“it’s a lie”, “get out of here” and “are you really a full time engineer?”
These are some of the many reactions I get anytime I tell someone that I am not a full time blogger, or speaker, or author and that I actually work a job as a design/project engineer as well as run okadabooks.com and do script writing for WUA (latest addition). The next question that typically follows next is “How?”
To be honest I did not feel that what I was doing was special, but time and time and again people have asked me the same question “how do you find time?” So then I realized that maybe it is special … hmmm
But I honestly don’t know the full answer to that question, because time is not an item that can be found or created … it is fixed. No matter who we are or where we are, we wake up with the same amount of time everyday. But much like money, what makes you a master of time is not the amount of time you are given but rather the amount of time you are able keep to yourself.
At the end of the day we all have great ideas inside of us, ideas that could change the world. It could be as simple as writing a book or as complex as a website system to rate Nigerian Lecturers so that the truly horrible ones are
slapped exposed. But these ideas rarely come out, because of that nagging thing called time not being available. Conventional wisdom says that if you want to pursue your life changing ideas you should quit your job and focus on them, but the issue is never really the job but rather other things you should quit which I will cover in this article titled 5 Controversial* Things Entrepreneurs Can Do To Find Time For Their Brilliant Ideas.
*WARNING: Some ideas are controversial. You have been warned.
#1 Quit Going To So Many Weddings
Don’t get me wrong, I love weddings. I love the free Jollof rice and Goat meat.
But weddings to me are extremely time consuming especially if you are involved in the wedding. From the planning stage to the sewing of the cloth to the rehearsal to the parties, everything about weddings are time consuming. When you hit 26-34 years of age you will realize that a wedding is happening almost every weekend in your life. If you commit to every wedding you are invited to … guess what, you will not have time to develop your ideas, unless you are working on a wedding planning app, in which case carry on.
But if you, like me, are working on books and other ideas, then listen to me … avoid getting engulfed in weddings. My Saturdays are very sacred, that is the first full day in the weekend I get off from work. I want to use that day to write articles, work on business ideas and add that additional chapter to that book I am always working on. So if I have a wedding I really need to go to, I schedule 3-4 hours for it. I attend the Church wedding and then go to the reception and leave early to get some work done.
Now note that not all weddings are created equal. Some weddings would require a great deal of your attention you can’t escape, but not all weddings should. For those weddings, get in, get out and work on your ideas.
Sometimes when people ask me to be a part of a wedding I politely decline, because I know the work that goes into it. Not saying I won’t come to the wedding but instead that I would be in the background. That helps me add about 10 extra hours to my week.
#2 Don’t Sleep In Church
Before someone accuses me of being Satan, wait and read.
I am not saying do not going to Church, what I am saying is do not sleep in the church. And when I say sleep I am not talking about falling asleep with saliva dripping down the side of your mouth as you snore loudly. No… I am talking about the other type of sleeping. The Nigerian sleep.
In Nigeria we have the tendency to go to Church at 7:00 am in the morning and return at 7:00 pm at Night. Haba…is it Christmas? You cannot sleep in church and expect to find time to work on your business idea… unless you want to become a pastor in which case, carry on.
But if you are like me, I go to church at 11:00 am and finish at 1:00 pm … 2 hours maximum. If they are still doing thanksgiving and prayer request after 1:00 pm that is their business. I move in and move out. Too many people are praying instead of doing, sleeping instead of acting. Here me when I say this … it is not a sin to leave church early, we have been primed into believing that if a church service lasts for over 5 hours and we leave that we are doing something wrong or sinning. Mba for me.
I have found that I am able to get an additional 4-6 hours a week by moving in and out of Church.
All in all Sundays should be used to serve God but they should also be used to work on your life changing ideas.
#3 Don’t Get Married
No wait… don’t leave the blog yet. Hear me out.
My point here is this… try and get as much as you can, done before you get married. Play around with that brilliant idea of yours… try and start it up. Because the moment you get married and the children start popping up and pooping all around, your time reduces… unless you want to become a housewife or house husband in which case carry on.
I am able to get away with a lot of things I do, because I don’t have the pressures of managing a family… yet (inserted for political reasons and to avoid trouble). I understand this advantage I have and I utilize it greatly.
Now this does not mean that if you get married you cannot find time to get things done, all I am saying is that it will be much harder. So get your ideas going before the wedding planning begins.
NOTE: Please I will not be responsible for any divorces that occur from reading this article.
#4 Ignore Family and Friends
You are not obligated to family. I say it again, you are not obligated to family.
Lot’s of people especially in the Nigeria culture don’t believe this, so they get caught up in the small stuff
“o did you hear what aunty this said to this”
and before you know it they are spending hours on end trying to settle petty ish. My principle is this…
You cannot please everybody. You will offend people whether you like it or not. And if you do offend people …. apologize sincerely. If they reject your apology, then apologize again. If they still ignore your apology then STOP APOLOGIZING AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE.
People are so caught up in trying to solve problems for their entire family or trying to settle all sorts of beef or worried about what this Aunty or Uncle thinks about them…unless you want to become a family counselor, in that case carry on.
As for me, while that is happening … me I am caught up working on my business ideas. I don’t get roped into petty stuff … life is too short and there is really no time for that.
So time and time and again I will ignore phone calls from people that will just pile me with unnecessary issues and nagging. Again these tips are not conventional if you can’t do it don’t abeg … I don’t want people saying ofilispeaks said my Husband should ignore my Mother In-law. Hain I have spoken.
#5 Learn How To Eat Lunch Fast
If there is something I have done every day since I was born… it is to eat. So when the company says you have a one hour lunch and you are spending one hour eating that lunch, something is wrong with you. Leverage your lunch time, eat lunch within 5 minutes and if you don’t have 5 minutes, then skip lunch all together because lunch time is a great time to launch your ideas.
Don’t believe me? This entire article was written during my lunch break and took me only 40 minutes!
Which brings me to the most important point of all, which is something I have talked about over and over again. Do what you do consistently regardless of what people say and soon you will wake up being able to write an article that ordinarily takes your 2 hours in 40 minutes or less and do activities in shorter times. And when you are able to do activities faster, and have the time to actually do them, then you get into the multiplier effect mode. Where to the outside world it seems like you are doing a lot of shit, when in actuality you are simply executing stuff faster while others are chopping wedding cake.
#okbye Got to get back to work!