Try to work out.

But at 50% your maximum capacity. If you would go to the gym for an hour, just go for 30 mins

Increases your metabolism -- this is good because you will be more awake. If you get sleepy from working out, then half the amount you work out until you stay awake.

New ideas are generated -- jot them down, see "Plan, Execute, Reflect" in your Planning diary

Working out also changes your routine, so its good for mental plasticity

Do not mix planning or strategizing, executing or working on your project, and reflecting or analyzing data to plan your next step.

Separate the process of "planning," "executing," and "reflecting"

Why? Because the time you have after work, when you're working on your project needs to be 100% execution. When you're commuting to work, or even at work you can plan. You can also reflect. Planning and reflecting are mental efforts and you don't need your computer and tools.

Follow the sequence -- Plan. Execute. Reflect. Don't execute without planning. Each day know exactly what you're going to execute on before you start and envision what you will finish with. If you didn't finish, well, then -- reflect on that and plan better.

To manage all three stages use a diary or Trello, or Evernote. Write your thoughts down for each category -- see "Purpose of Brain"

You brain is meant for PROCESSING, not STORAGE.

When you have ideas store them on a notebook and forget about it.

At every step of the day focus on processesing, analyzing something, planning something, reflecting on something else, thinking about what you will execute -- what will get you to your goal faster.

Its OK to talk to yourself and keep your mind busy, processing processing processing. When you reach a conclusion write it down and forget out it, process something else.

Your brain has limited processing capacity per day -- you can create X quantity of ATP per day for your neurons to synapse or think -- treat that ATP as your gasoline. Don't spend gasoline like its plentiful.

When you're at work, don't drink coffee, tea, or anything with cafeine -- why? because it will make your mind spin and just wastes ATP. Besides you're also going to focus on your work rather than your side project. So long as you show your face at work you're fine -- very few people measure output, unless if you have a manufacturing job. If you're in the knwoledge economy its really hard to gauge your productivity. So at work, don't consume anything that will get your mind thinking. Only have coffee when you're back at home and you need to plan, execute, or reflect.

For this to work you need to have access to your notes within 30 seconds. Why? When an idea arrives you must save it QUICKLY. Don't let it fizzle out. When you're processing and you need to refernece your past thoughts, you must read it QUICKLY. Treat your mind as a processing machine and not as a storage machine.

I love "airplane mode" on my smart phone. Not only because no one can reach me and waste my time -- but because I KNOW no one can reach me. Knowing that gives me peace of mind and I can finally focus. If you don't get the difference, here is an example -- where would you rather sleep at night, in the forest or in a cabin? Even if nothing happens at night the fear of knowing that a bear can eat you in the forest makes it such that you can't sleep when compared to the cabin.

The same applies, when you're executing go on "airplane mode." Make sure no one can bother -- get in the zone. That creates mental momentum and will boost your productiviyt.

Do not tell anyone you're working on an idea! This is extremely important. Why?

Your co-workers -- they will get jealous. At first they will be impressed. And you will think, wow, me working on this makes me look good at work, so I will share it with more people. Suddenly you'll feel this article was bullshit because your manager will tell you "wow, you created this at home!? that's awesome!" -- and you will think you're bound for a promotion at work for working on your side project. The reality is after the fizzle and the novelty disappears your co-workers will judge you. When you come to work half sleepy they will know you were home trying to build something to become famous -- to escape them. When your manager sees you leave work early, s/he will think, what a slacker -- going home to make more money instead of working with the team. After a year everyone at work will have a negative perception of you as a selfish unreliable person. All of this because of envy.

To your friends -- they will want to hang out with you even more. They say misery seeks company, and its true. When they know you're having fun with your own project they will want to stop you to "watch the football game" or whatever.

To the naysayers -- its REALLY hard to tell what people's reactions will be to your idea. In the short term everyone will be positive, later the "naysayers" will make your life miserable. Naysayers are those that without data or evidence pull you down. You can't tell who these people are -- so its best to not tell anyone.

DO tell your wife or those that define your life -- there are only 1 or 2 people in your life that define your life. For most it coudl be their spouse. For me personally its three people -- my mom, dad, and girlfriend. No one else defines my life. I very quickly and lightly mention I'm working on a side project. I only bring it up once every one or two months. No more.

 

What you're looking for -- in this period of silence you need to find MARKET VALIDATION. You need to make sure your're not crazy. You also need evidence so that when you show it to a naysayer you can convince them otherwise. This will help you with getting future customers, see "Getting Your First Customer."

 

From a different angle -- if you fail with your project, everyone at work will know you as "that guy that has many failed side projects" and if you succeed, not only will people get jealous, but they will ask you for favors and waste your time. Once they know you succeeded, they will ask for help with their own side projects -- complete waste of time.

Don't quit your job to have more time on your project

Your day to day salary is the one element that will allow you to succeed -- no matter the effects on your side project, don't quit and don't get fired

Your first customer will also want to know you won't disappear in a few months. If you quit your job you won't have that confidence when you sell. Now, there are plenty of entrepreneurs who quit their job and made it big -- ok -- but most corporate bootstrap ventures that succeeded didn't let go of their corporate job until the very last second.

Your first customer needs to not ask for support during your 9-5 job. Your first customer needs to be the EXACT target client you're looking for. Otherwise your first customer will ask you to add features that will be especific for a different customer base.

Focus on one project - one danger is having many side projects with no direct goal. That is bound to not end good. You need one project, and all your focus should be to get a customer. Your first *paying* customer. Your next goal after that is to increase revenues to meet 80% of your current salary in net income. That is, for this to work you need to pay yourself a salary comparable to your current job.

So, before you quit your job you need to be able to pay yourself a salary -- that salary should be about 80% of what you get paid today.