Trying to do everything in your business on your own will lead to burnout and resentment. If you truly want to run a successful online business, there are some things and people you need to get help from.
075_how to find time to grow your business, make money and spread goodness
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #75
Every mom has experienced the frantic searching for a missing shoe just as you’re trying to get everyone loaded up in the car. So many of you are experiencing that same type of frantic in your business. Feeling like you’re being pulled in too many directions and never enough time to do it all. If you want to learn how to find the time to grow your business without that frantic feeling, then these tips are for you.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
This is episode #75 of The Goodness Squad podcast. If you have any kids, I’m sure that you have experienced something that often happens in my home. I’ll say, “Okay, everybody get in the car. I’ll be right there. It’s time to go.” And inevitably, one of my kids says something like, “I can’t find my shoes. I don’t know where my shoes are” or maybe they have one shoe, but they can’t find the other shoe. So we frantically start looking around the house, all over in the car, in the backyard, by the trampoline, down in the garden, underneath the couch, the laundry shoot, everywhere to try and find this shoe.
If you feel like that when you are trying to find time for your business, like it’s frantic and last minute, and you have no idea where to look for that time, and you’re looking in all these crazy places, but you just can’t find time for your business. Then keep reading.
This episode is part of a bonus season of The Goodness Squad podcast, season #6. I wasn't planning on creating this season, but I was prompted by emails and messages I got from you, wondering if you should quit. Many of you have contacted me with that question recently.
Should I quit? Am I meant to be online? Am I really in the right space?
In episode #73, I addressed the question, 'How do I know if I should quit or keep going?' In the rest of the episodes inside of season 6, I'm going to be talking about what to do if you have decided to stay. Just because you've decided to stay online and you know that this is where you're supposed to be, it doesn't automatically make it easy. There are still real obstacles and real challenges to being a Latter-day Saint mompreneur. Somebody who cares about her business and cares even more about her family and about her commitment to her Heavenly parents.
Two perks to having time to work on your business
What happens when you can find time for your business? Well, you're able to grow it, which means two things. First, you help more people solve problems and improve their life. And two, you make more money. If you can't find time for your business, those things don't happen. So today I have a list of ideas that I brainstormed; just a rapid fire list.
It's going to be a little different than some of my other episodes where I dive a little bit deeper into a certain topic. I am just going to give you a list of ideas for ways to find more time for your business. Don't feel like you have to apply each and every one, but set aside a few minutes to listen to this episode in a quiet space where you can feel the Spirit telling you which things will work for you to help you find more time for your business in your life.
22 simple ways to find more time for your business
#1 - Learn to say 'No' more often. If you can't find time for your business, I would bet that you are saying yes to too many things. You are probably saying yes to things that are actually less important than finding time for your business. If you need help with this, go back and listen to episodes #22 and #62 of The Goodness Squad podcast.
#2 - Stop multitasking. Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time.
#3 - Create a separate browser. You can have one browser that is your fun browser, that has all your different bookmarks and the fun websites that you'd like to check out. And then you can have another browser that is your work browser, and it has very limited bookmarks and tools on it. Just the things that you need to get done for work.
#4 - Use a focus app, something like Self Control, Forest, Cold Turkey or Freedom. These apps will block certain websites, tools, apps on your computer and/or phone. Some of them will work across multiple devices and some of them are extremely difficult to get out of. So you set up limits by deciding, "I'm going to work on this and this during this time. And I don't want to be able to access these apps and these websites" and that focus app prevents you from doing so. Some of them are really hard to get around, but these apps can be incredibly helpful for finding time for your business. You're very likely losing time by multitasking and getting distracted.
#5 - Set specific work hours. The same work hours every day. We talked about this, in episode #73, as a way to help your kids feel more important than your business, but it is also a way to find time for your business. Put it on the schedule, even if it's just an hour every day. When it's that same hour, your mind and body is going to get used to working during that time. And you will be more likely to accomplish things during that time.
Another reason this works is because you know you have a limited amount of time. If you know you only have an hour to work, you're going to get going rather than fitting work in whenever you can each day.
#6 - Set aside a specific workplace. As often as possible, try to work in the same place every day, or at least in the same setup. I actually have three places I work. I have an office in the basement, but now that my husband is working from home, sometimes he's in that office. So I will work upstairs where I'm at right now. If you're watching this on YouTube, you can see I'm up in my living room. On occasion, like when my boys are doing online school and they're home and kind of noisy out here in the living room and my husband's in the basement, I'll work in my bedroom. But everywhere I work, I have two screens so that my workflow is the same and I use the same browser everywhere I'm at, so that my workflow stays the same. And I don't feel like I'm restarting every single time I sit down to work.
