written a great book (and created an entire movement!) about morning routines called “Miracle Morning” where he also incorporates elements like exercise, meditation and other good stuff that you might want to have a look at too. There are also great tips for how to actually train yourself to get up earlier and how to prep the night before.
If you have a very young family or there are other show-stopping reasons why mornings are not at all possible, you could do your routine in the evening – As long as you are able to stick to it – What matters is consistency. Having a routine like this is so often what differentiate those who actually change career from those who don’t. Don’t stay stuck – Carve out the time.