Using Hofstadter’s Law to help you grow your business

By | January 2, 2016

There is a little known law that you may not be aware of that may be keeping you from being the success you are wanting to be and that law is known as Hofstadter’s Law. Being aware it exists and using Hofstadter’s Law will help you grow your business if you understand it.

When you are trying to start or develop an online business, just planning your day can be a challenge. It is easy to become overwhelmed and as a result instead of success you are stuck in neutral or looking for the next shiny object that will propel you to success. For many of you trying to start or develop an online business the biggest challenge is the time you have to move forward.  Those of us who are working a full-time (eight hour a day minimum) job  while raising a family, starting an online career can be very daunting.

Is This Your Day?

After all, we start the morning getting ready for work, then drive to work, then work, then there is also the fun of the commute home from work. Once you get home there is changing clothes, greeting the family, helping with or cooking dinner, assisting your children with homework or just spending time with them. Trying to spend a few quality minutes with your significant other by talking about their day (it’s usually not good) and maybe just trying to relax a few minutes before preparing for the next day (making lunches, ironing, etc). By the time you turn around, it is bed time.

However, for the few, you find the time either early in the morning or at the end of the evening to spend a few precious moments trying to do what few have been able to do, develop a new business.  For the sake of this article, it doesn’t matter why you are doing it (however, it will be the subject of another article), it is how do you find the time to do it.

After all, it seems that every time you are able to muster up the time and energy to move forward in your business, whether it is two hours, one hour, twenty minutes intermittently throughout the day, it seems that time moves a lot faster than the rest of your day. How many times have you said to yourself that you can’t believe how fast that time has gone.

Well, what is Hofstadter’s Law?

This is a law that has been put forward by Douglas Hofstadter known now as Hofstadter’s Law that states: “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”.

How many times have you done something thinking that it will only take a few minutes, only to have it take much longer than you anticipated? That drive to work that was supposed to be 15 minutes that turned into 25, making you late for your appointment. How about that shopping trip that you thought would take about an hour that took twice that. Or how about that article that you thought would take 20 minutes that is now going on about an hour (No, I’m not talking about this one…yet.) That is Hofstadter’s Law in action.

Step 1 – Acknowledge It Exists

So what do you do? Well you can deny that this is an issue for you (and for those of you it is not an issue you have my respect, if not my outright disbelief), you can say “Oh well” and give up or you can recognize that Hofstadter’s Law exists in your life and plan what you do with the law in mind.

Step 2 – Embrace It

One thing that you can do after you acknowledge that this law affects your life, is to embrace it. It exists. If affects your day every day.

Step 3 – Plan Your Day

The next thing to do after that you recognize that Hofstadter’s Law impacts your life, is to set your goals, to-do lists with the law in mind. If you have 5 or 6 (or more) things you want to get done today and are limited on the amount of time you have, remember that it is probably going to take more time than you think. Because of that, you will have to look at your plan for today and determine the most important things you have to do and do those things first. That way if Hofstadter’s Law gets you and you don’t complete everything you want to get accomplished today, you at least completed the most important things.

So as you can see just by being aware that Hofstadter’s Law exists and what you can do to use it to your advantage will give you a leg up on accomplishing your goals this year.

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