Doing the side-hustle dance has definitely taught me a lot about focus and managing my time. If you are building a business while working a day job or have other huge time commitments, you're probably nodding your head right now. The less time you can spend on your business, the more important every minute is. So your mission is to be as efficient as you can with your time.
Here are three of my most favorite mantras for this:
“If it’s not in my calendar, it’s not real.”
I tell people all the time that if it's not in my calendar, it's not real. (And yep I get a few chuckles). But no matter what calendar it is, put everything in it. Important things. You Time. Exercise. Family commitments. Business calls. Business planning. Everything.
[Tweet “Tiki drinks with your bestie? Be fancy & send her a calendar invite.”]
To-do lists are great if that’s your thing but pair it up with your calendar. Because when it’s on your calendar, you’ve already blocked off time to get it done and you’ll get reminded about it so it’s a good way to know what you need to be working on and when. And if for some reason you need to move the appointment, it forces you to think about the next day and time you can put it on your schedule. (hello planning).
Also if you do any type of client calls, you can sync an online scheduler with your calendar and it won't offer up committed times to your clients. This can give you some much needed time to work in your business.
“Multitasking is evil.”
I used to think I was THE QUEEN of multitasking and sometimes I still do. But I have to say when I work on one thing and only one thing, I am able to focus so much better and it helps me knock it out.
Sometimes jumping around is good especially when it comes to housecleaning (or maybe that’s just me?) – but in our businesses, especially when we are trying to be creative, it’s better to pick one thing, set a timer and go.
I love timers for things like this because it’s like playing a game with yourself. You can tell Siri to “set a timer for 10 minutes” or use the online eggtimer. It's amazing how much you can get done when you are trying to beat the clock.
“The power of three will set you free.”
Anyone remember Charmed? It was this awesome show on The WB in the late 90s about three sisters who were witches. Each sister was powerful and had her own special skills but most of the time in order to defeat a demon or warlock, the spell required all 3 sisters. And actually one of the spells read, “The power of three will set you free.”
I have found that this is a great way to think about big projects or tasks. See if there is a way to break it down into 3 smaller tasks and maybe each one of those can become even smaller tasks. For example, maybe one of your tasks for the week is to write a blog post. This can be broken down into 3 smaller tasks:
- Figure out a topic
- Write the first draft
- Find an image
You can use a post-it note to write them down, make time for them in your calendar and start checking things off one by one.