Life is good as your own boss in your part-time side hustles online. As the boss, you control how you spend your time without anyone telling you what to do.
Also, you creatively build and grow something of value. It’s like becoming a parent for the first time. Except this baby earns you money!
You have the freedom and power to run your business as you see fit. However, you must find ways to work smarter because inefficiency and overwork can make you and your energy crash and burn. Your business could follow.
Think of it in terms of money. If you earn $20 for one hour, isn’t that more money than making the same amount working four hours?
Entrepreneurs must continually reassess their workflow to manage their time better. Here are some sensible tips to help you work smarter, not harder.
Plan Your Day Before Your Day Takes Over
List everything you want to accomplish in a day the night before. Scheduling helps you set your morning alarm accordingly and make every moment after that purposeful. However, you’re more likely to mismanage your time if you wake up with no plan.
Whether you write it on paper or an online planning app, determine what you need to accomplish the next day and by when at bedtime the night before. That way, you have an organized plan, plus you’ll be able to sleep better with urgent things off your mind.
Keep a Running To-do List
Your approximate daily plan is in place. Next, keep an open mind about all the to-dos that need to fit in somewhere– you know, those menial tasks that pop into your mind throughout the day.
Write these smaller tasks down to prevent them from cycling through your brain repeatedly and ruining your concentration. Keep your list nearby at all times so you can record those ideas as you think of them.
If you plan on paper, carry that planner around with you. If not, your phone’s note capabilities or a specialized planning app are great for tracking tasks. Before bed, incorporate the ‘to-do’ items into your daily schedule when you plan for the following day.
The “Touch it Once” Rule
If you prematurely stop what you’re working on to return to it later, you’ve wasted time and momentum. It’s like doing the laundry– you leave it in the washing machine or dryer (or you stack it neatly on your child’s bed to have them put it away, but they knock it on the floor and step on it) only to have to re-do what you already did because it’s now mildewy or too wrinkled (or has whatever was on the bottom of your child’s shoes on it).
With mail, papers, groceries, or your dirty laundry, “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right the first time.” In other words, put those things where they belong immediately and avoid touching them again.
The one-touch rule can be challenging for things that require multiple actions. You got this, boss babe! Take care of all your responsibilities as soon as you can with as few “touches” as possible.
Just Do It
Progress over perfection. Don’t stall for fear something won’t turn out flawlessly. Give yourself permission to be human and make mistakes. Just start steadily hacking away at one thing at a time. Set a timer to help you better focus, knowing that a little break is coming soon– the next 30 minutes will fly by! Start now, and fine-tune later. Starting can be the hardest part.
A messy environment destroys efficiency and complicates life. Keep yours tidy by removing something from your space when you add something new.
Bring in fresh veggies? Throw out last week’s junk food.
Buy a new outfit? Donate an older one and free up dresser or closet space.
A new paper for your “to-do” pile? Throw out or file one that’s been in your stack for way too long (after you’ve dealt with it, of course).
Deconstruct and Alternate
Divide long, intimidating tasks into smaller segments. For example, spend some hours researching for two days, plan your approach on the third day, and execute your strategy on days four and five. Most tasks aren’t so daunting when you break them into parts.
Are you dreading a particular task? Consider working on it for 30 minutes and then move on to one you enjoy for 30 minutes. Dreaded tasks can feel less daunting when broken up.
Strength in Numbers
Join a group of like-minded professionals to help you stay updated on new ideas and market trends. In addition, you’ll gain motivation, social support, and mentorship to boost your career.
Reward and Recharge
Just like you recharge your cell phone daily, you need rest and recharging, too. We know you are one efficient machine. Now, take care of that machine so it doesn’t break down!
Schedule daily relaxation in whatever way is significant to you. You’ll be more effective knowing there’s an enjoyable reward coming your way.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Whether it’s a minor, fine-tuning, or a complete overhaul of how you manage your time, we hope these tips help you make the most of balancing work and life.
Being your own boss allows you to work how and when you see fit, so don’t let your work run you down. Boost your business by mastering your time so you can enjoy more of the things you want to do.