9 Tips to Help Schedule Your Time to Transition From Your 9-5 Job
So you’ve made the decision that you want to start an online business! You’re going to build a blog or start a channel or whatever numerous things you can do on the internet.
But you also have this OTHER thing you gotta do too…your 9-5 job. Or in my case a 7-6:30 job. Where are you going to find the time to work on this side project in order to really scale it up to be able to do it full time.
Well stay with us as we have my Top 9 tips to schedule your time to transition from the 9-5 as done by me! Now I haven’t made that switch as of yet as I make pretty a pretty good living and I enjoy my full time job, but I want to get more into the online business space as I see traffic in my brick and mortar company decline. Also I don’t own the company I work for so there’s that fact as well.
Along with having the full time job, I also have a wife and daughter at home that love me and enjoy their time with me as well, and I also have 3 children that live in Wyoming (I’m in Florida) that I spend as much time Facetiming as possible.
So this leaves me with a very restricted amount of time in which I have to work on my business, and the time that I do have, I need to be as effective as possible. I’ve been doing this for a couple months now and I believe I have found a good process that helps to keep me on track that I wanted to share with all of you!
Tip #1- Break The Work Into Categories
I’m doing so much right now. This blog that you’re reading, building a publishing business, starting a YouTube Channel, and we have plans to do at least 5 additional niche sites, launching a few products on amazon, and eventually try drop shipping through Shopify as well.
But even within each of those different business models, there’s so much you can sub-categorize as well. There’s creating graphics, working on back links, I’m learning Photoshop, video editing, social media marketing… the list goes on.
If you look at it all from just the ground level it can be extremely overwhelming. This is one of the reasons it becomes so hard for people to be successful in doing it. But when you break it down into categories, then you can better schedule your time to be more effective.
If I need to come up with my social media plan for the next week, I know that building my posts for 2 per day is going to mean that I need 14 posts ready made so that I don’t have to do that later. I found that making 3 takes me about 15 min, but making 14 only takes me about 35 minutes. Therefor if I do it all at once, I save about an hour of time.
I do the same thing for each type of work that I need to be doing. Remember, when you’re first starting off and you’re not really making anything, you can’t outsource too much. We have to wear a lot of different hats when you’re first starting out. But breaking it into categories helps to keep you on track.
Tip #2- Time Out How Long It Takes You To Do Certain tasts
Now that you’ve broken down your categories, you need to figure out how long each task actually takes you to accomplish. As I said above, I did this with my social media posts. Well now I can take a 35 minute piece of my calendar and dedicate that strictly to creating that content.
A blog post takes me about an hour to an hour and half to write. But that may take an extra hour of research to be able to put that together. A video takes me about 20 minutes to record, but an hour and half to edit.
When you have tasks that take less of a time commitment, you can squeeze those into different parts of your day, saving the larger blocks of time for the things that will require that extra attention.
Now when I say time it out, I really mean that you need to time yourself. Get your stopwatch running on your smartphone and start it. Once you’re complete with that task, stop it and record it.
The more you have recorded, the better you’ll be at managing your time and even better at scheduling which is in the next tips!
Tip #3- Set Your Hour Minimum and Maximums per week.
It’s time to set your hours. At work you may be working 35-40. For me I’m working about 50 hours a week at my normal day job, however my stores are open from 9am-8pm so I’m almost always “working”. But some of that time I can multitask to use for both my normal job and my own business.
If you aren’t using a calendar yet, then it’s time to start. You have too much on your plate not to. Use the google calendar, it’s free and integrates with both your phone and computer and its easy to use. Put in your normal work hours and then it’s time to start blocking out side business time.
Now I still want to be a great dad too so first comes that time. If I’m getting home at 6pm and my daughter goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 p.m. then that’s her time. So Monday through Friday I have between 8-11 p.m. to work on my business. That’s 3 hours a day giving me 15 hours right there.
Once I’m onto the weekends, that is where I can really block more time to get as much done as possible. Now I’m not saying that you have to put every single day into, as you’ll see below, but if this is going to work at all then it will take some sacrifice of your time.
