Raise your hand if you think life is too short to work a full time job, away from home, in a place you have grown to despise, for the rest of your life?
Yeah, me too.
Kinda depressing, huh?
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!
I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am on my way to the sweet entrepreneur life – creating my own schedule, being home much more, and choosing what my life looks like.
Starting a business, while working a full time job, is no easy task, but, we’ve got to keep paying the bills while we work towards our dreams.
Here’s my best 7 tips for working a full time job while starting a business.
1. Make a weekly plan.
Make a list of everything you need to get done, have to attend, or want to accomplish this week.
I like to make my weekly plans at the beginning of the month and then add to them, if needed, at the beginning of the week. You could use that method or just write it out at the beginning of each week.
Group similar items together, such as: things you can work on during down time at work (if you are lucky to have any), errands you need to run, shopping lists, house chores, phone calls, hands on projects, computer work, etc.
When you get a break during the day, take a glance at this list and make yourself a post-it-note of items to work on that night. That way you have a plan when you get home and don’t go straight to the couch. Guilty!
2. Work in time chunks.
Look at your weekly list and the groups of tasks you need to do. Make a schedule and set time blocks for different sets of tasks.
You could choose 30 minute blocks, 1 hour blocks, or 2 hour blocks. I wouldn’t suggest more than 2 hours without a break, so you can keep your energy levels up.
Schedule these blocks in your calendar/planner and only work on that assigned task during that time. Setting a timer or alarm on your phone is a great idea to create a sense of urgency. This will help you stay focused and work more efficiently.
I think you’ll find you will be much more productive when you know you only have 1 hour to complete a task.
3. Make goals and celebrate when you reach them.
I cannot stress how much goal setting has helped me. If you don’t know your goal, then what are you really working towards, and how will you know when you achieve something?
I like to make weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. You can start with yearly goals (and go big here, really!), then break those down into smaller monthly goals, and then again to weekly goals. Your weekly goals should help you reach your monthly goals, which help you reach your yearly goal. Just break that big goal down into bite sized goals. Much less overwhelming and it always seems much more do-able.
And always celebrate when you reach your goals! This means you must make them measurable. You need to be able to know when you reach that goal, so you can celebrate it!! Plan a date night, special treat, or a free night!
4. Freezer cooking & meal planning
If you are working a full time job AND trying to start a business, I’m gonna take a guess and say 5 course dinners aren’t at the top of your to do list. But you still have to eat, so make dinner time easier on yourself and do a little freezer cooking and meal planning.
Freezer cooking: Making spaghetti sauce? Make 4 times what you normally do, and freeze the rest into perfect portions for your family for the upcoming weeks.
Meal planning: Plan your meals out at the beginning of the week, so you don’t have to scramble to find something to throw together last minute. Check out this easy meal planning guide for 5 easy steps to get started.
5. Don’t expect a perfectly clean home.
Unless you are a clean freak, just accept that your home is not going to be flawlessly clean every day. You are very busy right now, and it’s perfectly ok to just do the basics. And if it bothers you too much, plan a big cleaning day once a month.
6. Be patient and enjoy the journey.
Unfortunately, working full time while trying to start a business will come with frustrations. You will feel like you don’t have enough time for your side business, and you still have to give your all at your full time job. It can be frustrating, exhausting, and emotional.
Try to be patient and enjoy the journey, no matter how slow it seems. It’s a good idea to start small and slow, and gain momentum as you learn more and grow.
Keep your goals and dreams written where you can seem them daily. You will need reminders of why you are working your tail off!
7. Make time for family and fun.
Remember how we all raised our hands about life being too short? Try not to get too caught up in all the work that needs to be done, where all you are doing is working, and nothing seems fun anymore. Make time to spend with family and fun things.
There may be hard feelings between friends or family when they feel like you are spending all your time on work. Make time for them, but also let them know you are working towards a big dream and this means a lot to you.
Bonus Tip: Record EVERYTHING. All of your accomplishments, no matter how tiny they seem, your goals, your plans, your thoughts, etc.
It’s easy to get caught up in the work that needs to be done, and you sometimes forget what you have already accomplished. It’s nice to look back and see where you were and how far you have come.
I won’t say it’s easy or simple, but if follow the above tips, I think you will find balancing a full time job while starting a business is do-able. And you will be so proud of yourself, I promise you.
Nobody can do it all. As much as we’d like, we will never be Mrs. Perfect. And that is perfectly fine!
What we can do is work hard and keep chasing our dreams until we get there, wherever there is.
Keep making business goals and plans, celebrate when you reach goals, and enjoy the journey there.
And don’t be afraid to chase big dreams!
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