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Welcome back, ladies! Today we are talking about ways to fit in time to work when you have a full schedule. If you are still working full time or have kids at home you may not have the hours you want to be able to work on your business. Fitting in time to work can be difficult but it can be done! When I worked in direct sales a woman named Belinda Elsworth talked about doing the power hour. It was the first time I had heard of it and a way to break down your time. At the time I was working full time and going to graduate school at night so fitting in time where I could was essential.
Here’s the basic premise of the power hour. Split an hour of work up each day into 15-minute increments. Decide ahead of time one area of focus for every 15 minutes. Then when you get to your 15 minutes sit and focus and work hard for those 15 minutes. When I did this during my time in direct sales I accomplished so much and got ahead pretty far.
When I started my own business I was working full time and had a 4-year-old and 1-year-old at home. My hands were VERY full. On top of that my husband travels A LOT for his job so I was typically on my own with the kids. And when I say a lot I mean in the month of February I only saw him for a week total. My job required me to be there at different hours of the day. I was a supervisor so if there was an issue I needed to make myself available to solve it.
Working on my business was essential but hard to do. I needed to find time to work so I changed up my power hour and made it work for me. I was up all night with a child and needed to go to work so getting up any earlier than I already was just wasn’t an option. I needed some sleep to be able to function throughout the day. I sat down and figured out how much time I actually had each day and made it work. I could typically squeeze in 2-3 hours a day. Now that I knew how much time I had I needed to figure out how to split it up. Typically I could squeeze in a half-hour at lunch, a half-hour after dinner, and 2 hours after everyone was in bed.
I needed to figure out how to spend that time and how I could be most productive. If I was working on my business during my half-hour at lunch then there was a good chance I would need to work too because, well jobs so I needed to make sure that what I did during my half-hour didn’t require a lot of focus. I typically used this time to do quick things that needed to get done for my business. It could be images for social media or images for a live I was doing or changes that needed to be made to my website or research on topics I was planning on writing about. Things that I could start and walk away if needed and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
This was also the case for my half-hour after dinner. I kept it to things that weren’t heavy things I really needed to focus on. If my husband wasn’t home I for sure was getting interrupted by children. Anything that required a lot of thought or some serious work I kept for my 2 hours after everyone was in bed. I could really buckle down and focus and get work done. Weekends were a little better. If my husband was home or my parents took the kids then I had a little more uninterrupted time where I could get a few extra hours into work. The times after my kids were in bed or on the weekends were focused on podcasts, client work, growing my authority, or learning something I didn’t know. If it required focus it was done in the evenings or weekends.
Now that I work full time on my business and one child is in school my day is a little different. Before all the coronavirus stuff hit I had one child at home during the day and one at school. My days have a lot more time in them. My youngest can be occupied playing or watching TV or just hanging out with the dog. I can structure my days differently and get more done. I’ll talk about that in just a second. I want to say something else first. If you are used to working outside of the house and now find yourself working from home don’t get stuck in the I can do whatever I want trap.
This is a trap that a LOT of people get stuck in. You are working from home for the first time and you think well shoot I can make my own schedule now. I’m going to sleep in (if you don’t have kids of course), then have a little breakfast, watch TV, take the dog for a walk and meet a friend for lunch. Before you know it the day is over and you haven’t done any work. This usually happens for a week or two before you realize that you need to get it together and make a schedule for yourself. Does it mean you can never meet anyone for lunch? Nope. Does it mean you always need to be stuck on a rigid schedule? Also nope. It just means you need to follow some type of loose schedule so you get work done each day.
Here is how I structure my days. I typically get up and have breakfast, get the kids ready, start their e-learning and I’m in my office by 9 am. Next, I check to see if there are any emergencies from any clients and then I move on. I have one bigger client that I work with that I start my day with and then I move onto my smaller clients. I take breaks throughout because well kids and e-learning. Nothing is constant. Then there’s lunch. I finish up my client work, finish up e-learning, and then start getting ready for dinner. Then it’s family time. My husband and I get the kids ready for bed and he makes sure they go to bed. I go back into my office and then work on my business, marketing, invoices, blog posts, podcasts, getting a list of things over to my VA to do, etc.
And then I get up and do it all over again. My schedule doesn’t need to be your schedule. I have a hard time getting up early in the morning. My 3 year old still gets up at night so I get my sleep in the morning and function better in the evenings after everyone is in bed. Some days my schedule works great and other days it doesn’t. You need to figure out how much time you have each day, break it down, and plan what you are going to focus on during those times.
I hope this helps you fit in working during your busy days. The better your schedule fits for you the more you will get accomplished.