Growing your side-hustle to a full-time status with very limited time in the day is tough, I get it.
You’re not only trying to build your profitable, dream business, but manage to juggle #allthethings such as cooking & cleaning, making time for family, getting in some self-care whenever you can, trying to keep your social life active and work 40+ hours a week at your day job.
And the rest of it…
Boy, that makes me tired just typing it out.
There are many things that hold so many side-hustlers back from reaching their end goal (quitting their 9-5 & becoming their own full-time bosses) but today, we’ll be covering just one.
One single thing that far too many side-hustlers do that sabotages their success on the daily.
Now I get it, growing a business isn’t as simple as writing one blog post a week, creating a few digital products & voila, you’re a millionaire.
There are clients to secure, sales funnels to set up, emails to reply to & well, about 1,000 other things that we all think we need to do in order to take our side-hustles full-time. (Note the italics on “think” there.)
Well, guess what ladies, I call bullshit.
Too often want-to-be-preneurs get wrapped up in doing #allthethings, reading all the blog posts, listening to all the podcasts & taking every single bit of advice they’re given EVER, that they aren’t making any movement in their businesses.
When you’re too focused on doing everything, you will achieve nothing.
And I bet right now you’re thinking “What a cop out! I came here for productivity tips for side-hustlers, not a lecture”, and I get that. I’m almost there, trust me…
But ladies, I’ve been where you are right now, I’ve stood exactly where you’re standing right this very second.
Feeling like you’re drowning so deep in a sea of to-do lists, calendar reminders & unread emails that you’re sure you’ll never go full-time with your side-hustle.
So, to kick things off, I want to share with you my philosophy. The, let’s call it, epiphany, I had as a side-hustler that changed the entire game for me (and continues to do so, to this very day!)
And that is…
Stop wasting time on tasks that aren’t moving your business forward (or making you money)
This is seriously one of the most life-changing productivity tips for side-hustlers. Actually, all business owners! And here’s why…
Tell me girl – if you had to think about all the tasks you’ve done for your side-hustle in the last 24 hours, or the last week even, would you say yes to either of these questions:
Have the tasks you’ve worked on helped your business move forward?
Have the tasks you’ve worked on helped your business make money?
Because if you answered no to either of those questions – and worse, both – then my friend, we need to talk.
It’s as simple as this – If you want to be seen as a business owner, you need to work, think & live like one.
Not when you’re full-time, not when you’re a millionaire – NOW.
And do you think some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world sit around obsessing over a nasty comment on Instagram? Nope. They delete it, block & move on.
Do you think the world’s richest entrepreneurs re-read their content over & over until their eyes almost fall out of their sockets? Do you think they fuss over something so small & insignificant? HELL NO.
So the next time you find yourself caught up in #allthethings, ask yourself – “Is this helping my business move forward” and “is this helping my business make money?”
If (and when) you answer no to these questions, which I can assure you will happen time and time again, you need to either eliminate that task altogether, batch it or automate it. Which leads me to my next point…
Batch your content creation
I can only imagine how much time you are spending wasting every single day choosing a photo for Instagram, writing your captions & adding your hashtags.
Wait, let me guess… At least 20-30 minutes?
I too used to waste so much time in tasks like these. Tasks that had to be done, but didn’t need to take up so much of my precious, limited time!
Now, if you’ve never heard of the term batching, here’s the low-down: Batching is when you block out a chunk of time to work on one particular task and nothing else. Aka get a lot of shit done in a small amount of time.
It’s like planning ahead, only you’re actually doing the thing all at once, rather than planning to do it each and every day (wasting what small amount of time you have in a day).
And, if you’re stuck wondering what you can batch, here are just a few ideas:
- Researching hashtags & creating hashtag “lists”
- Writing social media captions
- Curating your visual Instagram feed
- Brainstorming blog post ideas
- Drafting blog posts
- Creating social media graphics
- Taking stock photos for your blog & business
- Replying to emails & hitting inbox zero
And that’s just to name a few…
So rather than spending 20-30 minutes per day creating your Instagram posts, you can spend 1 hour per month batching it all & using a scheduling tool like Later, to notify you each day to simply hit “publish!”
Once you realise the power in batching, your side-hustle will be changed forever.
Are you seeing how these productivity tips for side-hustlers can be used in full-time business as well? (Seriously, I still use these tips to this very day!)
Stop believing automation is inauthentic & start lovin’ it
Back when I was blogging – and not all that serious about it being a “business” – I used to hate automation. I thought it was the devil (don’t ask me why, I seriously don’t know).
I never understood the point of it. I thought it was inauthentic and a way for business owners to be slack, to make “some tool” do all the work for them.
How crazy was I?!
And of course, once I started taking my business seriously & stepped into the CEO mindset, I realised that automation isn’t inauthentic, automation is GENIUS.
I realised that there were so many ways I could automate my business, to help free up SO MUCH TIME, without it feeling even slightly inauthentic. And when you’re a side-hustler who needs to in productivity mode all the time, automation is gospel.
You can automate loads of things like:
- Auto-posting to Instagram
- Adding recurring posts to Facebook groups (think daily/weekly threads)
- Sending contracts & recurring invoices to clients
- Digital product delivery
- Email welcome series
So the next time you’re getting all “iffy” about automating something in your side-hustle, remember – your time is limited right now & you need to be using it wisely. Automation is your friend, learn to love it!
Try out time blocking
I know, this one has been used time and time again but there is a reason for that… Because it works!
Now, although time blocking isn’t for everyone, it can definitely be helpful when you’re someone who needs strict guidelines to get sh*t done.
All you need to do to “time block” is set aside a certain amount of time in your calendar, whether that be 30 minutes or 3 hours, and make it a non-negotiable period of time where you have to work on one task, and one task only.
I actually have a love/hate relationship with time blocking. Sometimes I thrive off the idea of having a set period of time to do something. Other times, I hate the idea of having boundaries, “expectations” and time limits to my creativity.
And if time blocking doesn’t work out, you could even just try time tracking where you use a tool like Toggl to track how long each task is taking you to do. I often race myself to get things done quicker than the time before which makes it more fun!
It’s about finding what works for you!
Put your phone in another room
How often do you find yourself sitting down to finally work on that blog post you’ve been meaning to write for 3 weeks now, only to end up being distracted by a new Instagram notification & then find yourself 2 hours later no further into your blog post than before you “started”?
You and me both girl. You and me both.
Putting your phone away from you – and better yet, in an entirely different room – can be a GAME CHANGER if you’re a procrastinator or find yourself easily distracted.
So instead of propping your phone up on the bench or desk beside you, try putting it in another room. And, if you can’t put it in another room, at least put it across the opposite side of the room you’re in, but where you have to physically stand up to retrieve it, should it ring for an emergency.
So there you have it ladies, 5 of my best productivity tips for side-hustlers. I hope you’ve found a new technique (or two, or five!) here today 👏🏼
Be sure to tag me on Instagram stories (@elleymae) if you try out any of these techniques & let me know how they’re working for you!
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