The thing I hear a lot from my students and at networking events is: “I’d love to have a side business… but I just don't have time”. In this article I'll help you to overcome this excuse with my simple schedule management approach.
No More Excuses!
Sorry to be so blunt... but in my experience 'I don't have time' is a bullsh*t excuse! But look... it’s ok, I used this excuse as well for years.
I looked at successful entrepreneurs and told myself, ok for them, they don't have to work a ‘regular job...I don’t have time to do what they do’. The interesting thing is, a high percentage of these ‘successful’ people started their business whilst working as an employee for someone else. But I was too interested in looking for excuses rather than trying to figure out how to do it properly.
That’s why I was always looking for the next ‘push button’ system that could be done in ‘5 minutes a day’ whilst watching TV… sound familiar?
At some point I finally realised I needed to stop messing about and start taking this seriously if I was ever going to be successful. That’s when I started to examine how much time I really do have.
Examine Where You Are Using Your Time
All of us have the same amount of time. There are 24 hours in each day…
Richard Branson has them, I have them and you have them.
Most people think they don't have enough time to work on a side business because they haven't actually examined their day to day habits and activities to see what pockets of time they ‘potentially’ have available.
When I looked at what I was doing day to day it was easy to see why things weren’t moving forward.
I was waking up at 7am, getting breakfast ready and then heading straight out to work. The only gaps at work I had to work on something was maybe 30 minutes at lunchtime.. but I was generally watching TV in the lunch room or watching Netflix on my laptop so I never really got much done.
At the end of most days I felt tired, so I told myself I would start something tomorrow or the next day... when I felt a bit better… and if not, I always had the weekend right!
So I would eat dinner and probably watch TV most nights until about 11pm.
Map Out Your Time Slots
Once I’d taken an honest hard look at what I was using my time for I knew I would have to make some conscious decisions about my schedule.
The morning schedule was something I immediately focussed on. I had heard lots of people talk about how a ton of successful people get up early to get stuff done.
Commuting time, I realised could also be made more useful. And finally, I knew the evening routine of TV/ Netflix was not going to help me.
In total, I identified eight 30 minute time slots each weekday (that’s 20 hours a week) and another 18 (9 hours) on weekends.
These were potential time slots that I could (if I chose to) use to significantly move my side business forward.
The first thing I did was to get up earlier. I started getting up an hour earlier each day and I gradually got earlier until I was regularly getting up at 5am and getting 1.5 - 2 extra hours work done on my business.
I then started getting my laptop out on the train into and out of work and used my lunch breaks and evenings more efficiently.
Examining what time I had available, what I was doing with that time and what I potentially could do with it was so, simple… yet I know few people who do it.
So if you really want to get focussed and commit yourself to success then examine what you’re doing everyday and see where your ‘slots’ are.
To help you, here’s an example of my simple (but highly effective) spreadsheet.
You can see in the spreadsheet the start of a typical week (pre lockdown!) on the Monday I planned on creating some video content for my YouTube channel.
On the commute into work I wanted to do some writing for the blog.
Plan Your Day To Set Your Intention
I plan the next day the night before so that I have a solid intention for the day
Now a BIG disclaimer...
Just because it’s in the spreadsheet doesn't mean it always gets done. In fact I would say, depending on the week I will do anywhere from 50-90% of what is planned. I can't actually remember it ever been 100%.
But the point of this spreadsheet is not to try to kill myself trying to do all this ‘as planned’. The point is to make sure I think ahead about what I want to do this week and be conscious of what time I have available to do it.
If I do that I can make more intentional decisions based on what’s happening in the moment, how I feel and what I’ve already completed during that particular week. Sometimes I get more done than I expected which means I can ‘decide’ to just sit back and relax a little and maybe watch a movie or some TV as a reward.
So if you feel like you are treading water and not really moving forward why not try this!
And if you want my help to make it even easier click the link below and you can download a template of my ‘Time Slot Planner’ for FREE! Just click the link below to download it! (no opt-in required!)
To your success!