Starting new projects is always exciting, but what happens when you quickly lose interest in them?

You know how it is. Out of nowhere, you're hit by a ground-breaking idea, and you immediately sit down and start putting together an action plan. You pitch the idea to your friends, your family, and anyone who will listen, and you're so excited to get started... until you're not.

Suddenly, your brilliant idea doesn't seem that brilliant after all. You start spending less and less time on it, and finally you're on your couch binge-watching Netflix, and you couldn't care less about your project.

Well, here's what you should keep in mind: the more you're willing to sacrifice for your business, the higher your chances of succeeding. We always hear entrepreneurs talking about the right timing, or product-market fit, or creating demand... while all these are important, committing to working hard is even more important.

Case in point? Back when he was in his 20s, Bill Gates completely cut out TV and music from his life in order to focus on his work. If you're wondering how he managed to stick to this (for FIVE years), the answer is simple: he knew that watching TV and listening to music would distract him from his work, and he prioritized his work above everything else. By avoiding these distractions, Gates could regularly get into a level of concentration that would allow him to produce what's called "deep work" - when professional activities are performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.

Now you might now want to launch the next Microsoft or build a tech giant, but if you want to maximize your time and get more done, here are 2 simple tips you can follow:

Listen to Audiobooks on your specific work.

Want to make a commitment to focus on your work? Other than cutting out activities that don't bring value to you, there are other things that you can do to maximize the 24 hours that you have in a day.

Personally, I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts in the car -- this allows me to make use of time that would otherwise be "wasted". There are tons of great audiobooks on marketing, sales, and other business-related topics, so go ahead and knock yourself out.

Spend your time on hobbies with high returns.

Now, prioritizing your work doesn't mean that you have to spend every waking hour on your business. You don't want to burn out -- so make sure you allocate some time to the right hobbies.

Now, prioritizing your work doesn't mean that you have to spend every waking hour on your business. You don't want to burn out -- so make sure you allocate some time to the right hobbies.

What do I mean by the right hobbies? Basically, these are hobbies with high returns. As this CNBC article notes, there are plenty of activities that are both enjoyable AND productive; it's worthwhile for you to invest your time in these activities.

Here's an example: Warren Buffett loves playing bridge, which he says is the "best intellectual exercise out there". Personally, my hobby is playing golf -- I enjoy the sport a lot, and because I golf together with my clients and partners, this helps me kill two birds with one stone.

The bottom line? When you choose to focus on your business, and minimize all other distractions, this makes you that much more likely to succeed. It's time to start making those sacrifices!

Published on: Mar 7, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.