As entrepreneurs and working professionals, you know it’s hard to find time for personal and passion projects. Even the ones you know would make a significant impact on your life or career.
This especially applies to those of us with family and other responsibilities. I am now a one year fatherhood veteran, and we are in the throes of insomnia, “Will She Eat It?” and “Don’t Touch That!”. Free time is a luxury we have lucid dreams of, while riding the fine line between Advil and caffeine.
Enter: A One Day Project
In an effort to stop overanalyzing everything to hell and back, I came up with this One Day Project concept, or ODP. Like the name implies, it’s all about asking: What is the One Thing you can do start-to-finish in one day? And how does that One Thing contribute to your overall goals or direction in life and business?
Yesterday, I decided it was time to take action. For a while now, I’ve been meeting interesting people and entrepreneurs — and I wanted to share their stories to inspire and inform others who may be thinking about starting a business, or reinventing themselves. I titled it Creator MiniDoc Series in a moment of creative clarity, with some help from a (now famous) friend.
And while I have a laundry list (this will be much funnier in 2 paragraphs) of names and contacts, I’ve been hesitant to make appointments — thinking how big this project has to be in order to make an impact. Well, you could have a cure for cancer, but if no-one knows about it — it doesn’t save any lives. Just because I came up with a name and a logo, it doesn’t serve anyone. Some forward movement is better than none.
On Friday evening, I booked a meeting with a local entrepreneur who makes t-shirts with neighbourhood logos to inspire neighbourhood pride. They donate 10% of their profits to local charities and have been growing steadily. All this, while he still has a regular day job.
We met at 11:30am, started filming at 11:45am, and finished by 1pm. I then edited for about 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, uploading the video by 7pm. And below you will find the first Creator MiniDoc with Connor from Local Laundry (told ya it would get funnier) Sometimes it blips out of focus, and the colours are a little bit off, but it now exists!
In one day.
Creating forward movement.
Motivation to keep creating
On top of that, I made an agreement with a friend of mine who is much more action oriented than I — that he had permission to come over and kick me if I don’t get my new podcast up and running in the next couple of weeks.
So, guess what I am going to be doing for my next one day project?
This may not be the best method for you (I wouldn’t recommend it), in which case you may consider finding an accountability partner, or organizing a mastermind group.
Or you may consider an app like Chains that uses Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t break the chain” methodology to keep your momentum. It’s a habit forming technique that makes you accountable to yourself – by completing a task you set for yourself, every day (or week).
It’s the same technique he used to develop better jokes, while grinding it out as a working standup comic before the massive success of the TV show. Hey, if it worked for Jerry – it may just work for you.
What if you have no time
If you are strapped for time, like most of us are, consider reading How to find time and space for meaningful work. In my case, I made an agreement with my awesome wife, to have Saturdays for my projects. Of course, this will depend on what is happening in our lives, but that day is now set aside for things like podcasting, writing, and MiniDocs.
Alternatively, start with an hour a week. Block it in your calendar, and plan around that time limitation. What can you accomplish start-to-finish in an hour that will move you one step closer to your personal or professional goals?
I wish you the best of luck with your ODPs! If you come up with something interesting, shoot me a note. I’d love to hear from you.