I tend to have a lot on my plate, just like all of us. I’m a wife, mom to two little girls, I work full-time, I keep my house clean regularly, I cook dinner most nights of the week and more, yet I still have time to freelance write and blog. I have a goal of making $10K per month within one year (so, by October 2016) through freelancing and blogging. That’s a l.o.t. of money, which equates to a l.o.t. of work.
One of the things I get asked is how I am able to balance all of it. Interesting fact- but I don’t feel like I work all the time. I bake something usually once a week, John and I watch TV every night before bed, I go to bed early (like I’m asleep by 9:30 early), and I never work when my girls are awake and with me. Every once in a while, John will watch them for an hour or so on a weekend morning, but for the most part I like to be with them and fully engaged when they’re up.
If you currently have a lot on your plate but want to grow a business so you can quit your job, retire early or live a more comfortable life (just like I do), you’ll have to make time for your side hustle. Here are my tips for making time for side jobs!
How to Make Time for Side Hustles
We are all given 24 hours in a day, it’s how you use them that counts. I’m going to be completely open and honest with my schedule right now. While your schedule will vary from mine, this could be a good guide or motivator to encourage you that you too can have a side hustle in addition to working full-time (and being a mom…and being a wife…and keeping your house clean…and cooking…and so on and so forth).
Make It a Priority
How you spend your days replicates what is or isn’t a priority to you. If you go to work, that’s a priority. If you call in sick all the time, you probably don’t care too much about your job. If you spend quality time with your spouse, that’s a priority. If you cook and eat healthy foods and workout, priority. You get the picture. For me, making money on the side is a priority. My reasons include: I want more time with my family (by working hard now, I’ll have more time with them in the hopefully near future), I want more freedom with my life, I want my husband to be able to quit his job if he chooses to do so, I want to be a good example to my kids, I want to pay off our house early, and I want to travel more. Keeping these things in mind daily helps me work hard in my side hustle. If you decide to make your side hustle a priority, you absolutely will find the time to do it.
Wake Up Early
Waking up early has been LIFE-CHANGING to my productivity. I was actually chatting with a friend (she writes at Embracing Simple Blog – Hi Christina!) about how I should challenge myself to wake up early six days a week for an entire year and see how that changes my life. I first started waking up early thanks to a course I took by Money Saving Mom called Make Over Your Mornings last June. The 14-day course requires just 15 minutes of your time each day. While I’m well aware I could have skipped the course and woken up earlier on my own, the course motivated me to do so. I was actually excited about getting up earlier, and still am! Each chapter has a lesson plan, gives you some goals, and lets you take a peak into Crystal’s day-to-day life (she’s a full-time blogger and home school mama of three!). Crystal has seen huge success with her blog, and a good amount of that success is attributed to her waking up early and being intentional with her time during those early-morning hours.
Set Work Hours
My workload does vary depending on how much freelancing I have on my plate. On a regular week, though, this is what my freelancing schedule looks like:
- Wake up early (by 5:00 am) and blog or freelance for one hour
- Blog or freelance between 7:30-9:00 pm each weekday evening
- Blog or freelance on the weekends when the girls nap (2-3 hours)
If I have a lot on my plate, I’ll add in time on the weekend mornings. This is roughly 15-20 hours each week I’ve created, yet I also still work full-time, I hang out with my kids in the evening, I hang out with my husband in the later evening, and my weekends are essentially free. I really don’t feel like I work that much but rather have a good balance between work and play.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
There are some days where I just have no motivation to write. So, on those days I don’t write! I always stay enough ahead of my deadlines that I never have to rush through an article or blog post. This allows me to write when the motivation hits and when that happens, I’m extremely efficient and fast. Sometimes I’m able to crank out three blog posts in one day because I’m feeling inspired. By doing this, I’m working smarter. Instead of having a blog post or article take me 5 hours because I’m not feeling it, it takes me 2. Huge difference in time!!
You guys, this is probably my biggest tip in addition to waking up early. Eliminate or severely reduce all of the distractions in your life. Imagine for a second how much time you would have if you didn’t have Facebook. Or imagine if you cut out an hour of your night time television. You could accomplish so much more each day! For me personally, I’ve eliminated a good portion of my distractions. I no longer use Facebook (haven’t since January!), I don’t have any “shows” that I have to watch each week, I’ve cut back on the amount of blogs I read, and I try to only go on the computer if I’m doing something that’s work-related. By eliminating the things that don’t matter, I have much more time for the things that do.
Keep Your Life Organized and Simple
I mentioned earlier how I keep my house clean and cook dinner most nights of the week. However, I have these two things down to almost a science. I do laundry three times a week- Tuesday’s, Friday’s and Sunday’s. I do the dishes as I go – always have, always will. I keep the kitchen clean as I go. I vacuum once a week in the mornings before taking the girls to daycare. I clean the bathrooms quickly on the weekends while I’m getting ready. I organize the girls’ rooms before they go to bed while we’re all playing. I feel like I rarely clean, yet the house is almost always in good condition. I’m the same with cooking, though I’ll admit I need to expand my recipes. I make pasta once a week, spaghetti squash once a week and we have a frozen pizza once a week. The other days we’ll do something simple like a sauteed sausage and onion scrambles, veggie burgers with sweet potatoes, BLT’s, shredded BBQ chicken in the crock pot, etc. I don’t spend a ton of time meal planning but rather purchase things I know are easy to throw together on a busy weeknight.
Who wants to join me on my challenge of waking up early six days a week for a year? Yes, I said one year!
Some exciting news! I’m starting a newsletter that will feature exclusive tips on freelancing and earning an income online. If you want to break free from your office job and start living your dream life, you’ll want to sign up! As a “Thank you,” I’m offering those who sign up an exclusive eBook (my first one!!) for free. One of my top posts of all time on my blog is How to Spoil Your Husband for Free. My eBook will be an expansion of this post and I couldn’t be more excited! Stay tuned for more details…