If you are still stuck in the “day job” mentality, you might be thinking about how many hours a day you need to be putting into your own life or your own business to make sure that you keep making progress every single day. That is the wrong way of thinking and that is the wrong thing to be asking, because being busy does not mean you are being productive.
If you sit at your computer for 8-hours a day and constantly check your email, check your twitter, check Facebook, check forums, and never get anything accomplished – then you are busy. You are spending all this time at the computer wasting time, getting nothing done, having nothing to show for it.
Most people I know who work an 8-hour per day “day job” can tell me that they only put in about 15-minutes of productivity every single day. Sure you get paid for 8-hours, but you take bathroom breaks, you check email, get coffee, you spend time researching or reading, and really as far as getting things completed and showing what progress you have made. There is only about 15-minutes every day put into it.
Luckily, when you are in business for yourself – you are not stuck at a “day job”, you are not stuck with a boss and you can get off the computer to take breaks to make yourself more productive when you come back. Think of your computer as a “hot-seat”, you don’t use it for checking email all the time and you have most windows closed. You sit down at the computer, you get whatever task finished and as soon as that’s done, you get off the computer and get to something else – walk the dog, take a walk, wash the dishes, vacuum the house, go to the store, something that does not involve TV or the computer. That way you can have some downtime, relax and recharge your batteries and subconsciously resolve many of the problems you would have had beating your head against the wall while you were on the computer.
Instead of thinking about how many hours per day you need to work, think about what tasks you should and should not be focusing on and get in the habit of using your computer as a “hot-seat.” Sit down, do it, then leave.