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Ben Tyler
Ben Tyler

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Finding Time You Didn't Know You Had

A recent Indie Hackers podcast episode featured Jordan O'Connor (@jdnoc) and highlighted how he created Closet Tools. What resonated most with me was Jordan's approach of taking a couple hours every morning before his day job for learning and deep work on projects like Closet Tools. Wanting to prioritize time with his family, Jordan found that the morning hours were essentially "free" because they did not come at the expense of time with his family.

Hearing about Jordan's success and the role that his early morning routine played in it is comforting for me on a number of levels. With a kid on the way myself, one of my biggest fears is that I will no longer have the time to devote to side projects and that I missed my window. In close company is the gnawing internal narrative that you need large, uninterrupted blocks of time to make a business or product work. Seeing that neither one of these narratives has to be true has put me at ease.

I have been following a similar morning routine to Jordan over the past couple years for more or less the same reasons (you can read about it here). While I do not have a family yet (coming soon), I have tried hard to balance my day job and side projects, time with my wife and friends, and hobbies that are really time intensive (ultra running, skiing, woodworking). I arrived at a very similar conclusion. The early morning hours are essentially "free". They do not come at the cost of time with my wife or friends, and I am certainly not doing any woodworking at 6am.

While I have always viewed the morning hours as a productive time, I never really thought I could get more out of them than learning and some small open source projects. Hearing Jordan's story challenged my assumption that you cannot build a thriving business without quitting your job and risking the biscuit. Thank you for sharing your story Jordan!

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