HOW DO I FIND THE TIME?
I feel a sense of gratitude and pride when people ask me “how do you fit everything in!?” While I don’t want to fuel the “busy fetish” society has become obsessed with (self care IS important) I am, at this point in my life, genuinely quite busy. So when people ask me how I fit it all in, it kind of gives me this little bit of recognition that my hard work is going to pay off. Sometimes when people say it to me it doesn’t always come from a place of ‘well done you work hard’ sometimes it’s laced with judgement, contempt, but I really do take a sense of thanks from that statement. It feels like im being recognised for waking up each day and taking action on my goals which means a lot to me.
So if you’re one of the many, many, many people who have asked me that, thank you.
I work full time 7.30-4.30 (with approx. a 40min commute either side when I’m not working from home), and a side hustles and I ma in the process of starting a new business. Yes sometimes when I think about it maybe I am a little bit mad. But I also think that when I'm 60 I will be able to say I took action on my goals every single day and that got me where I am today.
I won’t go into too much detail on the specifics, but for anyone who doesn’t know,
I work full time in corporate in the insurance industry, I’ve been at this company for 6 years now.
Run The Leading Her life Brand which is a podcast, a blog, an online course, an email newsletter and Instagram @leadingherlife
The secret business I’m working on is product base so that is taking a lot of time and testing. As well as research into the market etc.
So, how DO I fit all that in? Here are my top tips for poking at that motivation and being productive when side hustling alongside a full time job:
1. Plan- as much as possible
When you’re working on a number of things at once, all your tasks can blur into one. I find it especially useful to break everything down into to-do list items, and plan the week out on a Friday. Friday for me are usually not as hectic at work, I’m in a good mood after the week has nearly ended and the weekend is in sight. It also makes me feel like I can really switch off on a Friday night because I’m organised.
I use a mixture of OneNote, iPhone notes & asana. I use OneNote to write my to do lists so that I can tick them off and it syncs to my computer so I can work from anywhere. I use asana for projects so I can tick off tasks and get reminders for tasks. This was the best when I was building my online course. I use my iPhone notes when I have a sudden idea or stroke of inspiration.
I put time in my calendar. I block out time on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday nights to do certain tasks. Eg. Mondays- I work on my podcast, writing episode, recording, editing, scheduling guests.
I have an ‘events’ calendar that I created. It has all of the days in the year that might be good to create content around. For example, march global money week. I’ll look at releasing a podcast to do with money. It gives you ideas and it also gives you some planning structure.
2. Utilise technology
When you’re working multiple jobs time is of the essence. You can’t always be around to make an Instagram post at exactly 9am when insta insights tell you is the best time to post because you’re presenting in a meeting with 30 other people. So what should you do? Use technology to help you
In aside from what I mentioned above; asana , onenote, iPhone notes and calendar I use; Calendly to schedule my podcast episode (it takes out all of the hassle of booking guests), I use planoly to plan and auto post my content to Instagram, I schedule my podcasts releases in advance using buzz sprout, I schedule my blog posts to auto post using wix.
It’s a life saver as long as you’ve put the effort in to plan and get ahead.
3. Brain dump
When you’re moving from task to task, – you’ll likely have different thoughts, ideas and to-dos bouncing around your brain randomly. You’ll have blog ideas in the middle of a meeting at your day job, and you’ll get emails about your day job when you’re getting stuck into your side hustle in the evening. And you also need to do all the boring adult stuff like household chores and the fun adult stuff like bottomless margaritas. This can sometimes feel overwhelming and I also panic that I might forget something. So as soon as a thought enters my brain I brain dump. Into the iPhone notes, on the top of my notepad in the meeting I’m in. wherever. Whenever. That way it doesn’t take up unnecessary headspace and brain power and you can go back to concentrating on the task at hand.
4. Habit stack
This is a huge one for me. I don’t mean multitask because that’s usually not effective I mean set yourself up to create habits on habits so that they are more easily completed.
For example every day I go for a 1hrs morning walk to get my 10,000 steps every morning. 30minutes of this walk is dedicated to me levelling up. I either listen to an audio book or a podcast to learn something. 15minutes is set to work on my goals through meditation and manifestation. 15minutes is me replying to dms and showing up on my insta story.
If you commute to work- read on the train, respond to emails on the train. Listen to podcasts on your drive. Listen to audio books when you’re cleaning.
5. Identify your ‘dead’ time
Off the back of habit stacking you probably have a lot of dead time in your day, I don’t mean cutting out your hour of Netflix or reading, because that’s self care and it’s important. I mean time where you’re not working OR relaxing. You’re just sort of existing. That time can probably be optimised and put into ticking off your to-do list.
But whether it’s the 30mins you scroll your phone in the morning or that random dead hour between getting home and eating dinner, try to highlight the periods of time in your day that you’re not really achieving anything and utilise that time well.
6. Schedule downtime
Whether it’s a whole weekend off or a break between work bursts, add these to your schedule. If I’ve got a bottomless brunch booked on Saturday I don’t want to be dreading that I need to sort podcast stuff hungover on Sunday. So plan ahead and enjoy that weekend off. It helps with motivation too!
Its important that you are scheduling time to hang out with your partner or friends or family. These moments are valuable and often fill up our cup so that we can continue to work on our projects.
7. Do work you enjoy
Nothing feels worse than getting off work at a job you feel lukewarm about then doing another job you dislike. Since you spend so much time working, you might as well love your side hustle since you’ll spend a decent amount of hours on it.
Plus you have to realize, the type of work you do can greatly affect the energy and motivation you have to get it done. If your day job doesn’t allow you to be as creative as you’d like, try a creative side hustle as an outlet.
Determine what your skills are and what type of work you’d actually enjoy doing. Choosing a side hustle that excites you and that you’re good at could make all the difference in terms of you making time and energy to work on it. Plus, it can also be good for your health.
8. Bio hack your productivity
You need to work out if you’re a early bird or a night owl, because generally, you can’t pick both. You’re probably either a morning or night person.
I’m definitely a morning person. I can’t think to do anything super productive at night when I’d rather just relax and spend time with my partner.
To get more work done when I side hustle, I chose to get up at 5.30am most mornings. That may sound crazy to some, but if you’d rather sleep in and stay up later to side hustle in the evening, you can do that as well. When you chose one or the other, it should line up with your productivity levels allowing you to get even more work done.
I know some people who can get a ton of work done at night and that’s what suits them. Just find what works for you.
9. Set the Vision
I really do believe in the importance of coming up with a vivid vision of what you want your ideal life to look like in 3-5 years.
What is your end goal with the side hustle? What are you working towards? Knowing clearly what the end goal is fuels motivation and helps you make time and work more productively.
10. Reflect and evaluate
Figure out what’s NOT working, and stop. Figure out what is working and do more of it.
My “reflection” process has 3 parts:
· A weekly check-in asking myself what I got done this week. Did that align with my stated priorities? Did I do work that mattered? If not, why?
· Quarterly goal check ins, am I on track. Do I need to change anything?.
· Annually check in and goal setting
The bottom line here is to make sure and stop for a second to ask yourself if the hours you’re putting in are making any meaningful impact. Because if they’re not, you want to adjust course before you get in any deeper.
I hope this helps you understand how I do it all!