Let’s be honest, it’s a little ironic that the sequel to my first post, How I Started My Own Business, Part I: Finding the Courage to Start, is about finding the time — because it’s been about three to four months since I’ve found time to write this post. (Oops!)
Unfortunately the world doesn’t have an emergency pause button, which can make trying to balance work and life extremely difficult at times.
So, where do you start?
First, take a step back and breathe. While hustling is important, you’ll only end up more stressed if you dive in unprepared. It’s easy to be excited and have momentum during the first couple days or weeks, but once all the work starts piling up it can get slightly (or severely) overwhelming.
On the one hand, working solo gives you the opportunity to slow down and work at your own pace if you start to feel overworked. On the other, it also means you need enough self-discipline to keep your lollygagging to a minimum.
All those inspirational quotes like, “your dreams won’t work unless you do,” or “stop wishing, start doing” may be cliche, but are also completely accurate. Finding the time to start a business — especially if you’re keeping a full- or part-time job while doing so — is hard work, there’s no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. That being said, if you prepare, plan, and create milestones for yourself, finding the time to accomplish everything doesn’t seem as daunting.
Below are some of the steps I’ve taken and advice I’ve found that help keep me on schedule and less stressed. If you have any of your own advice on managing your time, please share them in the comments!
Write down why you want to start a business
As I mentioned already, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed after the initial I’m-starting-a-business excitement wears off and all the work adds up. It’s moments like these where I find it helpful to reflect back on why I wanted to become an entrepreneur in the first place.
Take a Post-It note or a piece of paper and physically write down why you wanted to start your business (and maybe add some milestones you wish to reach). Then, take that note and stick it on a wall, your computer, or somewhere you’ll be sure to see it at least once a day.
Sometimes, a little reminder can go a long way.
Buy a planner
Now, once you get a planner, be sure to actually use it. In grade school, I had a habit of using my agenda every day at the beginning of the year, but then hardly ever opening it by the end.
I advise you to be better than my fifteen-year-old self, and get into a routine of keeping a daily, weekly, or monthly planner. With daily social media posts, weekly blog upkeep, and important business meetings, scheduling as much as you can in advance can make managing your time significantly easier.
Personally, I block out time daily or weekly to devote to working on products, scheduling social media posts, and writing blogs. When it’s written down in my planner, it feels more like a mandatory appointment and keeps me accountable.
There are planners of all sizes and designs, so it’s important to pick one that works best for you. In fact, if the store-bought ones don’t seem to fit your needs, Etsy has a plethora of DIY planner printables available.
Ask for help
Starting a business takes an insane amount of work. Whether it’s just asking for support from close family and friends or reaching out to other entrepreneurs for advice, it’s okay to ask for help. In fact, it’s encouraged.
Put down your phone (and other devices)
Often, I get home from my day job and my “just checking Facebook or Instagram for a minute” turns into an hour of watching videos and taking pointless quizzes. When starting your own business, I can’t stress enough how much self-discipline is needed to keep you accountable and on track to reach your goals.
Whether you’re guilty of texting, Snapchatting, or playing games, your phone and mobile devices are dangerously distracting. With the amount of time that you spend scrolling through your social media news feeds, you could be allocating to your business’ social media or working on your website, etc.
Focus on high-impact tasks first
It’s easy to get overzealous and want to dive into creating a website and join every single social media platform right away. However, planning each step and taking things on progressively versus all at once it’s key to high productivity and low stress levels.
Use your planner — or a bunch of Post-It notes or whatever works for you — and figure out your priorities and plan, plan, plan. Focus on high impact tasks and remember that as your business grows, you’ll be able to tackle more and more in time.
While starting a business is no easy task, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With proper planning, organizing, and determination you’ll be amazed at all the different tasks and goals you can accomplish.
If you have any helpful tricks and advice, feel free to share in the comments below!
Author: Kathryn Wheeler
Author Bio: I’m a designer and marketing specialist during the day, and owner of The Paper Studio the rest of the time. The Paper Studio is a one stop shop for all your printables, decor, and graphic design needs. Check us out on Etsy.com/shop/bythepaperstudio.com & Instagram (@bythepaperstudio)!
Link to social media or website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bythepaperstudio