Finding time to work on your side-business can be difficult. With other commitments like a full-time job, school work or family, it can be intimidating to actually find time to run a side-business, stay healthy and maintain a social life.
However, there are many areas in your life that provide the time for you to work on your side-business idea and the company itself.
We will be going 10 ways you can find time to start a side-business, as well as other tips for maximizing your time and efficiency.
By the end, you’ll feel confident that you have the time needed to work on your side-business.
1. Before you go to work
A great way to start the day that will leave you feeling productive for the rest of the day is working on your business ideas first thing in the morning. Try and go to bed an hour earlier than usual and get up an hour earlier before your usual time. This will allow you to have a fresh and clear mind for working on your side-business.
Try to choose tasks that don’t require a large amount of your time. If you can choose 2-3 tasks that you can get done in 20-30 minutes each. Taking this approach will help you get the small tasks out of the way so you can focus on the bigger stuff after work.
A great way to maximize your time in the mornings before your other commitments is to plan what you need to do the night before. An hour is plenty of time to get some good work done before you head off to your day job. And to get a head start, leave the documents out on your table or open up the files on your computer that you’ll be working on in the morning. This way you can simply head over to your workstation in the morning and begin working right away, wasting no time.
2. After work
After work is a prime time for side-business owners to get their work done. You can usually find two to five hours in your evening to work on your side-business.
But it’s easy to fill up your time after work with other plans, events, and even Netflix. To help you actually commit to using your time wisely after work, I encourage you to block it off in your calendar and write down a list of things you need to do.
A great time to plan all these tasks is at the start of your week. If you begin your week by blocking a few hours each evening after work for your side-business, and writing out the intended tasks for that week, you will be ready to get to work. The great thing about planning your time is that you can sit down at your home office and get to work without having to spend so much time and energy thinking about what you can work on.
If you make it easy for yourself, it will be easier for you to get more done.
3. Commute to and from work
If you have a long commute to and from your day job or school, this is a great chunk of time you can utilize to get a bit of work done on your side-business. Maybe it is working on specialized Assessments so you can think of a side-business idea to launch or maybe it’s reading about a new marketing strategy you can try when the company is running.
The trick with utilizing this time is to keep the work light. Many times, you’ll need to use your phone as the bus or train can be a hard place to get any work done with a computer. For instance, if you need to send out a survey to your friend and family about problems they are experiencing, drafting those emails on your phone can be a great use of your time.
If you’re driving, take this time to listen to an educational podcast, audiobook or to do some light thinking of what you need to do to make progress in your entrepreneurial journey. It will be harder for you to get actual work done, but if you work on your mindset and possibly learn, then you can still be making progress as you can use what you learn on your commutes to better your ideas and business.
4. Scaling back social media use
Social media is a major time killer. It’s easy to waste hours of your valuable time on social media. These big apps like Facebook and Instagram spend millions of dollars on very smart people to make sure it’s designed so you spend the most amount of time using the apps.
If you’re curious just how much you use social media, the first step is to download an app time tracker on your phone.
For Android, check out this app.
For iPhone, check out these instructions to use the already installed app tracker.
This will record the daily times you spend on certain apps, and will allow you to see exactly how much time you’re wasting on social media. After you see this, you’ll usually be shocked and it will be enough for you to try and cut back. If you find it hard cutting back, try using the apps only a few minutes less than you did the day before.
Picking up your phone constantly can also be a distraction and take time away from when you can be working on your side-business. To maximize your time, turn your phone ringer volume on high and let your friends and family know to call you if they want to get in touch. Then place your phone in a different room, where you could still hear it if someone calls. That way you can’t fulfill those urges to pick up your phone but can still hear it if people need to get in contact with you.
5. Going out less
Going out to fun events and parties with your friends can be a lot of fun on the weekend or your other days off. But it can also use up a lot of your free time. From getting ready for the event, to commuting and actually attending, you could lose a whole day. If you do this often, you’ll never have any time to work on your side-business.
Limiting the number of times per month you go out to a party or go to social events will really free up your weekends and other weekdays so you can work on your business. Of course, having a social life is still essential, and just make sure to keep some weekends open for working on your company.
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6. Study/ Work hangouts with friends
“Work hangouts with friends can be a great way to still have a social life and also find the time you need to start your work on your side-business. You both can get some work done while enjoying each others company.
One challenge you may face is finding friends that have work to do and also hang out with you. You’ll have lots of friends that won’t be starting a side-business, so find the few that are and see if they want to work together with you.
Another great way to find friends to work with is to use Meetup groups. There are many groups in the large cities that have meetup groups for business-related areas. For instance, if you want to start an online side-business, you’ll most likely be able to find meetup groups in that area where you can meet new friends and also get work done.
7. Taking time off from work
When you work a full-time job, finding large chunks of time can be hard as you’ll spend most your day at your day job. If you choose a few days a year that you will use your work holidays to work on your side-business, you can easily solve this problem.
When you do book a day off from work, make sure you have the whole day cleared and you have space and time to work on your side-business peacefully. It can be easy to do all your chorus, run errands and hang out with friends when you book a day off from work. But if you make sure you are committed to working on the side-business idea, you’ll be able to commit the whole day and get a lot of work done.
Also, try and let your friends and family know that you’ll be spending the day working on your side-business, they will be more likely to leave you alone, free of interruptions for you to get your work done.
8. The fringe moments
“Fringe moments” are those moments in your day where you have an extra 10 to 20 minutes that get wasted throughout your day. This can be when you get home from work, you may spend a bit of time just settling down and hanging out before you begin your evening. Or it can be the times where you are waiting in line to buy lunch, and other times where you have a bit of free time.
The fringe moments will allow you to get the little tasks done during your day, so when it comes time to get the larger tasks done, you don’t need to worry about those smaller ones. The smaller tasks can be done in your “fringe time.
9. On your lunch breaks (if you’re allowed)
Sometimes the company you work for will not allow you to work on your side-business during your lunch hours as they may see that as a conflict of interest. However, if you are allowed (I suggest asking your boss before to make sure), working on your side-business during your lunch breaks can be a great space of time to get work done. If you have an hour break and can finish your lunch within 20 minutes, that gives you 40 minutes of time where you can get some work done. If you’re efficient, this can be a great time to get a lot of work done.
10. Using weekends efficiently
Weekends are the perfect time to get a lot of work done. If you can commit one full day of your weekend to your side-business, that is over 8 hours of work you can get done which is a lot of time!
It can be hard to use your weekends efficiently, so to get started I recommend that you plan one day of your weekend for your errands, chorus and fun, and the other day will be 100% committed to your side-business. As you get use to this lifestyle of working more on the weekend, you can try squeezing in more work on both days of your weekend to maximize efficiency.
Schedule the time in your calendar
We’ve briefly touched on this point before, but I wanted to add it in last as it will be very important for your future time management and success. By scheduling the time in your calendar, it will be easier for you to say no to other potential commitments that come up and it will also discipline you to get the work done when it is scheduled.
Get help where you’re falling short
Getting help when you’re running out of time to work on your side-business can be a great way to get more work done than usual. If you have a supporting partner, friend or family member that doesn’t mind lending a helping hand once and a while, it can help you a lot. For instance, if you need to get some work done after your day job but still need to go grocery shopping, if you have a supportive partner, they may be able to get that done for you while you get some work done.
Now that we’ve gone over how you can make more time to work on your side-business, it’s time you take some of these tips and put them to use. See how you can schedule some time this week to work on your side-business idea. Plan to get some work done after your day job and block some time off on the weekend. If you start with these simple tips, you’ll have way more time than you ever dreamed of that you can use to now build your dreams.
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