Million Dollar Dreams: Can It Be Done In 2 Hours A Day?

Who hasn’t wistfully looked out the window, while sitting at your day-job and thought about the million dollar idea that will free you to pick what you want to do each day, where you want to live, and how you go about checking on your growing millions.

For some, the perfect dream life is beating the Jones’ with better houses and cars. For others it is a simple life with freedom to travel. There are many ways to make a million dollar dream life.  But I really hate to burst your bubble: no matter what path you take to achieve your dream, the path will require hard work.

But it doesn’t have to be hard work 100 percent of the time.  It doesn’t have to completely take over your entire life.

It doesn’t have to mean 15 hour work days — 7 days a week.  Is it possible to achieve your big dreams working just two hours a day.

Working too hard

Working in the U.S. has a lot of cultural impact, especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I often feel that I have to earn the right to take time off from working.

There are times that I pick up my iPhone after 10 pm to look at email. There is no logical reason for this.

Just because you are connected to work digitally, doesn’t mean you HAVE to be.

In fact there are studies that show that a mid-day nap will actually increase your productivity. Try telling that to a few workaholics you know.

It’s about how you work

What is the difference between an 10-hour workday and a 2-hour workday? Cutting out the junk.

Really.  It’s that simple.

Certainly there are those situations that force you to occasionally work 15 hour days.  They can be situations that stem from your work or your life. If you are a mother looking after children, sometimes your workdays can be twice as long as the average worker.

But for the most part social conditioning is what causes you to work those extra-long hours.

If you perceive that your success stems from working long hours, then working all the time can be a chronic problem for you.  Bigger — better — greater — longer doesn’t necessarily give you a meaningful life.

Many 60-hour a week workers are just bad at saying, “NO!” They feel like they might be turning down something that will insure a promotion or provide the opportunity to make more money.

Being an entrepreneur is different.  Entrepreneurs have no one to blame but themselves for putting in long work hours. It’s alright to own up and accept responsibility for the work life that you lead.

80/20 Rule – Change it up

You have more control of your time than you realize. How you are spending it?

Have you ever thought about leveraging your time by just focusing for short bursts in hour increments? Have you ever thought that you might be more productive working one good hour than working for four?

Why just one hour?

  • It has been proven that 1 hour is about how long people can stay focused on a task
  • An hour is short enough that people don’t need a break
  • An hour is long enough to accomplish a great deal of work

But you have to eliminate the distractions during this one hour of pure work — no answering phones, no checking email. No chatting with co-workers.  No staring out the window.  No auto-alert email pop ups.  No checking your iPhone.

Just pure work on one task you want to accomplish for the day.

Use one hour work bursts to direct your energy towards completing a handful of critical tasks. You will be surprised to find out that you actually increase your productivity and have more time to enjoy your dream life.

You may find that you can accomplish in two hours what it used to take you 8.

You don’t need to put in the endless back-to back hours to achieve the work results you want. Your body and mental focus suffers when you put in the long hours.

It’s about finding the right balance.

Balance and Illumination

When you are mindful in times of rest, you are observant in times of movement. If you have self-mastery in times of rest, you can be decisive in times of movement. If you have stability in times of rest, actions will not lead to unfortunate results. Rest is the foundation of movement, movement is the potential of rest. When you do not lose the constant in movement and rest, your path will be illuminated.

– The Tao Te Ching, 13th century classic text of Taoism

What do you do with the other 80% of your day?

Spend your “down-time” following new pursuits. Read a book.  Take a class.  Invest in yourself.  Plan your retirement.

Do research on your big dream.  You don’t know what it is?  Then buy the Find Your Dream eBook and get started  designing your million dollar idea or your perfect dream life.   But spend your non-working time discovering  who you really are by challenging yourself to learn something new.

What will YOUR 2-hour workday look like?

 Heather

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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  • TC

    Since I am the king of doing less ;-) it helps to plan your work in order to accomplish the 80/20 rule. Starting the day with a well structured, concise and clear plan will make makes two things crystal clear:

    1. You know what to achieve at the 2 hours, or however many hours you plan to work.
    2. You are aware of how much time you need for each activity and you set a time limit for each task.

    Postpone all the non-urgent work for the next day. Concentrate on what is the most important task to finish today and set the postponed work as the targets that you have to achieve over a period of time (tomorrow, in 48 hours, this week etc.)

    Then adhere to your plan!!

    Nice post Heather.

    TC

    • Heather

      Thanks for the reminder to set aside “non-urgent work” TC!

      It’s too easy for it all to end up in that pile…

      – H

  • Thad

    Is the extra hours for drinking fun Heather? Because I am looking at that image and thinking you are working more towards a great cocktail. Have a good weekend.

  • Writing for just two hours a day ….hmmm.

    I agree that it’s the distractions that suck the productivity out of our work day.

    Cath

    • Heather

      I am the queen of distractions!

      Thank you for editing this :) – H

  • Katie

    Awesome post, Heather! Great insights into HOW we can actually start living more meaningful and productive lives.
    “Even if your workday is governed by an outside force, you have total control of your down time.”
    Thank you for reminding us that we really our in control, for the most part :)

    • Heather

      Yep, our time is in our control except for laundry, kids, cooking, cleaning… But those can be delegated too!

      Thanks Katie! – H