I’m a busy guy.  Your a busy person.  We all have commitments.  It can be used as a crutch or we can adapt and overcome.  If you take a look at your daily activities you’ll probably find it pretty full.  I’m trying to get myself to a place where I can quit my job.  I have to set priorities.

I’ve had to choose to not do some fun things with friends or family so that REI to-do’s can be completed.  I’m juggling a 3 year old, a full time job, a marriage, and all the other little things that pop up.  My wife has been awesome through my journey towards REI, and has had my back through some really tough times.  She always encouraging and supportive.  Which is absolutely necessary because it’s the time spent with her and our child that is usually impacted the greatest by my REI pursuit.  I obviously can’t decide not to show up for work, or else I won’t get paid.  So typically, REI comes at the expense of time that would be spent with my family.  I find it very difficult to be at the house with my wife and kid in the other room and me in the office trying to focus on REI.  I feel the constant pull to go play with my kid or to just play catch up with my wife.  To combat this, I’ve been focusing on maximizing my productivity when the time opens up.  The 3 things I’ve done to help with this are:

  • Cancelled my TV cable subscription
  • Allowed myself no Facebook time except one hour, once a week to catch up (I also filtered most of my friends off my news feed and only read the post of REI related people)
  • Moved all my ‘time-waster’ apps to one group on my phone and buried it on one of my back screens
I’ve learned that man I wasted a lot of time watching TV.  An hour can be zapped just looking through Facebook.  Your smart phone has the potential to make you really dumb.  In trying to maximize my effort towards REI, it’s a daily battle.  I’ve watch TV for 35 years of my life.  It’s a tough habit to break.  So I just got rid of it, therefore getting rid of the opportunity.  When your willpower lets you down, then you have to outsmart your willpower.  I’m currently reading the book Getting Things Done.  My hope is to outsmart my brain in those hour here and 1/2 hour there moments when I find I can do REI related tasks.  They pop up at random times and if I haven’t already plotted out what I should be doing, my brain may convince my body to just watch a TV show or fuck around on the internet.  The book, Getting Things Done, has helped tons of people get their to-do list out of their heads and into a file system so when you are presented with those random periods of time that you can do REI things you don’t have to make the decision of what to do, instead you have to make the decision of which to do.  I’m a procrastinator.  If I’m choosing from a list which thing to do next, it’s way more likely to get done.  If I have no list and I let my brain pick what I should do it’s typically a time waster activity by default.
A lot of people will tell you that anyone can do REI.  You just need a bandit sign & a cell phone.  Well that statement is technically true.  The issue may be though that you need to fix yourself first.  Are you a procrastinator?  Do you maximize your down time?  If you’ve worked in a job your whole life, you may have unknowingly programmed yourself to be a good employee.  Stepping out on your own brings with it a different set of operating procedures.  Depending on your job, 3 hours of downtime at work likely still comes with a check on payday.  3 hours of down time as a budding REI entrepreneur comes with no reward.  No paycheck, nada, zilch.  As we develop our REI game maybe it gets easier, but in the beginning you really need to live, eat, and breathe this.  Don’t sleep on fixing yourself to achieve your goals.  Spend your time wisely.