How To Make Time To Make More Money
Do you ever feel like you are so busy that you are on the go from the minute that you wake up to the minute that your head hits the pillow at the end of the day? Every day? Guys, I feel your pain. I have a part time job that I do 3 times a week from 9-2, a part time job that I do every evening, a 5 year old daughter, I study at University part time and have my blog too. As you will know if you have been following me, I’ve been working really hard to pay off my debt, and with that comes earning extra money. (I finally achieved this a couple of weeks ago!)
So trust me, I know how it feels to be really busy with little spare time. It is frustrating, because I have loads of goals that I want to achieve, but not enough hours in the day to do it in. However, like everyone else, I can be guilty of procrastinating (especially when studying!) and also feeling like I am ‘busy’ but I’m just wasting hours on social media, which isn’t helpful to growing my business.
I have had some people say that they struggle with time management, or with finding time to earn extra money on top of the commitments they already have. I am happy to share some things that help me, in the hope that they can help you if you are struggling also.
My husband and most people I know frequently say that I am the most organised person that they know – and with good reason. I believe that being organised and having a schedule is very important for success in life, and in business.
Track Your Time
One of the best things that you can do to sort out your time or your money, is to track it. The reason for this is because we don’t realise how bad something is until the data is in our face. It sounds boring, and it generally is, but it will help you to become successful and have less stress – sounds most definitely worth it to me!
Write out your days for a week in increments of 15 minutes at a time, and keep it in front of you – whether that be on a piece of paper or on your phone (both are good, so that you won’t forget to do it, but pen and paper is the best). Do it from the minute you get up to when you go to bed – you may need to adjust depending on how much sleep you want!
Include everything on here – the whole point is to spot gaps in your day to day life that are spent doing pointless things that distract you from the more important issues at hand. The things that you could include could be things like:
- Getting ready for work
- Preparing food for the day
- Eating breakfast
- Checking emails
- Doing the dishes
- Walking the dogs
- Social media browsing
- Watching TV
Track everything, and you will find it easier to spot the time draining things that you do on a frequent basis that will then ensure that you can manage your time more efficiently.
One of the best things about tracking your time is that it will help you to notice a pattern. There are certain hours in the day where we are much more productive than others, which although different for everyone, is generally first thing in the morning, before decision fatigue kicks in.
At the end of the week (or however long you track your time for) add it all up and then you can see the areas where you are wasting your valuable time.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule is one of my favourite things to do, because I am an organisational nerd. I enjoy knowing what I will be doing and when, as it helps me to ensure everything gets done and that I am at my most productive. If you have tracked your time like suggested above, this will be easier to do because you can see how long it takes you to do things. For example, you may have thought that writing a blog post would take around 30 minutes, when in actual fact it takes you two hours (or longer, if you are me!).
You will probably have the same kind of tasks to do each week, even if they may vary from day to day. For example, I work in an office 3 days a week so this is always scheduled in, with the days I’m not in the office used for studying and blogging.
I love time blocking, because it helps to achieve your goals in the desired time frame. It sounds obvious, but you will take the amount of time that you allocate to a certain task. If you give yourself the whole day to write a blog post, it will take you the whole day. If you give yourself an hour, you will do it within that hour – as says Parkinson’s law which says that work will simply expand to fill the time available for its completion.
Even if you have work in an office during the day, I’m guessing that you want to be more productive at home, especially if you are focusing on earning more money – which I hope you are!
When scheduling your day, please allow yourself resting time. We aren’t robots, and we can only do so much before our brains need time to recuperate. Now I’m not suggesting that you have a break every 10 minutes, but acknowledge that you do need regular breaks, and doing so will enable you to produce better quality work.
We all have the same twenty-four hours, and whilst our commitments vary greatly from person to person, there are specific things that successful people do each day in order to produce their best work and keep a healthy work-life balance. As much as I hate doing it myself, successful people often rise earlier than others in their family, and use this time to concentrate on exercising, reading or working on their side business.
Another benefit of this is that you will (hopefully!) not end up multi-tasking – which is something that I am really guilty of! For me, my mind drifts a lot because my mind is just constantly whirring with information and trying to get onto the next task before I’m finished with my current one. Time blocking is helpful for this because I know that I have a certain amount of time to focus on particular tasks.
Eat That Frog
Have you heard of this expression before? If you haven’t, it probably sounded a little bit weird! The term was originally coined by a French writer by the name of Nicolas Chamfort, and the quote goes a little something like this: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
What this means is that the biggest, most difficult thing that you have to do that day, should be done first. The reason for this is that this will be the thing that you are most likely to put off and procrastinate on, and the days will stretch and turn into months without doing it – this is something that again I’m guilty of, such as I knew that I wanted to set up a free email course on how to start a blog because I get lots of questions about it and I like to help people, but the technical side of setting it up and having to write it all put me off because I knew it would take a while – but one day I scheduled it in and got it done.
People have been signing up and sending me emails about it saying that they like it, so I wish that I had done it sooner!
With big tasks, we generally don’t want to do them because we know that it will take effort, which is why we put them off. You know that you have to do it, and that it will be beneficial to you to get it done, but still put it off and off. Deciding to tackle this first thing before doing time draining activities will ensure your important tasks get completed, and will leave you more time to do the other parts of your business without worrying about the ever-growing to do list.
This is something that is really popular with bloggers, but it can be used by anyone, especially if you have certain tasks that you need to do on a big scale on a regular basis. An example of this if you are a blogger is by creating all of your images for your blog posts all at once.
The reason that this is helpful to you is because it allows your mind to give all of its concentration to one task at a time, instead of flitting from task to task.
To Do List
I love lists. I am a list nerd! I have so many, and that may seem crazy to some people, but it helps me keep organised and as productive as I can be.
I recommend creating to do lists, and other lists as well, because it will help you be organised and not be overwhelmed with all of the tasks that you have to do. If something is not on my list, it doesn’t get done.
The kind of lists that I would recommend having are:
- Master To Do List. By this I mean having one giant to do list full of everything that you need to do. My blog to do list is on an A4 sheet of paper, and it’s full. I recommend doing this because you can keep track of everything that you need to do, but I don’t recommend working off of this, as it will be too overwhelming.
- Daily To Do List. Look at your master to do list, and pick some things that need to be done that day. Hopefully you will have a schedule set up already as discussed above, but allocate some of the important aspects to your schedule for the day. And don’t forget – pick the biggest, hardest one first!
- Weekly To Do List. This is another list that you can do to keep you on track with your goals for the week – you may want to achieve something by Friday, and by doing tasks throughout the week this will ensure that you can complete this goal.
I have other lists too, but these above will help you the most. I also recommend having a diary/calendar to keep on track with everything. I have one for personal and general work stuff, and another one which is specifically for my blogging schedule.
My best tips summed up – stay organised, write to do lists, do the thing you least want to do first, and batch similar jobs together. If you have a system and a schedule, your life and business will run much better. It may sound boring to have everything mapped out for you each day, but if you are determined to earn more money and have your own business, these methods will help you to use your time more wisely.
What do you think – could you use any of these time management methods? What’s your best tip for time management?
Blogging is my favourite way to earn extra money. Follow my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog here.