Starting your own business or a side hustle sounds like a great idea, but how do you squeeze that into your already busy life? Is it possible to find more time in your day so you can accomplish your goals?
The truth is you can. It takes dedication, but trust me, it’s totally possible to find time to get things done—without losing your sanity. Katie Robinson knows this firsthand since she’s constantly juggling multiple projects. In this post, she shares some of her best productivity tips. You’ll find them very helpful when you’re balancing your proofreading gig, or any venture, alongside other daily tasks.
On any given day, we have a million things to do—work, family, social lives, side hustles, and unexpected tasks thrown our way. I’ve heard time and time again how people wish there were more hours in the day to get things done.
The truth is that we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day in which to accomplish our lives, so how do some people knock out more tasks than others?
Trying to find additional time in our schedules simply won’t happen in most cases, but we can create time if we’re intentional and strategic about how we spend our days, which allows us to be more fully present when we’re with the people we care about later on.
The best news is that all of these things can be implemented on a daily basis, or used once in a while when you need a little extra time in your schedule, though implementing this daily will add a ton of extra time to your work life, freeing you up for more fun at the end of the work day.
Getting Up Early Or Staying Up Late
To be fair, we all like our sleep—it’s an important and essential part of our survival, but waking up an hour early or staying up an hour later isn’t going to hurt us.
What’s more important to you—spending time with friends and family or an extra hour of sleep? Sometimes we have to give up a little extra rest time to ensure we’ll have time to really be present and engaged with the people we care about instead of worrying about the project we forgot to do.
If you plan this into your daily life, it becomes routine and is a lot easier than trying to randomly wake up an hour early once in a while. Your body will grow accustomed to it, and it will turn into a much more productive hour, especially if that’s your sole focus for that one hour/half hour/fifteen minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much extra work you can get done in a short amount of time with no interruptions.
Working Through Lunch
It’s always nice to take a break, but do we really need to spend thirty minutes sitting around every day? I’ve found that working through lunch is a great way to get a little extra work done to allow myself to spend more time with my family and friends later on in the day.
This could mean socializing for ten minutes while you eat and then taking the remainder of the time to answer emails or write the copy for your next ad campaign. It could also mean eating your food with one hand while typing with the other.
Your lunch break isn’t necessarily the longest break in the world, so it doesn’t mean you have to make groundbreaking advances in your business during this time. Use your lunch break to complete smaller tasks like handling social media messages, answering emails, or proofreading the project that you’re working on that day.
Phon’s Note: I do this regularly and it makes a big difference! I’ll eat and chill for a few minutes, and then finish my meal at my desk. This allows me to have more time with my family later on.
Multitasking The Small Things
Not everyone can productively multitask, and if you’re not one of those people, this one might not be for you. Know your strengths and weaknesses and focus on what’s going to work best for you and your business, but if you can multitask, take advantage of doing so during the little things.
- If you’re having a social media conversation with someone in the morning, use the time they are typing back to you to get ready for the day by doing your hair at the same time.
- If you’re packing lunch for your kids before they rush off to school, use that time to also watch an educational YouTube video that will help you learn about Facebook ads.
- Instead of listening to music in the car, listen to a business podcast that will teach you something you can implement into your side hustle strategy.
- Dust your house while thinking through the next project you’re going to put together, and take notes while you’re doing housework.
- Find ways to turn everyday tasks into two-parters—get your house clean and improve your work life.
Saying No To Things That Aren’t As Important
Sometimes we have to make a choice between things that we want to do and things that we need to do. This might mean skipping our favorite television show to get that last bit of work done and watching the replay online later. It could mean saying no to a social engagement or skipping that trip to get your nails done in order to knock out a big project.
It’s not fun at first, but you’ll quickly learn what is important in your life and what isn’t as important. And, hey, if your spa day is really important to you, you’ll work extra hard to get your work done faster that week so you ensure you have time to go get pampered, too. Keep your priorities straight.
Learn Your Schedule
Start tracking your day. Write down the times you do everything and see how long it takes. Mark down each break you take, every time you hang out on social media for fun, and every time you walk around the kitchen staring at the fridge.
After a few days, evaluate how you’re running your day. You’re quickly going to see where you can cut things out. If you’re mindful of your actions and what causes you to get distracted, you can eliminate problem areas, and devote specific, set times to getting certain work done.
You’ll also see where you can add a bit of time to your day, be it waking up early, staying up late, or ensuring that you’re not wandering around your house daydreaming while doing certain chores. Instead of daydreaming, you could be multitasking.
Making A Plan
If you plan your time well and stick to a schedule, chances are that you won’t need to miss out on things that you really want to do for the sake of your work.
Sure, initially this might be a little rough as you get into the swing of things, but the longer you implement this, the more routine it becomes for you. This also means you’re going to get better at it and faster at doing this, which will eventually free up more time for you.
Don’t give up if it seems hard at first—it will be. You’ll have some long nights and early mornings, and you’ll probably feel like you’re missing out on some things with your friends, but with a little strategy and some discipline, your schedule is going to start falling into place, and you’ll find you’ve created extra time to get things done on a consistent basis, freeing you up to do more things you enjoy once you establish this routine.
Don’t be afraid to be a little hard on yourself at first. You’ll learn and grow as you demand more of yourself, and that discipline will translate into a much easier schedule after a few weeks, at which point your work is going to seem a lot easier because you’ve trained yourself to get it accomplished more effectively.
Now, go be fabulous and start planning your day so you can eliminate wasted time, and use the twenty-four hours you’ve been given to get your work done more effectively so you can work in a little more fun, too.
Are you looking for a side hustle? Proofreading is a very flexible, low-stress skill that you can balance with your day job and life.
If you want to learn how YOU can start working from home, I have a FREE masterclass on proofreading, copyediting, and marketing.
K.M. Robinson is a Social Media Marketing strategist at K.M. Robinson and Reading Transforms where she teaches photographers, authors, and entrepreneurs how to effectively engage with their fans and market their businesses through social media without sounding salesy to create quality relationships with more loyal customers.