I put in anywhere from 3-5 hours each weekend day. So at most I can put in 25 hours per week on my side business. That is my maximum. I know if I do anymore than that, I’ll burnout and then everything that I did do was for not any way. However I also need to give myself a minimum.
I know that if I do less than 18 hours, then I’m not making significant progress on my goals. And my goals are extremely important to me. That is why I’m sacrificing this time. If you need help setting your goals, checkout our post on how to set goals and hold yourself accountable here. We walk you through step by step on how to do that.
But there it is. My hours minimum is 18 and my max is 25. This also helps me start to determine my value as we begin seeing those returns starting to come in.
Tip#4- Use Deadlines To Stay On Track
I reference this in a few of my posts but it’s so true. You have to set your own deadlines and absolutely stick with them. In your own business, you don’t have a “boss”. That’s you. You are the only one that cares enough about this business to get things done.
As you start to build out your calendar, take an hour to plan out your week and set each of the items in its place. Once it’s on the calendar, that is a personal contract with yourself that it will be done. You know it’s important enough to schedule it, why would you let that time slip past without it being done.
Additionally, be public with some of your deadlines to help you stay more on track. If you plan to publish a post 3 times per week, say it. If you’re launching a channel and want 2 videos per week, put it on your channel art. Do things that force that commitment from you. At some point you’re going to need to feel a little guilty in order to stay motivated. It’s natural and I personally feel this quite a bit myself.
This will also force you to build these time management habits that will last much longer into the future than you just starting “another online business” just to crash and burn a few weeks down the road.
Tip #5- Work to Beat Your Time Records
One of the amazing things about getting out of your comfort zone and doing something new is that you get to get better at it! Over time it’s going to get easier to write, design, edit, brainstorm and all those things that we took the time to document up above.
After you have literally timed yourself doing all of these different tasks, you now have the records that you need to go and beat. Now I’m not saying to sacrifice quality in order to save time, but I am saying that you’ll naturally get better and faster at the tasks that you’re doing.
Once you build up your online business muscles, you’ll be able to carry the simple tasks much much easier and that is going to save you time in the long run. But if you don’t realize that you’re getting faster, you’ll actually end up WASTING more time instead of getting more done.
If you don’t keep track of your timeliness, then you’ll just get done with the tasks you had set for yourself with a half hour left and go “WOOHOO! I’m done”. You’ll get up from your desk and go do something else.
However, if you’re aware of those time savings, you can schedule that last half hour to put in something else. You just added to your productivity. That also means the value of your hour just went up.
Tip #6- Don’t Sacrifice Too Much Sleep
I know this is simple. I get it. But I wish I had seen this tip somewhere across the web while researching how to do what I’m writing about doing. I got so into my business and putting in so much time, that I was going to bed at 1 a.m. and waking up at 5:30 a.m.
Listen, I get it. I know it’s exciting to work on your project or business. It’s fun, it’s empowering, and it’s yours! That excitement level got me to the point that if I wasn’t working on my business, I was listening to a podcast or a YouTube video on how to get better at my business. I would go to bed and my mind would just be running a hundred miles per hour and I couldn’t fall asleep for anything.
I did this for almost a month straight, even on the weekends. And it ran me straight into the ground. I had my deadlines set like I said up above. I had publicly stated my goals, and had my time all mapped out. And yet when I sat down to do them, my brain was so foggy and cloudy from sleep deprivation that I would type a sentence and then delete. Over and over again.
I lost all sense of my productivity because of a simple lack of sleep. I had to tell myself that it was time to “clock out” for the night and remind myself that it will be there tomorrow. Once I made it a goal of mine, it became much easier to turn of my brain and actually allow myself to fall asleep.
The moment, and I literally mean the moment I was able to catch up on sleep just a bit, my productivity returned and I was ready to get it going back up and writing became a whole lot easier again. So take your time and get your sleep!
