One of the first things you’ll notice when branching out on your own is the insane number of choices you have to make on a daily basis. When you’re in a corporate job, your position is fairly well-defined so the number of things you can do on a given day is limited – this is both good and bad.
It’s bad because over time a given position can feel stifling to your creativity. In my case I would often find myself questioning why I had to do certain tasks because I was either aware of where certain customer requirements came from and disagreed with them, or had been kept completely in the dark. In both cases I was just expected to ‘do it’.
Now that I’m working on my own I’m finding myself almost overwhelmed with choices. Do I work on the website today? If so, what exactly do I want to put on the site and why? Who is the target market and why would they give a damn about what I’m presenting? Or should I focus more on plugin development? Would the users of the plugin find this particular screen intuitive? Why or why not?
This type of freedom is both exciting and intimidating. I’m finding that the more degrees of freedom I can pin down the better, but it’s going to be a process. One of the ways I’ve been doing this is attempting to solidify a daily schedule – from this time to this time I’m doing this, on this day at this time I do this, etc.
As Tim Ferris says, we only have a certain number of ‘decision hit points’ in a day so the more one can pin down the better, otherwise you risk becoming mentally drained by mid-day.