Note from Chris – No, not the game of the same name

Related to yesterday’s post about process flows, I’ve got a concept that I call My Second Life that I want you to consider. It takes just a little explaining, but then, the idea’s fairly easy to understand, adopt, and modify to your personal needs and schedule.

My life has the following rough time structure:

6:30AM Wake up.
7:30AM Leave for day job.
5:00PM Leave the day job.
6:30PM Eat supper.
8:30PM Kids finally asleep.
8:30PM – 12:00AM

I call that time between my kids falling asleep and me falling asleep my second life. Some of it, I share with my wife (like last night), and the rest of it I horde into a greedy ball of time I can use to do my not-day-job. (Sorry for all this exposition, but I’m trying to get at something and I need you to all be nodding along before I say it).

My Second Life

By using process flows, and by working with Google Calendar, I’ve found a way to get a lot of production out of those 3.5 hours I have each night. I built the system to be modular. If I have to reschedule something, I can just shift the flows around to match the new “lay of the land.” But, without the process flows, I’d have nothing. So, here’s a step-by-step to what I’m talking about.

  • Follow the 7 Tips for Google Calendar Planning
  • In Month View, line up your work for certain days, ensuring you have a day off, as well as time for your family.
  • On days you use for your second life, pick the specific process flows you’ve created for those days.
  • Just before executing your flows, schedule 20 minutes (more or less) to do a core dump or sweep or *.GTD term here.
  • Execute the evening’s flows.
  • Over several executions, figure out the actual TIME for those flows, and use that to better calibrate the calendar.
  • Over several executions, learn which parts of the flow should be farmed out to others.
  • Set up a monthly Second Life review to accompany your GTD reviews.

Manager

If you were managing a factory (and I am), you would want to know you’re getting the most out of your workers (you!) in the time alotted to those jobs. You’re the manager of your second life. You can choose to use that time well, or you can choose to fritter it away. When you make choice B, stop complaining about not having time to do GTD.

The difference between complainers and successful folks is one word: execution. If you have an excuse, that excuse is the issue.

As manager of your second life, you choose what has priority. If you’re creating a new media production company like me, the emphasis right now seems to be taking the raw media and actually packaging it up to create the end product (audio and video podcasts). If you’re trying to write that great book, your emphasis should be in getting more pages. You say creativity can’t be scheduled? I’ve got a large bovine animal’s waste product to show you.

Recap

  • Work your Calendar.
  • Find your second life work days.
  • Sweep your head.
  • Execute your flows.

Sounds fairly reasonable once you look that over, don’t you agree?

–Chris Brogan writes about self-improvement and creativity at [chrisbrogan.com]. He’s in pre-launch stages on a startup called Grasshopper New Media. He practices what he preaches and is building out the process flows related to everything he’s doing in this second life job of his so that execution and productivity are the key. Join him.

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