Tip #7- Increase Your Time on What Works, Cut out The Rest
I found as I started my business that some of the tasks I was doing in order to actually build my online business really didn’t produce the results that I was looking for. In fact I was completely wasting some of my time instead of focusing on what really needs to be done.
In order for a blog to start generating real organic traffic it takes about 35 weeks in order for the SEO to really kick in. I was so focused on sharing my blog and trying to get page views that I wasn’t pumping out enough content in general.
A blog needs to have between 45-60 posts in order for Google to start recognizing the sites authority and to feel more comfortable ranking your articles. So where should I be putting my time? On CONTENT! Yet I was running around playing on Twitter and Facebook and trying to build an Instagram following. Those ARE things that you should be doing, but if you haven’t spent enough time on your content, then what are you trying to draw people to?
Remember that content is king, so take the time to build that out and stay steadfast focused, and then after you have a good foundation built, you’ll have more time to focus on social media and sharing.
Tip #8- Know What Your Transition Number Is And Work Towards That
When you go on YouTube and you listen to story after story of how this person is making $40,000 a month on this product, or $25,000 a month on their website, or $19,000 a month on their YouTube channel it becomes so easy to have this pie in the sky idea that you want to get to.
However, it takes a good amount of time and effort to reach that and it’s only reached by the 1%. In fact, content creators only make up 1% of the population! 90% are simply content consumers, and another 9% are content contributors (they’re the ones that actually comment or add some value).
In fact, you don’t need to make $20k a month in order to transition from your 9-5 job, you just need to match what you’re making consistently in order to make that change.
A set of smaller assets can do that for you. For me and my wife, we have gone through our budget and found that we can do just fine doing this full time as long as we bring in around $5k a month. It would be a lifestyle cut, but we would both be home with our daughter and able to focus more time on this anyway.
Therefor if you build a pantheon of small business that each contributes to your month, it might be easier than you think. A website after a year of good content should be able to make you at LEAST $1000 a month. A collection of 3 of those can pull you up to $3000 right there. A couple of books making about $250 a month each is an extra $500. A YouTube channel making another $500 brings the total to $4k….
Once you hit that monthly target and you feel you can make that transition, all the sudden you have twice the amount of time to start dedicating to your business! That means more time to optimize or to continue to build, but you don’t NEED $40,000 a month in order to do it.
Tip #9- If you Feel The Burnout, Step Away for a Day
Here’s the honest truth for those looking to build an online business. You don’t know what it takes until you do it and the vast, vast majority fail. There you go. Ouch right? Yet the reason people fail is not because they are doing it wrong, it’s that they didn’t give it enough time to work.
This is a common thread all over the place online, and honestly it’s why info products have become such a huge market. People want to learn how to do it so they pay for these courses. They take them, start them and then burn out.
A crashed plane flies nowhere. You need to be the plane that takes off, ascends and then reaches your cruising altitude. Once you’re cruising, then it’s just maintaining your level of effort and learning. Stop trying to climb higher into the clouds. The air up there is too thin to fly.
If you start feeling that burnout, that’s OK and it’s really a natural feeling. In fact I did it. If you look at our older posts, I started a year ago, worked at it for a solid month and a half and then I quit. It became too much and I didn’t think I would be able to learn everything I needed to. I crashed and burned hard.
But if instead you take a day or two away, knowing that this will still be here tomorrow if you want it, then do it. In fact I took 4 days off this week because I needed to. Yet as I write this article right now I feel energized and ready to continue to build my business.
Building your own business isn’t easy, but it can be done. I hope these 9 tips helps you focus your time and energy in the right way so you can be the absolute most productive as possible, but also smart enough to step away when the burnout inevitably starts to creep in on you.
Remember that you don’t have to be rich in order to make the switch from your full time job to your business, you just need a collection of income streams that start to consistently earn your way to match what you’re bringing in now. Don’t put the goal line so far away that it seems impossible.
If you’re struggling and just need some guidance, I am personally happy to help. Leave us a comment below or hit the Contact us Page to send us a message!
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