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Help needed balancing two different careers!

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  • Help needed balancing two different careers!

    I was hoping to get some advice and guidance on how to balance two different opportunities/careers currently in my life.

    I am currently in real estate sales, and am also a principal in a startup company which is focused in the handheld gaming industry. While my real estate sales career affords me the luxury of having a somewhat flexible schedule, I am finding it very challenging switching back and forth during the day. I have tried devoting mornings to one and afternoons to the other and vice versa, as well as alternating days of the week to no avail.

    The startup really requires a certain energy and constant focus, and with other distractions coming up throughout the day, it seems to always be the one taking a backseat. Does anyone else have similar challenges, and if so what physical tools are you using to separate the two, and how are you able to separate and change focus throughout the day. Thanks in advance.

    Paul Skikne
    Santa Monica Real Estate and/or KAOSC Inc.

  • #2
    This is going to sound really dumb, but as a work-at-home mom, I'm constantly juggling work and being a mom. Having Next Actions that are very specific saves my sanity. I don't try to compartmentalize the two - I just work my next actions as I am able.

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    • #3
      I have been balancing an accounting practice and a medical equipment manufacturer's rep business for years and can identify with the issues you raise. As I see it, when you make the decision to operate in a schizophrenic business mode, you have to accept the fact that a certain degree of conflicting priorities is inevitable. It simply isn't possible to comparmentalize some business operations, and that is especially true in sales. You can either evaluate opportunities as they arise and take advantage of them, or you can watch the business go to your competitor - it really is just about that simple.

      I can attest to the fact that GTD has helped me tremendously in the practical area of switching hats at a moments notice. It hasn't eliminated some of the daily discontinuity, but it has better equipped me to deal with it. In any event, I can tell you that no matter how important the tax return I may be working on at the moment, if you call to say you want to spend $50K with me on equipment, I'll find time to make it easy for you to give me your money. And I'd fire anybody working in my office who exhibited a different attitude.

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      • #4
        Thanks for your posts!

        spectec do you have 2 different systems to keep track of your NA's, or are they merged into one system? Can you possibly give me some idea as to how you set things up physically. Thanks.

        Paul Skikne

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        • #5
          Briefly, my system is a hybrid between paper-based and virtual.
          I use a PDA for N/A's, agendas, & reference info which need to be "on my person" at all times, and I synch it regularly with Outlook in order to keep up to date on my calendar.

          Much of the rest of my system is paper-based, using a N/A sheet which I have devised for my needs. I use a 43-folder tickler file for the paper portion and find it indispensable. I don't find a need to separate the two occupational areas - at any given time I may switch from one to the other, depending upon the N/A which is on deck.

          My greatest increase in productivity came from getting a good handle on email and voice mail. I adhere strictly to the 2-minute rule and a "zero-base" setup in both, which I have found greatly eliminates the old problems I had with repeatedly reviewing old emails and voice mails while promising myself to eventually do something about them.

          As I said before, none of the above can eliminate the distractions inherent in a dual-mode environment, but good GTD practices better equip me to deal with them efficiently.
          Last edited by spectecGTD; 07-29-2005, 05:22 AM.

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          • #6
            I have a full-time technical job, plus on the side I run an animation company. The animation company has no office space.

            I keep the two separate systems: One for the technical job (Hipster PDA, tickler file, physical calendar, and a few e-mail inboxes), and one for the animation company plus home work (laptop for NA and project lists, physical calendar, and a tickler file).

            When I'm at my technical job, I use the Hipster PDA to record Next Actions, projects, etc.

            While I'm at home or otherwise working on the animation company, I update the text files on the laptop.

            Works for me.

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