As a working mom, we always feel stretched for having enough time to do everything. Adding a side hustle that you hope will turn into a full-time hustle can sound overwhelming. How on earth will you ever make time for something else to your day? Something has to give, right? Absolutely. But building a successful side hustle can happen even if you work full time. Here are 10 ways to give yourself time to build your business in the 24 hours you already have today.
Hi, it’s Brittany Wise from Our Home Made Easy. I am so excited to be joining Monica over here this morning. Not only am I super passionate about sharing simple home inspiration and easy solutions for moms short on time, but I also work full time as a senior engineer at a major hospital. And I have two toddlers. I completely understand wanting to build a future enterprise– but also having just a few hours a day to accomplish all the tasks.
One of the biggest barriers to making time for a side hustle is simply telling yourself that you don’t have any time in your day. After all, you are too busy and can’t possibly take on another project. But I have to tell you… none of us are perfect, our lives aren’t running perfect, but as moms, when we decide to make something work, it will.
So grab a cup of coffee and let’s make more time for your business– in the time you already have each day!
10 Tips to Make More Time for Your Side Hustle
#1 Create a Working Routine
This is probably the most boring strategy on this list. However, in order to be truly successful at mastering your time, you need to create some order. The easiest routines are ones that work for your family (not your neighbor lady or your BFF). A routine doesn’t need to be so complicated that you set yourself up for failure. It’s simply identifying what you need to get done each evening and comparing it to what isn’t or is not working for you right now.
In my free mini-course “Making Weeknights So Easy,” I teach busy working moms how to focus on the items they need to do each evening rather than trying to do all the things. We aren’t Wonder Women, just really resourceful at getting things done.
Once you’ve created a working pattern for your evenings, you can start creating time for your side hustle.The best part about doing all these strategies is that you shouldn’t feel selfish. You’re doing as much as you can– but with maximum results. You’re building a business!
#2 Look At the Corners of Your Day
When it comes to finding long uninterrupted pockets of time, I wholeheartedly have to tell you yo use your corners of the day. Can you wake up an hour before the rest of the house? Are you a night owl and could use the evenings after everyone goes to bed?
In full disclosure, I do both. Creating a successful business is so important to me, that I am up by 4:50 am and when the kids go to bed, I am already on my laptop. It’s that important to me and your business should make you feel so excited that you want to do the same.
Make a plan of waking up 45 minutes to 1 hour before your alarm right now. Rather than watch the morning news, focus on creating content and scheduling social media. While the time you have isn’t long, it’s still enough to do several small tasks that you won’t be thinking about all day while at work.
After the kids’ bedtime, sit down with your computer and commit to 1-2 hours worth of work every single night. Some nights you may be scheduling social media again or commenting on other blogger’s posts. Those nights, you can sit in front of the TV with your husband and not feel guilty.
Other evenings, you may want to create goals for yourself or learn how to build landing pages. For complete attention, don’t feel guilty for moving to the dining room table.
#3 The House Can Wait
Remember how I said that none of us are perfect? You might be a Type A and want it all perfect. High five to you! Ultimately, this is so important for you to understand. Us business building moms are choosing to move away from perfection like housework & cooking to spend that time working hard at building our businesses. And I am not afraid to admit that the screentime my kids receive each day is when I am working on my blog before dinner. They are wrapping up from a busy day and decompressing and I am getting a few things done (like writing this post!). Everyone is happy for 20 minutes.
If you feel the need to clean the entire house every night, give yourself 15 minutes after the kids go to bed. Straighten up the living room & kitchen and don’t feel guilty about not dusting.
The same applies to cooking dinner. Give yourself plenty of grace and step away from the beautiful images of Pinterest. Sure those dinners look beautiful, but you don’t have time to prep and cook for 1 hour. Then eat, pack lunches, and clean-up several dishes.
Find 10-12 easy recipes. Print them off and stash them in your cupboards. Now you won’t need to spend 10 minutes looking through your pins trying to recall which recipe was the “good one.” Your recipes should be slow cooker based or only require one pan for prep & cooking. Use these recipes to cut down on the time you need to spend in the kitchen. And don’t forget to buy a box of Slow Cooker liners to quicken clean up!
Related: Meal Planning for Busy Moms
#4 Work the Side Hustle During Your Lunch Break
Lunch breaks are sometimes the unsung heroes of the workdays. As busy women, we usually eat at our desk, surrounded by paper. I am so guilty of aimlessly scrolling through the latest news gossip and suddenly my break is over. Please learn from my mistakes. 🙂
If you are lucky enough to have computer access during lunch, close out of every browser that is trying to get your attention. Spend 30 minutes to an hour creating content. To make it as easy as possible, do everything in your Google Drive so that you can access it at home later.
Whether it’s brainstorming new posts, creating outlines for the posts, or writing out a newsletter, simply start writing. One of the hardest parts of business while lunch-ing is just getting started each day. I find that brainstorming is the best way to switch from corporate mom to entrepreneurial mom.
My only social media advice is to avoid checking your Facebook page for notifications. Once you casually check, you’ll be sucked in and lose 15 minutes (or perhaps it’s just me).
