Dealing With Time Management & Side Income

We all want to make more money on the side. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have enough time and don’t want to end up in jail because of something illegal. This puts us in a really tight position. How do we maximize our time so that we can get the most out of our days and grow our side income?

(Did I mention we still want to have a LIFE.)

I recently had a post go live on Untemplater about small biz financial success tips.

I will quickly summarize the tips here.

Keep costs low.

Don’t always make yourself the CEO.

Cut time sucking customers.

Outsourcing time consuming activities.

Now let’s jump into time management (from the little that I’ve actually applied from the boat load that I’ve read) to earning a side income. How can you improve your time management skills so that your side income will actually grow?

I  tried a little experiment a few months ago. I went on vacation without announcing it or anything. Fortunately, I knew that I would have internet access. Unfortunately, I was aware that it would be highly limited internet access time. This meant that I would have to use my time on the internet wisely. The interesting part is that with my limited internet access I was able to get as much done as I do in a normal day where I can be on the internet all day.

What does this mean? It’s simple- we all spend so much of our time on BS. The problem is not usually lack of time. The real problem is utilizing this time properly.

I really love spending time on Studenomics– whether it be responding to reader comments,

Time to look at some time management essentials for those of you that want to make some extra money on the side:

Just get started.

Not exactly world renowned advice. But it’s simple and straight to the point. Instead of stressing about your Twitter updates or registering your new freelance business, why not just get started? Seriously. If you want to find work as a freelance writer, why don’t you just write a few high quality articles first? Once you have the articles written, it’ll be much easier to shop them around as samples, as opposed to being empty handed.

Stop making excuses. Stop creating barriers for yourself. Just get started right now (even if that means not reading the rest of this article).

For example: By the time you overcome all of the barriers you create for yourself, you’ll have very little time to work on your side income. Don’t worry about every little thing that’s out of your reach.

Work in small intervals.

Saving an assignment until the last minute destroys you. We’ve all been there. You spend a majority of the night stressing about whether or not you’ll even be able to complete this assignment. The same goes for paid work. Us 20-somethings don’t have the patience or the attention span to work for 5 hours straight. We get the most accomplished when we work in small intervals.

For example: When writing blog posts, I set my timer to an hour. If I feel lazy at the 45 minute mark, I push myself to go another fifteen minutes. If the timer passes and I’m still writing, then I view this as a good sign.

Apply Pareto’s principle or the 80/20 rule.

We’ve all heard this principle applied to the theory that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your clients. I personally see this as a way to find what 20% of your work is bringing in the bulk of your results. If your guitar-teaching-side-business is making a killing, it’s likely because you’re an amazing tutor and word-of-mouth is in full effect. The business cards, business name, and Twitter account are cool and all, but they are not yielding the greatest results for you.

80% of my results come from the true 20% of my work. I know I should spend the majority of time on writing but I simply don’t. What can I say? It’s difficult to quantify and determine which 20% is responsible for 80% of your success.

I spend a lot of my time on promoting articles, Twitter, reader emails, research, chatting with readers, and looking for motivational music. At the end of the day this doesn’t mean much. All you guys care about is that I pump out high quality articles. This is similarly the case with your side income. All the minor BS you work on doesn’t matter.

For example: No matter what type of side business you plan on starting, focus on the core activities. The side stuff (taxes, accounting, legal, marketing, etc.) is REALLY important but it’s not what YOU do best. Focus on what you do best. Focus on what’ll bring in the customers. The customers what can’t about your accounting setup.

A little irony: I started writing this article on the 22nd of– February! Yes it took that long to get it published.

Go ahead. Start making some money on the side. Don’t let a lack of time be an excuse anymore!

3 thoughts on “Dealing With Time Management & Side Income”

  1. I cut the time I was working on my blog from about 20 hours a week to about 12 hours a week by cutting out the stupid stuff. I used to spend hours updating my layout, looking into statistics, and all that side stuff. To be fair, I was also writing posts for the first time and spending time on figuring out how to best accomplish anything on a blog.

    Now I have a system. I try to make it through my favorite blogs twice every week (instead of daily)…that takes the most time since I try to read throughly (about 8 hours a week that I can do mostly from work). I write at least 3 posts every two days so I’m currently 3 weeks ahead and growing…that takes about 3 hours total every week since I usually have to look stuff up, link properly, and double-check myself. I spend two hours one evening every week or two submitting posts to carnivals. I also spend an hour every week creating my Weekly Favorites and Gratitude post for Saturdays (it’s mainly time spent reading and picking).

    I only check my layout when I want to add something new and my statistics if I’m using them for a post.

    It really did make my home life much more sane…

    1. Damn you got this blogging thing figured out better than 95% of us do. You have posts for the next 3 weeks? Congrats on your productivity. I hope you keep it up and perhaps share some more secrets with us.

      1. No secrets with me, lol. Here’s my usual week:

        1. My real job is all about hurry up and wait, so we have 2-3 hours of downtime every couple of days at least. This could change at any time, but for now, I use that time to read all 25 of my favorite pf blogs (like Studenomics right now)…that’s how I get my blog reading, commenting, and half of my posts done most of the time. I just don’t have access to email or my own blog comments…oh well. 🙂

        2. I get suggestions for posts pretty often…at least one post a week is either an idea from my husband or my very cool reader and commenter, MikeS. My whole financial health diagnostics series on Wednesdays right now was my hubby’s idea in general and all my posts about financial articles are usually suggestions from MikeS or my hubby as well. My friend, Desiree, was the inspiration behind one of my Fit in a Fun Fridays (Expensive Dreams).

        3. I had commenters starting in my first days that had followed me over from my commenting-only days at Free Money Finance and other great blogs. MikeS, Julie, Jim, Holly, J in FL, etc…these guys and gals help keep me motivated. I’m a participant-motivated blogger, so they should probably get most of the credit.

        4. I seem to write quickly (compared to hubby and friends). One post takes me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour if i find all my sources in advance. I usually write in streaks as well…3 or 4 posts at a time twice a week.

        5. My site has a set posting schedule that makes it easy to just fit stuff in. Sundays are for my Yakezie ranking update, Wednesdays are for my financial health diagnosis posts, Fridays are for Fit in a Fun Friday, and Saturdays are for my Weekly Favorites and Gratitude list. If I have submitted guest posts, they get fit in on Mon, Tues, or Thurs. Otherwise, my regular posts run.

        6. I use evenings at home with hubby to read my emails (since I can’t from work), finish or write whatever posts I have on my mind, submit to carnivals, and do any miscellaneous stuff that pops up. This is usually where I start wasting time since I’ll keep checking my email and stats like a crazy person when I’m done with everything else…

        So far, my blog has been the longest hobby activity I’ve really stuck to consistently. I’ve always loved personal finance and feel like I finally found the perfect hobby for me. 🙂

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