time management while independent

Jay Clouse product management, productivity

As a leader, I have a hands-off leadership style. I trust my team to get things done on the timelines given and I co-create the timelines with my team to create buy-in.

As a follower, I hate being micromanaged. I prefer to work independently, but, in reality, input on timeline and direction helps me to succeed.

As a solopreneur, this dichotomy no longer exists.

I’m finding this an especially challenging aspect of independence. Ironically, this is one of the biggest draws to independence for me. I crave autonomy to call the shots and do things my way.

But that completely hinges on time management and self-discipline; planning, creating timelines, and then executing on those self-imposed timelines.

And that presents a daily challenge.

As good I am at being disciplined most days, I’m equally as good at justifying my slip ups. And ultimately, I’m my own judge, jury, and executioner.

I’ve learned two things:

1. Practicing discipline needs to apply to every aspect of my life. If I tell myself I’m going to run three miles, I can’t let myself stop at two. Because if I allowed myself slack on that goal, that same mindset leads to letting myself off the hook on work deliverables.

2. The easiest routine to hold myself accountable to is the typical 9-5 schedule of waking up and starting my day. It may be obvious, but working a job is the best practice for creating routine and discipline when transitioning to independence.

In just about every facet of life, I’m finding new challenges I didn’t anticipate. And all of those challenges have very real threats of costing me my independence by virtue of lost time and money.

I love my boss. But sometimes he’s too nice.


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