#5 Decide to Make Your Side Hustle a Priority
This strategy is not going to make me any friends. But it affects every single one of these strategies— prioritizing your business almost everything else. While I think you’re marriage should be in a good spot, and your family is happy, I think you should be selfish with your other time.
Instead of participating in the monthly girls night out, make your hang out the dining room table and knock out the outline for the next great product for your company.
It’s a sacrifice. While I still love an occasional date night, don’t feel guilty for not binging on TV most nights and setting up your shop.
When it comes to sleep, we all love it and crave more, However, if I can make progress with my blog-based business, I’d happily give it up. I hope you find that your passion is a priority.
#6 Be Vocal and Ask For Help
You can’t be all the things and not burn-out. You’ll need help in building your business. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to small tasks. It only took a year plus to convince him he could do it, but husband writes our DIY posts. Instead of me spending hours asking him what he did on that one project and which products did he use, again, he simply starts writing it down.
Sure I fine-tune his language to make it applicable to my readers, but it saves me an incredible amount of time. Think of areas where you could double dip your nights. You are working on value-added activities, and your husband or mom could pin, schedule Facebook, or brainstorm post ideas.
Obviously, they need to understand your target reader and be fully supportive of your business. But unless you ask, they may not know how they could help you accomplish more in a short period of time.
#7 Encourage Time With Grandparents
If you are lucky enough to have in-laws or parents nearby, don’t feel guilty for asking their help in watching your little ones. Perhaps even encourage them spending the weekend with the kids. That provides you an entire day blocked off to business building! Kudos to you if you can manage one parent to take Friday night and another on Saturday.
I understand that you may feel guilty since you work all week and now you’re sending them to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Don’t. Your little ones are making memories with them! Do you recall spending time with your grandparents growing up? I do and I remember it fondly as a wonderful time.
If you are lucky enough to have this option, don’t be afraid to ask– and you just might make your mom or MIL so happy, too. Everyone wins!
#8 Cut Back on the TV
I felt like this is a strategy on its own. Sometimes we can be productive and watch TV, but really– I always intend on doing so much more when I pop down alongside my husband– and then nothing but Facebook stalking and Pinterest scrolling happens. Suddenly it’s 9:30 pm and I don’t have anything to show for the evening. On nights when this happens I can either be really mad at myself for wasting away the night or just internally prioritize that tomorrow I’ll be more focused.
Know your shortcomings when it comes to adding real value to your business and multi-tasking. If the TV sucks up your attention, you won’t be getting nearly as much accomplished. Not only are you going to waste away TV time, but then you’ll be irritated at yourself.
If you need to see the latest Shondaland episodes, DVR them. You can save yourself 19-21 minutes of TV watching time and return to working sooner. I’m notorious for always being a day behind on Grey’s Anatomy or This is Us because I’d prefer to save time by pressing fast forward and then knocking off a few things on my to-do list.
#9 Use Your Saturday Mornings Well
If you have especially young little ones, take advantage of their naptime. Selfishly use that time to get your to-list done. Set yourself up at a table with your computer and work through your latest struggle. Since you don’t know when naptime is over, I’d recommend working on items that you can walk away from without worrying about losing your thoughts later.
If you have older kids who no longer take naps, perhaps you can use the time you spend at morning practices and competitions working on a small iPad or tablet. You can still pay attention when you need to, but you can also knock off some low-attention, but still needs to get done activities.
#10 Maximize Your Commute Time
Wait– I am not advocating for you to text and drive! Since I work at a major hospital, many employees are bussed into work each day. Each city bus comes equipped with free wi-fi. If you are in a similar situation where you aren’t the one driving each day, use the time to plan your week’s goals, write outlines, or catch up on your favorite blogs (and definitely comment on them).
As entrepreneurs, I feel like it’s ingrained us to keep learning. We are learners and doers. If you have a 20+ minute commute each way, queue up your favorite podcast to listen to on the drive home rather than a pop station. One of my favorite podcasts is from Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media. Each Wednesday she releases a new podcast that is FULL of free Pinterest advice. It’s light, funny, and so informative.
Related: Monica was recently featured on the Simple Pin Media podcast! You can listen to her episode here: How to Use Pinterest Analytics the Smart Way: Keyword and Image Secrets
Just last week I listened to her gift guide podcast in the afternoon and that night I started implementing her advice on this year’s 12 Weeks of Gift Giving series. Not only did I learn something, but it took no more time than if I was singing along to Ed Sheeran.
Whew! I know that was a lot. I am hoping that 2 or 3 of those strategies are inspiring you to think about how to build your own side hustle– even when you think you don’t have the time. Start with one strategy and work it into your routine. After a few weeks of waking up early, you’ll love the time you have to yourself. I know it’s not always fun in the beginning, but your hard work is so inspirational. Wishing you the very best as you work all day and build your side hustle at night!
About the Author
|Brittany is the blogger behind Our Home Made Easy. She loves sharing easier methods around the house to her readers. That includes easy home projects and simple weeknight recipes. Her passion is to inspire other moms to stop being so busy and find time to finish a quick Pinterest project.|