After spending 16 months living on my own in Cape Town, South Africa, I came to a stage where I really felt like it was the right time to leave and return to England. I was having an amazing time in the country and had tons of friends, but I reall
y wanted more time to focus on my own projects instead of renting my mind to a boss (as my friend Jonathan likes to call it).
In my very last night in the country, I was hanging out with my “girlfriend” and one of my best friends who basically told me how jealous he was of my opportunity but how much he looked up to me even though I was 4 years younger. I remember saying to him before we said our goodbyes that “I really, really hope I make the most of my chance and don’t waste it or take things for granted.”
I have been back in the UK for almost 4 months now and it is the first time in my life that I’ve really been able to get a solid run going of working for myself. In terms of whether or not I’ve made the most of those four months though…I’m really not sure. Maybe my uncertainty is the answer.
I’ve been able to launch 4 successful websites, PluginID has close to 100 posts (which is well over 100,000 words) and I have managed to grow this site from 700 subscribers to over 3,000. My income goal for June is a hefty $15,000 and if I make it I have promised to give it all away – $5,000 each to my brother and sister, and $5,000 to charity.
While things are looking good, I know things could be going much, much better. The last couple of weeks I have been getting up late, spending full days out with my friends and generally just procrastinating. I’m definitely my harshest critic, as I’m sure is the same with all of you reading this, but I’ve decided to make a drastic change.
7 Days of Self-Discipline
This is where the 7 day self-discipline challenge comes in. For the next 7 days, I’m going to literally cut out of my life all the things that aren’t necessary to my income / business success and see how well that works out for me in terms of difficulty and more importantly, productivity.
I didn’t want to say cutting out all the time-wasters in my life because some of the things most people would view as time-wasters may actually beneficial for me in the long run. For example, if I spend 30 minutes on Twitter or Facebook in a day, then that could be seen as 30 minutes of being unproductive. However, I know that my connections on Twitter and Facebook very often become new blog readers, so in a sense the time on those sites is productive.
Needless to say, for the next 7 days, I’m only going to focus on things that are very important to me. I’m going to get started on a new eBook which will help people build and grow their own blog like I’ve done here. I’m also going to continue to promote some of my lesser known websites and hopefully round up all the tasks that I have been putting off.
So, what am I going to be cutting out? Let’s see…
- No Twitter, Facebook or Instant Messaging
- No TV
- No waking up late or staying out until 2-3am
- No sex or anything related (yes, I’m taking this seriously
- No email or website stats checking
The way I have set-up my internet business, I could work 5 hours per week and still maintain my current income. While email is usually a large part of what I do, I feel that I can safely cut it out for 7 days without disrupting too many of my operations.
It takes around 21 days to form a new habit, so I really don’t know what to expect after this challenge. 7 days is long enough in that it will be challenging, but not too long in that I will be neglecting areas of my life on a large scale.
Are You In?
I know something like this will be far too difficult and drastic for other people to do as well. The only reason I’m doing this challenge is because I have high standards for myself and large goals I want to reach. I want to be in a position where none of my close family have to work and that is only going to happen if I take responsibility for my actions.
That being said, you should not cut out things which you can’t cut out. For example, if I stop promoting my websites my income will dry up fairly quickly, so that is not something I would do. That would just be stupid.
Instead, you should be smart but serious about the things you cut out. Identify the things that you could be wasting time or even the things that you do just because you don’t feel like doing your real tasks. This is for seven days and seven days only; I’m sure I will go back to a number of things after the 7 days are up. As should you.
Before you consider joining me, maybe you should look at what I hope to get out of this.
What I Want Out of This
I’m not doing these 7 days purely for the sake of it; I’m doing this for a number of reasons.
First of all, I want to push myself. I know for a fact I will struggle with this, especially the last two items on my list and that is why I’m doing it. I want to work on my own self-discipline and stop wasting time on things that don’t deserve or require the amount of time I’m giving them.
Secondly, I want more time and energy directed at productive activities. I’ve already stated I want to get started on a new eBook but I also have websites that deserve some more of my time and I want to write more great articles for you all over here at PluginID.
Finally, I’m interested in the results. After the 7 days I want to see whether I go back to the social media sites where I procrastinate, whether I still compulsively check email and whether I start going out till crazy hours of the morning with my friends.
If you’re joining me, I would love to hear from you in the comments. Note that I actually wrote this article on Saturday to start on Sunday so by the time you are reading this I should be on Day 4, but it’s never too late to start!