Making time for your business or schooling while starting out can feel overwhelming. Everyone is given the same 24 hours in a day. Whether you’re a busy parent, full-time student, working two jobs, or generally just living life through these crazy times, how you choose to break up your day or prioritize your schedule can help make or break your business or learning.
When you are beginning training in birth work it often feels safer to hide behind books and other learning materials instead of taking the plunge to start your side business. It’s always great to educate yourself, and important for your certification; however, sometimes you just have to put the book down and test things out for yourself. Reading or listening to audiobooks can take up a lot of time. They also don’t sink in as well as learning on the go. It’s okay to be afraid of failure, just don’t become paralyzed by the fear. No book will give you the magic business answer you’re looking for. Everything you need to succeed is already in you. Take a leap of faith and go for it.
So how do you start? Here are some time management techniques that may help you get organized.
The Pomodoro Technique
A time focused technique to help you find time to start a side business is the Pomodoro Technique. This technique requires you to first prioritize your daily tasks. Then, you can set a timer for 25 minutes and take a five minute break between sets. After completing four 25-minute sets you can take a 20 minute break. This allows you to have laser focus on a task for 25 minutes and allowing you to disconnect from your work for a five minute break. This is helpful for those who need to check their phones constantly as it works in time for quick breaks. You can use your phone’s timer or you can search ‘timer’ in Google and a timer will pop up
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, suggests that 80% of your results comes from 20% of your output. To find time to start a side business, you need to determine which things are producing the results to focus time on only those things. You can also use this principle to determine which part of your daily routine isn’t producing results for you. For example, if you spend your weekends marathoning shows on Netflix, sleeping in or going out, you may have better results cutting back to make time for your side business.
Now for the tips on how to keep going:
Be aware of Time Wasters
Avoid spending time on things that don’t bring results. Some people spend an entire week designing a logo or crafting the perfect 20-page business plan. However, those tasks don’t generate money for your business. A business plan can start off as a one-pager and be modified along the way. If you lack design skills, you can outsource your logo, or use a tool such as an online logo maker which can be extremely simple to use, and will help you save a lot of time. Or If the task can be modified or changed along the way, there’s no need to overspend time on it. Create a list of priorities such as creating ads, partnering with influencers, producing unique content such as blog posts or social media posts or managing your finances. Then, focus your workload on the top priorities which yield the best results.
Set Firm Deadlines
Setting firm deadlines for projects forces you to make time to work on your business. By not allowing yourself to be flexible, you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen such as waking up earlier or avoiding distractions. What goals do you want to achieve? When do you want to achieve each goal? Write down exact dates. You’ll find that more often than not, you’re able to achieve your goals by the deadline.
Don’t Waste Time on Social Media, Maximize It
Without a doubt, social media is a very powerful tool. It reaches out to hundreds upon thousands of people at once. Make sure your business is engaged in social media. This helps you stay relevant. Your content must provide some type of value to your audience. That value could be education, increased productivity, entertainment, or cost savings. It also needs to be in your voice. Share who you are and engage with your audience in an authentic way!
Social media can be addicting. Most of us have the tendency to check our news feed repeatedly throughout the day. You can download a tool like the Chrome extension News Feed Eradicator to help prevent you from getting distracted for hours on Facebook. The tool blocks your news feed without you having to delete or deactivate your Facebook account. If you know social media is slowing down your business’ progress this is a great quick fix solution. Stay focused on your goal, and don’t let yourself get distracted.
Learn to Say No
Richard Branson once said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” So while it might be tempting to say yes to every opportunity, saying no often may actually work in your favor. Saying no gives you time to work on things you say yes to. It can help improve your productivity while also creating boundaries. Avoid agreeing to every opportunity or trying every tactic at the same time. Having a laser-like focus can help you achieve your goals faster because you’ll learn how to master things quickly.
Hang onto your Enthusiasm
If you ponder over what differentiates an average person from one who has achieved stupendous success, you will realize that it may be the intensity of enthusiasm that has helped the highly successful person reach such great heights. Those who could accomplish great things in their chosen fields could not have done so without enthusiasm.
If you are enthusiastic about a particular goal, you will be so excited that you will do your best in order to achieve it. It will keep you motivated to go on and on with it. This does not mean you will work on it all the time, but even if you are not your mind will constantly be thinking about the goal you are enthusiastic about. It is exactly your subconscious mind that will be focusing on the things you are passionate & enthusiastic about. A lot of research has taken place about the power of the subconscious mind and these researches have revealed that it has enormous powers. When it constantly works on a thing you are enthusiastic about, you will get great ideas and this will fast-track your success.
Divide your Time: For Work, Family and Yourself
Schedule in family time, downtime and work time. When it’s on the calendar, that means you’ve prioritized it and planned for it. Once it’s on the calendar, defend it at all costs. If you have work tasks to do, focus on them distraction-free. If you said you’d stop working at a specific time and relax with family, be sure to stick to that and completely unplug.
That means it’s more likely to happen. For example, if you want to plan a weekly date with your spouse, it’s much better to put it on your calendar set to a specific day and time instead of just saying you’ll get around to it when you can.
As much as investing in your business is important, investing in yourself will make the business thrive.
Success doesn’t happen overnight- it takes time to build a successful business, and there certainly isn’t a secret formula to success. It takes passion, and a lot of determination and resilience, not to mention confidence, and an appetite to take risks. Invest in yourself, schedule and keep your enthusiasm high and you will achieve great things!