#7 - Plan your work time. Don't just set aside the hours - plan what you're going to do during those hours. If you need help with this check out episodes #60, 61 and 65 of The Goodness Squad podcast.
#8 - Make decisions quickly. So much time can be wasted by over-analyzing the decisions in your business. I believe that failure can be a great teacher. In fact, I wouldn't even call it failure for that reason. But, the "wrong decision" can sometimes teach you just as much as the right decision. And yet, sometimes we get so paralyzed and afraid of making the wrong decision that we don't move forward. Instead we waste time thinking about our decision studying out our decision.
In the past, I have spent hours trying to figure out what social media scheduler to use for work. Maybe one was $10 more than the other. And I wanted to figure out if it was really worth that extra $120 a year. Well guess what? If I had made that decision in 30 minutes, instead of six hours, I could have spent 5 1/2 more hours creating a product for you. Doing something that would have actually made me far more than $120 I thought I was saving by doing all that research. So make decisions more quickly move forward. You will learn from your mistakes and adjust.
Another way to make decisions more quickly is to find a mentor. I would love to have you inside of Ask Me Anything. I have been at this for more than a decade, and I can help you make quality decisions of what to invest in, what not to invest in, where to spend your time, where not to spend your time. I can help you make those decisions far more quickly than you will be able to make them on your own. And this will help you find more time for the important stuff in your business.
#9 - Do the important stuff first. When you are planning out your work day, as you should, plan to do the most important stuff first. The things that are going to really affect someone else's life in a positive way and/or make you money. Those are the things that you should be doing first, every single day.
#10 - Take breaks and take them outside as often as possible. I find a lot of time, for myself, if I go through a day and I'm not taking any breaks, I get less done than if I take breaks because my mind starts to slow down and I start to work less efficiently.
If you can, take a break every 45 to 60 minutes. Step outside, get some sunshine, go for a short walk, sit on your porch, read your scriptures. Do something just for 5-10 minutes, every 45 to 60 minutes - you will be more productive overall.
#11 - Schedule your social media time. Don't just scroll through Instagram anytime you have the urge. Schedule specific time when you are going to go on and comment on other people's posts, when you are going to give encouragement to your followers and those that you care about online. Schedule time when you are going to post things then conscientiously and purposefully decide what you're going to post.
You can make this easier by using an auto-scheduler, like Tailwind, where you can sit down for an hour or two each week, plan out what your social media content is going to be, and then schedule it to go live on its own so you don't have to be there.
#12 - Schedule your email time. I spend just a few minutes every morning going through my email and moving things into the appropriate folders. And then I have twice per week where I spend a half hour going into my 'needs action' folder and getting through the things that actually need more of my time, but that is scheduled and set aside so that I am not regularly trying to catch up on and getting distracted by email.
#13 - Don't eat at your desk. Food and snacks, they can actually be a distraction and take away your time. In addition, this encourages you to not take breaks from your work. So, whenever possible, eat away from your desk. Eat in the kitchen, eat with your spouse, eat with your kids. Take that time to step away from your work, refresh your body, refresh your mind, and then come back ready to work hard again.
#14 - Use noise canceling headphones. Yesterday, my husband came upstairs ready to eat. I wasn't quite ready to eat. I was here at the desk. He started talking to somebody on the phone and it was really distracting. So I put in headphones and I no longer heard him and I could still focus. So if you are working from home, which most of us are, with other people around, noise canceling headphones can be extremely helpful. It can even be helpful if you've got construction or noisy neighbors around.
#15 - Turn off your phone. This goes back to eliminating distractions. As a mompreneur, I know that you want your kids to be able to contact you anytime from school. If there's an emergency you want to be available. What I have done is set downtime on my computer, on my phone, and then I have it set so only my emergency contacts are able to get through. I have set my kids' schools and my husband as my emergency contacts and they are the only people that are able to get through during that downtime where I am actually working.
So if you don't want to completely turn off your phone, set your kids' schools, other important places and people as your emergency contacts, the only people who can interrupt your work time.
#16 - Ask for help around the home - from your kids and your spouse. I know that sometimes this feels scary, but my ten-year-old daughter makes breakfast for her sister every morning. I don't have to do that. That frees up my time to be able to do other things. And you may think, 'Oh, your poor 10 year old daughter,' but you know what? She is learning great skills that she'll be able to use later in life. She's developing confidence. She's learned to cook so many things, and she is learning to serve and to care about others. She's also learning that she is part of a team, part of a whole, part of our family. Those are important things for your kids to learn. So do not be afraid, as they get older, to ask them to step up and take some of your responsibilities.
