Many people would like to start a business, but always find it daunting because they are busy managing their current jobs, family and other commitments. It is always a very difficult balance to create however, it is possible. When I started Deep Pockets Finance (DPF), I was on maternity leave so I had additional time this was ok until I went back to my full-time job. After returning to work, I made a decision to expand the services DPF was to provide and I needed to find a way of balancing the management of our home and two daughters at the same time. In this blog I will be sharing some of the strategies that helped me find time to focus on Deep Pockets Finance.
Prioritisation will free up your time
I used to find that having endless to do list would motivate me at first, but it soon felt like I was getting snowed under. My to do lists would actually grow faster than the tasks which were getting completed and everything seemed important. One day I took a step back and really started to think about what I wanted to achieve at the end of it all. What were my values and what were my end goals? I found that asking the following questions helped me to reduce my to do list significantly and free up my time. The questions were;
Is this adding value to my life?
Adding value to your life means it’s aligned with your values and goals, passions, improvement of well-being. For example, taking time to plan a family holiday could be aligned with family values and also improvement of your well-being.
Can it be delegated?
Can someone else successfully carry out the task without too much of my involvement? This could mean a family member or paying for some else to do it
Can it wait?
Some things may appear to be urgent but actually they are not. If something can wait, that means you can do it when you are less busy or delegate it to someone at future date.
Does it really have to get done?
There are some things that are not critical which if not done, will not have much of an impact. They could be postponed to a future date or eliminated completely.
It important to find a system that works for you were you are able to distinguish the tasks that will add value to your life and the ones that don’t. If you have short term goals that need to be fulfilled, you may need to cut back on unnecessary tasks in order to focus on your immediate goals.
Plan in advance
I found that planning in advance gave me the advantage of proactively managing my time instead of constantly reacting to situations. I have a motto that if something is not in my calendar it’s not going to get done! I try to look at my calendar on a weekly basis to ensure key tasks have been captured and personal time has been blocked off. This is also the time I use to check if I will need additional help with for example child care if need to work on DPF over the weekend. When you are looking to start a business, try to plan ahead and look for additional help in advance if needed. Trying to multi task usually ends in the tasks taking longer to complete and a lot of frustration. The calendar I use on my phone syncs with my laptop calendar and I also share it with my husband. I have different categories for different engagements and when a new one comes, it is easy for me to quicky look at my calendar and check availability before I can accept.
Try to automate
In DPF I noticed that there were certain processes that needed to be carried out but could be automated to avoid me looking at it on a daily basis. This included social media posts. I only needed to schedule a few hours over the weekend to make batches of content that I would then input into social media software, add dates for posting, captions and the software took care of the rest. This saved me time during the week to focus on other tasks. Look at your current processes and see if there is something that can be automated to save you time. This could be an automated response on WhatsApp advising customers that you will respond in 24 hours or looking at business models that don’t require constant input like selling online downloadable products etc.
Outsource non-core processes
When you are starting a business, most of the time you have to wear many different hats. You have to focus on marketing, ensuring the numbers are correct, running the actual core business. It is important to really look at the business and maybe outsource some of the processes to specialists who will add value to your business. When I needed to notify people of the services I was providing and refresh the business logo, I outsourced this process to a graphic designer. I described what I wanted, provided the information and they did the rest. This freed up my time to work on other key business areas. Other areas that you can consider outsourcing are the business accounting, social media management other non-core functions.
Set time aside to rest, relax and do what you love.
I mentioned earlier that I intentionally block personal time in my calendar. I learnt early on the importance of this because when I was tired, I was not creative. When I felt drained and burnt out, I could not write blogs or think of ways of improving the business. I realised that taking time out to spend with my family, talk to friends and just focus on me helped me to keep everything balanced and also helped me to think innovatively on ways to grow the business. When you are starting a business, it is easy to forget about yourself and get burnt out. Try to take time out to spend on yourself doing things you enjoy doing.
Hope the blog helps, get in touch if you want more guidance on how to start a business with no time.
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