You're busy. And, even though you're filled with tons of creative ideas and inspiration, finding the minutes throughout the day to act on them is a totally separate battle for you.
It's easy to feel like you don't have enough time for the things you want to do. As a busy mom, blogger, and business owner myself, I can assure you that you aren't paddling that boat alone.
But don't let the fact that those minutes keep ticking away completely discourage you from giving your passion the attention it deserves. Even if you feel pressed for time every day, there are still methods you can use to make the most of the time you do have—and see great results in the process!
Curious? Here are some simple steps that will help you make the most of those spare minutes—even if your schedule's already booked.
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1. Be Prepared to Hustle
The recipe for getting more done is actually quite simple: it requires dedicating your free minutes (even if they're scarce) to the things that you want to accomplish. Whether that's starting your business, growing your blog, or something else, it's important to recognize that all of your hustling might cut into your personal time.
Those relaxing evenings with a glass of wine you've grown accustomed to? The weekends you use to catch up on housework or spend time with your friends and family? Well, they might take a bit of a cut as you work on developing projects and dedicate your precious time to your passion projects.
It might seem like a pain in the beginning, and—believe me—there will definitely be times when it's tough to turn down the fun and relaxation. But it's important to remind yourself of what you're working towards. Write a note and stick it on your bathroom mirror, fridge, or computer monitor if it helps you. The important thing to remember is that making things flourish is going to take some elbow grease on your end. But when you're passionate about what you're doing, it's totally worth it!
TIP: Download this Just Hustle print from caravanshoppe.com and hang it near your workspace!
2. Determine Key Activities
When it comes to getting more done, there's no denying that there's a lot of work involved. But, if your objective is to grow and improve, you'll need to be selective in the tasks you focus on.
Take some time to think about what must happen for your project, blog, or business to thrive. Do you need to channel your efforts into polishing a social media strategy? Do you need to focus on outreach to new clients? Do you already have a large readership or client base that you want to keep as engaged and satisfied as possible?
When hours in the day are limited, you'll need to resist the urge to overcomplicate things and instead stay zoned in on the things that really push you towards your ultimate goal. This can involve everything from eliminating distractions, avoiding tasks that don't really add value, and even automating common activities that take up your time.
So, take a few minutes to get your thoughts together and identify the key action items that help you make steps towards your mission. Then, hustle on just those things! Once you really drill down what's really important, building success is a much faster and simpler process.
3. Develop a Work Plan
When you only have small chunks of time to dedicate, you might be tempted to use every spare minute putting out fires and crossing things off that constantly growing to-do list. But doing that without a plan in place simply isn't efficient or effective.
This is why having a work plan in place is a great strategy for ensuring you're not only working hard—but working smart. A work plan might sound like some fancy, corporate term that would only be used in an office setting, but a tailored version is helpful in encouraging wise use of your time. So, how exactly does it work?
- Choose the main goal of your work plan (remember those key activities we mentioned above?). Perhaps you want to double your blog readership, sign five new clients, or simply start your blog or business. Whatever it is—you need to start with a clear objective in place.
- Next, take a look at what steps are necessary to get you closer to this goal. Do you need to start a Facebook ad campaign? Do you need to set up meetings with leads? Do you need to purchase a web domain? Jot down all of the action items that need to happen.
- Assign deadlines to each action item to implement a structure, assign an order to your to-dos, and instill a sense of urgency in yourself.
Now, whenever you sit down to work on your blog or business, you know exactly what steps you need to be taking—and how they fit into the big picture.
You can also apply this concept of a work plan in order to design your ideal week, which allows you to be proactive about the things you want to accomplish rather than reactive to the demands of others. It forces you to think about how you would spend your time if it was 100% in your control. Yes, it may sound like a total pipe dream, but it's still quite effective! I recently started doing it myself with just a simple spreadsheet. But, I also totally love this free Day Designer planning page for mapping tasks out.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
This should go without saying, but I simply couldn't leave it off the list. When you're in charge of managing your own time, there isn't anybody there to peek over your shoulder and ensure that you've got your nose to the grindstone. You need to be accountable.
Your work plan will definitely help with this. But when the goal you set takes some time to accomplish—a few months, or even a year—it can be easy to let a few days (or even weeks) slide by without really putting your all into the time you have allotted.
These days are going to happen, but you don't want them to become a trend. The best way to avoid falling into that trap? End each work session by jotting down all of the things you accomplished during that time. If you conclude several hours and see that you only managed to get a few small things done, it'll likely be the kick in the pants you need to get back into gear. And, on the other hand, seeing all of the things you managed to kick butt at that day is incredibly motivating!
6. Don't Be Afraid to Invest
You know the old saying, "You have to spend money to make money?" Well, in many cases, it's actually true. I know that when you're just getting started, it can seem counterintuitive (and even risky) to sink any of your hard-earned cash into a project that might not even be off the ground yet. But, sometimes it's necessary
Are you putting off purchasing the accounting software you desperately need? Have you been meaning to invest in a new blog design that will kick your site up a notch? Do you want to hire someone to manage your bookkeeping or other administrative tasks?
Yes, those things will cost some money. But they'll also improve your work process and give you the time you desperately need to focus on continuing to grow and flourish!
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Oftentimes, it's not about how much time you have, but how well you use it.
Just because you may not have endless hours to dedicate, doesn't mean you'll simply never be successful. Oftentimes, it's not about how much time you have, but how well you use it. And, your passion is undoubtedly worth that extra effort!
Put these steps into action, and you're sure to make the most of the time you do have—no matter how limited you think it might be!