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Getting Ahead without Getting Behind.

I work a full-time job (that I don't particularly enjoy), have a wife and little girl (that I do enjoy), and am going to school online full-time. GTD is helping me to make the best use of my available time, but it doesn't seem like enough. My someday/maybe list is growing increasingly longer, and my career is at a stand still until I finish school. I want to switch careers, more specifically I want to develop web applications with Ruby on Rails(RoR). Currently though, I don't have the spare time needed to devote to RoR. My job is barely paying the bills, so I can't save up a reserve to quit work for a while and develop full-time. I refuse to give up what little family time I have, PERIOD! And with school, I don't have the time to pickup any projects that require more than a couple hours of work a week. By 11:30 I am exhausted, and the 30 minutes or so that I have free at that time is usually less than productive. My day job is becoming more and more frustrating. I don't think I will be able to continue this job, and full-time school for the 4 years that is needed to complete my degree. So, how can I get ahead without getting behind? I am running out of ideas, but know that something has got to change.

TOPICS: Ask 43f
ebrodeur's picture

You’ve certainly painted a

You've certainly painted a picture of doom and gloom - perhaps rightly so. I'm not sure another "system" is going to clear the decks for you. It sounds like you need to get into a different frame of mind.

I'll offer up a few things to consider.

Stop beating yourself up over the sizes of your lists and what you haven't gotten done. Focus, instead, on what you HAVE accomplished. End the day by writing down five things you completed - regardless of how small.

What of your goals? What is one of your goals to accomplish by December 31, 2007? You've got a full plate so keep your goals focussed on what's most important to you. Perhaps it's "Finish the semester with a grade of X" and "Spend every Saturday with my child," etc. Once you've established those goals, work backwards by month then by week. Don't overwhelm yourself with every detail.

OK, so your job sucks - get over it because you're not alone. Play the victim and it will continue to be awful. Ask for better hours, a different task, whatever. Don't ask and you won't receive. At the very least your job pays the bills and is a means to an end for you.

Not making enough money? Perhaps you can cut back on expenses. Make coffee at home, bring a bag lunch, get rid of the extra cable TV channels. You may want to check out Get Rich Slowly (http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/) for practical advice on personal finance.

My father-in-law started a business a few years ago and has poured tons of money and time into it. He had plenty of time but the money has been tight. One day I told him that I admired his perseverence through the ups-and-downs of getting his product manufactured. He smiled and said "if it was easy everyone would be doing it."

Keep your eye on the prize. Be positive at all costs. You'll be surprised how well that works when you get rid of the negativity. I didn't say it would be easy.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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