When you run a side business or blog in addition to your full-time job, your schedule can fill up quickly.
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the things you business needs–running errands, shooting photography, writing, meeting with clients, etc. But if all of your free time is spent on your business, what time is left to spend on you?
I’ve got some tips on how to not only save time on your business ventures, but also prioritize alone time so you can make time for yourself.
Put it in your calendar
The first step is putting it in your calendar. Whatever “you” time means, put it in your calendar. Yoga, meditation, etc. Something that restores you and helps you get back to work more productive than before.
I use iCal like it’s my job, so that’s what works best for me. If you prefer another calendar app, or maybe a physical planner, don’t forget to schedule some you time.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
I spend way too much time surfing through Facebook and Bing News. Prioritizing would eliminate that wasted time.
It’s crazy important to prioritize everything you need to do–both for your business and for yourself. That way you know exactly what you need to do and when. You aren’t looking around for something to do after every task you finish. (Meaning, you aren’t surfing social media for 15 minutes after every task you finish.)
Have a game plan, and do the most important things first. That way you aren’t using up valuable time on something that isn’t super important, and have to cut down on you time to finish up a project right before the deadline.
Turn off your cell phone notifications
Or even better, turn off your cell phone.
When I first thought about turning off my notifications for social media and email, I thought it was dumb. But what if someone needs me right away?
If someone needs my attention immediately, they probably aren’t going to hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. And at work, they’re more likely to call or swing by my desk than they are to email me.
Keep the basics like text messaging and phone calls on. But the extra stuff is just taking up your free time and distracting you from the tasks at hand. It seems scary at first, but trust me. It’s worth it.
Say no (without explaining yourself)
Sometimes you just can’t make it to a social event. Or maybe you just don’t want to. Guess what? It’s fine. As long as you aren’t bailing every single time, your friends will forgive you. Use that time for yourself if you want to.
Bonus points if you don’t explain yourself. Sometimes you just want to hang out alone, and that’s your business. No one else’s.
Not only is exercise good for your body, it’s also good for your mind. I started Couch to 5K a few weeks ago and have used it as an excuse to spend some time with myself. The first few rounds I did with Sean, but after that I wanted to run alone. I plug in my favorite podcast and go.
It may not be the most glamorous way to spend time with yourself (Netflix and sweatpants on the other hand? #winning), but it’s just as helpful. You really get to know your own body, which is super important.
Whether it’s for your full-time gig or your side hustle, automation is super important. Not only does it ensure that you’re checking off all the right boxes, but it also frees up some of your time.
For example, I schedule all of my social messages with CoSchedule, and use Bloglovin’ to keep myself organized. Some people love Buffer, which I’ve heard great things about but don’t have the budget for right now.
Whatever you’re working on, see what you can automate. It will save you a ton of time in the end.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is super important. As we all know, the more tired we are, the less productive we are. So make sure you’re getting enough sleep so you get everything done as quickly and efficiently as you can.
Plus, I consider sleep to be “me” time. I could easily get 12 hours of sleep per night and still want to take a nap every day. Give yourself the double-whammy of an afternoon nap every once in a while.
How do you make time for yourself? Share your tips in the comments!
Heather Serra says
Turn off my notifications??!! What kind of advice is that?! Jk…it’s an awesome one. I’ve turned off notifications for the apps that ding me the most and it’s saved a lot of my sanity. I’ve never heard of iCal before but just downloaded it. I’m excited to put it to work for me. “Heather” time is my favorite time. 🙂
Haha iCal is just the Apple Calendar app. 🙂 Isn’t you time the best?!
Dina Farmer says
I keep notifications on………but I don’t check things for a really long time. If you email me at 8AM you won’t here from me at least until the afternoon. Because I make time for myself in the morning to get all my me and toddler things done. I also automate that way I’m not constantly on social media and I have “work days” that way I’m not always on my computer. Thanks for all Caitlin!
I’m impressed that you have that kind of self-control! 😉
Dina Farmer says
I have to otherwise…..I’d be attached to my computer…..>_<
Alyssa Guttendorf says
Ugh yes the cell phone is so crucial. So important to just disconnect every once in a while! Exercise too.. my head always feels so much clearer after a good workout.
Yes, mine too! I may feel gross on the outside, but inside I feel awesome! 🙂
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
I am working on streamlining things, automating and I too, ignored the notifications yesterday and today!
That’s awesome! I don’t have that kind of self-control so I just turn them off completely 🙂
Cell phone notifications drive me UP THE WALL!!!! For me, I just need to turn off my phone completely!!
Me too! I can’t just ignore them, so it’s way easier to just turn them or the phone off.
Emily Vanderhoof says
Thanks for these super helpful reminders! I’m so terrible at saying no to things. My husband just rolls his eyes now when I tell who I’m helping out now. I just can’t help myself. So my goal is to try to say no more often and like you said, not have to give an excuse, just do it! Thanks!
I’m the same way! But you can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself. 😉
Shann Eva says
Great advice. I need to work on the sleep one for sure. I just don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Ugh. I really need to look into those scheduling things too because that might save me a little time. Thank you!
You’re welcome! I hope these tips help 🙂
Jess Rey says
I feel like you have been reading my mind! This is exactly what I need. I have been feeling swamped and sluggish lately to the point I have been getting sick and I believe I have been wearing myself down. I really need to prioritize and get it right. Thanks for this reminder!
I’m so glad I was able to help! Make sure you take care of yourself!
Randi M. Shaffer says
Love this! Especially the part about turning off notification. Technology and the elimination of the 9-to-5 mindset has made everyone so much busier with side hustles and networking and digital influencing. It sounds stupid since it’s something that has to be done anyway, but the 20 minutes I spend every morning doing my hair and makeup with my phone on silent really sets the mood for my whole day. Great tips, Caitlin!
Randi with an i
It’s seriously so liberating. I never would have thought I’d turn off my notifications, but I can’t deal with them any more.
Trish Nicholas says
These are all really great ideas! I don’t have Twitter on my phone at all, because it almost literally made me go insane, lol. Saying no without explaining myself is something I need to work on big time!
Uncreative Mommy says
These are great ideas, the problem is the implementing then Lol, like turn off notifications. I think I would freak Lol
Haha! It’s not as bad as you might think 🙂