Launching a business while you still have a day job is pretty common for new entrepreneurs. You’ve got the financial safety blanket of a steady income in case things go wrong which takes a huge weight off your shoulders.
However, it’s certainly not an easy thing to do. Managing your time is incredibly difficult when you are so limited to time outside your day job. So how do you do it all?
Decide what’s got to go
You can’t do everything and there’s no shame in asking for help. If you have the means to outsource, you can cut your list of responsibilities down so that you can give the stuff that really matters your laser focus. Think about outsourcing your accounting, admin tasks or marketing, tasks you don’t need to do yourself.
Don’t neglect healthy living
Knocking back coffee all day to stay awake, eating ready meals or takeaways is going to leave you feeling groggy and pretty lousy. If you feel like this regularly, you’re probably not going to tackle business tasks with 100% concentration.
A healthy lifestyle can make everything a bit easier. Even if it takes some time out of your day, it leaves you working more effectively and efficiently, a wise move overall. Try to get enough sleep, exercise and try meal prepping/batch cooking to save time cooking during the week.
The simplest and most effective way to keep track of and ensure you complete key tasks is to have a to-do list. Some people like handwritten ones, the physical crossing off items on the list when you complete a task can be therapeutic.
Others prefer apps like Todoist which you can use on desktop and mobile. You can sort your to-do lists by project to stay organised in multiple areas.
Try to create a to-do list ordered by priority and keep the list short and realistic. Having too many things on it that you know you’ll never be able to complete can leave you feeling frustrated.
Sometimes the amount of apps out there for productivity can become distracting and do the complete opposite to what they claim to do. However, one good practice is to use an app that blocks you from certain sites e.g. social media while you’re busy working on your business. This cuts down on wasted time through procrastination.
Carefully choose when to work
Some people are morning people, others can barely function without a few strong coffees. There are a lot of articles out there about the entrepreneurs who wake up at 5am, but if that doesn’t work for you then that’s nothing to worry about. You may work better in the evening.
Try to schedule the most important tasks you’ve got to do when you’re working at your best. You’ll get the most out of your time that way.
Recognise and use ‘dead time’
By ‘dead time’ we mean the little bits of time in between tasks we complete, usually when we’re waiting for something. This could be commuting on the train, waiting for a bus, while cooking food or waiting for your computer to update.
Learn to recognise when these piece of dead time crop up and try to have a few small tasks you can use to fill them. Five minutes here and there might not seem like much but over the course of a day it can add up to hours of unutilised time.
Examples of tasks you can use to fill dead time include sorting and replying to emails, organising your calendar, posting to your business social media accounts or online networking.
Learn to say no
You can’t do absolutely everything because you’ll soon burn out from the stress and struggle to do anything. Learn to say no to certain projects if you know it’ll be a struggle to complete them. Taking on too much work spreads your time and skills too thin, meaning that your quality of work might start to suffer and therefore your reputation in the eyes of your clients.
Do you have any time management tips for part-time entrepreneurs? Please share your thoughts below.