One of the best ways to free up time is to get a better handle on exactly how you spend your time. Keep a time log for a few days. It can be a paper log, or you can use a phone app, but basically you want to track whatever you are doing every 15 minutes. At the end of each day, add up the amount of time you spend on each activity. You’ll probably be surprised by how you are spending your time.
Are there any obvious decisions you can make to give yourself time for your side hustle? We aren’t machines, and we are not going to be able to have perfectly productive days. But if you can make just 60 minutes a day available to work on your side hustle, that will make a big difference.
So look closely. For every activity, see if you can:
1. Eliminate It
Perhaps some less productive activities can be reduced or eliminated, at least for a few weeks, like shopping at the mall or watching TV.
2. Develop a More Efficient Process
For example, maybe you spend 60 minutes a day on food preparation — figuring out what to eat, chopping, picking up ingredients you don’t have, and so on. What if you spent a few hours on Sunday afternoon preparing the meals for the week. You could even enlist your family to help — have the kids wash the vegetables, you cut them, and then they can put them in containers or zip lock bags. You can blanche vegetables, and prepare grains and pasta. The two hours on Sunday could reduce daily food prep from 60 minutes to 20.
3. Create a Window of Time
Maybe you’ll find that there are activities that energize you and make you happy, but that take up more time than you would like. For example, the morning talk with your sister, the time spent on Facebook, the time spent watching television or reading forums or shopping. See if you can identify a window of time where you can lump all of these things together. For example, you could theoretically watch your favorite TV show for a half hour while checking Facebook and forums. The challenge will be to keep those activities in the window, and not to allow them to spill over into your other time.
Can you delegate tasks within your family? Get the kids to help with laundry or meal preparation, or your husband to help with homework. Can you hire someone to do a task? Like a virtual assistant (check out Fancy Hands — love them!) to make appointments or help with some of your business tasks, or someone to clean your house or tend to your garden.
What are some of the ways you have made room in your schedule to work on your side hustle? Let me know in the comments below.