#17 - Hire out work tasks that you don't like, or even non-work tasks. If you hate laundry, hire out laundry. The things that you don't enjoy doing, and that don't bring money directly into your business, hire them out. Don't be afraid to hire them out. Remember, this is a business you need to treat it like a business.
My assistant, Audra, started working for me just a few months after I launched this business because I knew I wanted to serve you. I wanted to focus on serving you, helping you growing your business. And I knew I couldn't do that if I was doing all the things. Growth comes extremely slow when you are doing all the things. So, if you want to find the time to do the things you love in your business, hire someone, hire someone to help you.
#18 - Get dressed in the morning. When I get dressed and look like I'm going to work, I am more productive. It's true. I am. And I don't always do it, ask my assistant, ask any of my clients who Marco Polo. I do not always do it, but I know that when I do, I am more productive. I am more likely to get online. I am more likely to get videos done because I am ready for the day and I feel prepared.
#19 - Break large tasks down into small steps. If you think, 'Oh, I've got to start a podcast' that feels huge and overwhelming, and you'll probably put it off and put it off and put it off and put it off in favor of adding another story to Instagram. But that story on Instagram is going to have far less of an impact on your business than starting that dang podcast.
So break that big task down into really small tasks when you're doing your planning. And then you can tackle those small tasks just 10 minutes at a time and they will feel much more doable and you will accomplish this big thing far more quickly than you thought you would.
#20 - Write down your processes. If there is something that you do often in your business, like more than two or three times, like publishing a podcast episode, write down all the steps in that process. And then keep that in a Google drive or wherever, pull it up every time you do that process so that your brain doesn't have to spend energy thinking about what the next step is. You just look over at your sheet and you know exactly what the next step is and you move on to it.
This will also be very helpful when you are ready to hire, because you can hand those processes over to somebody else far more easily.
#21 - Create a day or two or a few hours, whatever it is that you need, and set that aside as your errand and housework day. For me, that is Mondays. If I have doctor's appointments they're on Mondays. If I have to run to the post office, it's always on Mondays. So if I need to pick up groceries, that's always done on Mondays and I always do laundry on Mondays. Everything is done on Mondays, so that the rest of the week can be free for me to focus on my work. I'm not distracted in my mind by all the other little things that need to get done for our family.
You may need a couple of days. I actually have Saturdays as well. We clean the house as a family, we spend one hour just really working hard as a family and cleaning our house every Saturday. We'll do yard work on Saturdays. But the rest of the days, Tuesday thru Friday are protected. And now if I don't end up having any errands on Monday, I can work, but I know where to put them when they need to be scheduled.
#22 - This is probably my favorite one. Set a timer. My mom used to do this when I was little and I didn't want to work. She would set a timer and she would say, 'okay, we've got 15 minutes to get this whole living room clean. Let's do it.' She would turn on music and kind of make it fun. And we knew we only had 15 minutes, so we were more likely to work. As kids it was because we knew it wasn't going to drag on for hours.
Let's say I set a timer for scheduling social media, and I say, 'I'm going to try to get all of my social media scheduled in the next 90 minutes.' I set that timer and it forces me to focus only on social media and to work really hard at getting it done. It also forces me to move out of that decision fatigue. It forces me to make decisions more quickly and in turn, get more done.
The Get Stuff Done Workshop
So there you have it 22 ways that you can find the time for your business and stop feeling like you are frantically searching for that sock last minute and you just can't find the time.
If you would like help planning and structuring your business in a smart way, in a way that allows you time for your family, that actually helps bring goodness into the world by solving real problems. And third, makes you money.
I want to have you at the Get Stuff Done workshop. This workshop will work for you, whether you are brand new and don't even have a website yet or if you've been working for three or four years, but feel like things just aren't streamlined and you feel like you want to quit because it's so overwhelming. I need you at the Get Stuff Done workshop.
You need this workshop. It will change things for you. You will leave having automated systems that allow you more time for your family, you will leave having products created that will actually make you money. Products you know your people want, that solve real problems for them and improve their lives. If you're interested in this workshop, go to DesignedForGoodness.com/workshop.
It is a significant investment of time and money, but I believe that the return on investment will be huge. If you are considering it and not sure if it's the right fit for you, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can set up a quick, face-to-face call where we discuss your concerns and if this workshop really will work for you in your situation.
In the next episode, I have a special treat for you. I am going to be interviewing one of my favorite people, Audra, who actually is my virtual assistant. The reason I'm going to be interviewing her is, what if you've decided that you are not supposed to quit. You are supposed to be online and helping spread goodness online but maybe not through your own business. Maybe you're meant to help someone else with their business.
If that's where you are at or if you're thinking that might be where you belong, don't miss the next episode, where I interview one of my dear friends and my virtual assistant, Audra Elkington. I'll see you there.
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