Rethinking Nights and Weekends Projects

by Scott - 1 Comment

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I talk to a lot of people who have “nights and weekends” projects. Sometimes these are things they’re working on for fun. Other times these are products that people think they’d like to form a company around some day. People in the latter camp often say they’d leave their day job if their nights and weekends project was further along. But they can’t leave the day job they’re not too content with until they reached a certain milestone.

If I found myself in this situation, I’d have a mornings and weekends project. Here’s why:

Personal productivity

Mental Freshness

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m wiped after my foots been on the gas for an entire day. I can still get things done, but it’s clear I’m mentally fatigued. This manifests itself in lack of focus as well as diminished motivation and overall sharpness.

Conversely, in the mornings I’m fresh. I can’t wait to get things done and have far superior focus.

Less Distractions

In the morning, less people email me, there are no networking events, and everything on TV except Sportscenter sucks. This environment is far more conducive to getting things done.

In general, I never leave things that are very important to me for the evenings because there’s always a distraction or excuse to put it off. I was going to go to the gym, but so and so wanted to grab drinks. No one ever wants to grab drinks at 6 am. Your only excuse is laziness.

An Awesome Start to Your Day

Accomplishing a ton of things before you get into the office is an amazing feeling. When everyone is rolling in getting their coffees and opening up their inbox, the piece of mind that you’ve already kicked ass feels awesome.

Play When Others Play

It sucks missing parties, dates, and social gatherings because you have to work on something you sometimes can’t even tell people about. All of these functions happen in the evening, a time of day I’d much rather be drinking beer with good people than starting my second work day.

I recognize that in many cases these projects require the input of other people which makes this methodology limiting. Still, I’d imagine there’s probably some work that can be accomplished without having your partner next to your side.

If you’re a night owl and that works for you, awesome. I just feel that if I was in this position I’d find a morning and weekends approach to be far more effective. And if my happiness and ability to pursue a dream of starting my own company hinged on my effectiveness, I think its worth optimizing on.

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