Making time at your job

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There are various ways to create the necessary freedom at work:

  1. Vacation
  2. Sick leave
  3. Sabbatical
  4. Part time work
  5. home office
  6. Use existing free spaces around the work (e.g. commuting distances)
  7. More effectiveness to create new freedoms around work

The easiest thing to do is to take a vacation to work on your business idea. However, this only makes sense if you have already accumulated enough vacation and you don’t need it for your family. In many countries the holiday entitlement is so low that it is hardly possible to accumulate enough holiday. In Germany you often have 30 days of holiday per year and I once accumulated so much that I could take 7 months holiday by reducing my contract to 31%.
In some countries there are other options you should consider, such as educational leave, maternity leave, parental leave around the birth of a child (also as a father), etc.

Sick leave
Due to the high workload and sometimes poor corporate cultures, more and more people are taking sick leave from work and are then absent for weeks or months. I speak from my own experience, as I suffered a burnout during an intensive assignment abroad and it takes me almost a whole year to get mentally healthy again. In such a situation you first need a lot of time and help to get back on your feet. But such a time is also often a change to leave the beaten track and to reorientate oneself. This means that even a longer illness can be used to create your dream job. However, this should be done under professional supervision by a psychologist or a psychiatrist, so that one does not get sick again.

More and more companies are offering their employees the opportunity to take time off for a longer period of time after a few years of employment. During this time you usually do not receive a salary, but your job is secure. This is a good setup for developing your own business idea. If it works, you won’t come back. And if success does not come as desired, you can go back to your old job and try again later. The important thing is to get your employer to give you permission for a part-time job. In some countries, the employer is obliged to do so if this does not have a negative impact on your own work and if no competition arises. [write something here that you can use as argumentation for sabbatical => Web]

Part time work
In my experience, a part-time job is the ideal way to realize your own business idea without having to forego a regular income. In part-time you earn less, but you also have regular and predictable time to work on your own business idea.

Home Office
Especially in companies where more attention is paid to how many hours employees work and how busy they seem to be, it can be incredibly liberating to work in the home office. Often you get more done in a few hours than in a whole day at the office because there are far fewer distractions. You can now use the time you’ve gained to work on your idea. [write here something else you can use as argumentation for home office => Web]

Use existing free space
In the first step, we investigate what free time is available around your work that you can easily use for your business idea. To do this, mentally check your working day for every working day of the week:

Travel to work or business trips: Use the commute time in the car to mentally plan your business idea, to educate yourself via podcasts or to make phone calls. If you are travelling by bus or train, you can read texts, review results, revise your planning etc.

At work: If there is idle time, don’t fill it up with private internet surfing or private phone calls, but with tasks you have to do for your business idea. Also consider if it is really helpful for you to participate in the company’s internal rumour mill and to have a coffee all the time. Use this time rather to do the important tasks for your company or – if you have already done so – to take care of your ideas.

Continuing education: If your employer offers you further training, then choose those that also suit your business idea. Within the scope of further training, there are good times to work on your idea during your arrival and departure as well as in the morning and evening. If you can’t be with your family, then at least make sure that you have more time for your family again soon.

Creating new freedom
I don’t know what your profession is now and how you do your daily work. But chances are very good that several of the following ideas will give you a much higher work efficiency, so that you will get more valuable results in less time. You will use the time freed up for yourself and your dream.

What is the difference between effectiveness and efficiency? Efficiency means doing something right, i.e. achieving a certain goal with as few resources as possible. A little more concrete: If you manage to process your daily mountain of 50 emails in one hour instead of two, you are twice as efficient. Sounds good, right? But it’s not necessarily. Because if processing the emails doesn’t get you closer to your real goal at work, you’ve been efficient, but not effective. Because effective means doing the right things. And if your job is, for example, to win new customers, it’s probably better to call potential customers all day long than to go through the many internal emails where you were unnecessarily put on cc:.

In many companies, it’s not the output that counts, but the time of presence and how “busy” someone seems. This is problematic for two reasons: First, less results are achieved and second, new employees are also educated to be “busy” rather than effective. Enough people spend all day in meetings and rush stressed out from one appointment to another, but hardly ever get around to implementing anything and producing concrete, valuable results. Before, after, and during meetings, they like to produce a lot of emails with as many people on the mailing list as possible, to make it even more like they “work” a lot. Work thus becomes work theatre.
The art is not to do more, but to do LESS, but to concentrate only on the activities that will help you to get ahead in the task you have been hired for. you will do more with much less.

The Pareto principle described above will also be reflected in your work. If you carefully analyze the populations in your everyday life, you will find that you have 80% of communication with 20% of your colleagues, that you will achieve 80% of your results in 20% of your work and the remaining 80% of your work is either unproductive or increases your results from 80% to a little bit more. So your goal is to focus on the 20% (time, customers, task, products, etc.) that really do a lot and not to pay attention to the rest unless this has critical consequences for you. This way you gain an enormous amount of time, which you sensibly invest in other areas of your work, where there is still 20% to be done with high results. Or you use the time for your business idea.

Not only do we want to increase your productivity so that you have more time for your idea, but you also improve your negotiating position to negotiate more flexibility, especially the possibility to work from home, if this is possible in your work.

More tips to increase your effectiveness immediately and significantly:

  • Write down every morning before work which 1-3 things you want to do today and make sure that they are really necessary for your success.
  • Only read 1-2 e-mails twice a day (once before lunch and once before going home) and answer only those that are absolutely necessary.
  • Stop working overtime. I like ß it takes a lot of effort to go home when your boss and colleagues stay extra time to prove how important and busy they are.
  • Don’t let yourself be distracted! Do it for you and your family! If there are really too few employees to do the work in the existing organization, then it is not your problem, but that of your boss and his boss. Let him solve it. If you work overtime, you take the problem away from him and it will always be yours. Use the time you gain by doing this 50% for your business idea and 50% for you and your family.
  • Eliminate all distractions in the office (email and messenger notifications on mobile, desktop, phone if possible) and focus on things. Do it today!
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