Are you wanting to do something that will improve your life but just don't see how you can fit it into your busy lifestyle?
Maybe you're looking at getting a certification so you can get some clients of your own and not have to work for someone else as much anymore.
Or you just want to make a little more money on the side to save so you can travel a little more or buy that fun toy (like a boat 😉 ) but you only have so many hours in a day and don't want to cause more stress for yourself.
I know how it can feel. There's so much you have to do already in your day-to-day living that adding another obligation immediately makes you begin to feel overwhelmed before you even begin!
Keep in mind we all have the same amount of hours in a day. So how do some get a ton accomplished while the rest of us sit wondering how the heck they fit it all in?
Let's examine some ways to make it work without all the overwhelm and stress:
Find a Good Hideaway
Find a little nook or cranny you can put yourself in that minimizes distractions and feels comfortable. You can save yourself time by not pursuing every distraction that comes your way and you can spend that time more wisely.
In my house, I actually set up shop in the loft. It wasn't the ideal place for a mini-office because there were minimal electrical outlets and light. It was, however, the perfect place to keep the dogs away and the occassional guests at the door from seeing if I was home or not.
The other nice thing was that the location was not convenient to get to the kitchen for the occassional snack or making of meals on the fly for anyone else that was around. Imagine how much time you could save if you weren't always cooking!
I also couldn't see the TV so that didn't distract me either if someone else in the house was watching it. You'd be surprised how time flies when you get sucked in to a news story or a random episode of something you've already watched.
If you don't have a spot to close yourself off from others, like me now that I live on a boat, you can chose a time to work when others are not there or they are sleeping.
I am a morning person, so I find the perfect time to work is early when no one else is awake. If you're more of a night person, than you could pick an hour or two when others have called it a day.
If others are up and about, you can put some ear buds in and listen to some inspiring music to help you concentrate.
Anyway you cut it, do what you can to keep the distractions to an absolute minimum so you can use what little time you have available as efficiently as possible.
Use the Pomodoro Technique
What in the world is the Pomodoro Technique?
I ran across this years ago when searching for a way to get more done without burning out. My job at the time consisted of creating a lot of reports, training presentations and sales proposals. Each task took time with deadlines that I needed to meet. I found if I spent too much time on one project, I always felt too burnt out to move onto the next one.
Using the Pomodoro technique makes it easy to plan out the day and fit in all the projects on your plate.
It's really simple! You work 25 minutes at a time and take 5 minute breaks so your mind stays fresh and your body doesn't tense up too much.
This Forbes article does a really good job of explaining in depth how this technique keeps you focused on the task at hand and keeps distractions at bay.
Even as I sit here writing this blog, I was about to get up to go do something but realized the timer had not gone off yet. So I stayed on task, writing until the buzzer rang.
The amount of clarity and focus you get because you don't have to concern yourself with anything else popping into your head is amazing!
Plus, it's only 25 minute blocks so you're not panicking that time will slip away and you may forget to do something else before you have to get ready for work, or get whisked away by dinner plans.
You'll also be amazed by how much better you feel at the end of the day if you use some of those 5 minute breaks to do a little stretching and walking around.
The nice thing about this is you can start using the technique immediately to test it out and see how it helps your productivity!
Turn off the TV
It takes some will power but you may just have to say goodbye to the TV series binge watching for a while.
When researching how many hours the average person watches TV in a day, I was astounded. On Quora, the feedback was mostly that people leave the TV on all day!
A few said their actual watching time was 1-2 hours per day. Others said 3 hours and a couple even said 6 or more!
Wow! Let's say your dream certification course was around 30 hours of self learning. At one hour a day, that's done in a month.
If you spent 2 hours a day on building your dream job, which is the minimum time recommended by the program I joined, you could be replacing your regular sucking-the-life-out-of-you job in a year or even less.
Now I'm no angel when it comes to TV watching myself, don't get me wrong. I turn it on to keep me company while I make dinner and sit down to eat right in front of it. That inevitably turns into an hour or more of vegging in front of whatever is on and letting my dinner digest (at least that's how I justify it).
But I often think what if I didn't? How much better would I feel about myself if I worked on moving closer to my dreams instead?
I'd likely sleep better and have more energy to keep plugging away at my ideal lifestyle. You know the one, with the perfect house, the perfect health and the perfect work.
That dream does take some effort though. The ideal lifestyle doesn't just fall in your lap, especially not while you're watching TV!
Leverage other people's knowledge
When it comes to creating a dream business, it can take a long time to figure out how to make it work. Even if it's something you've already been doing for some time, going out on your own still has a large learning curve.
Now for an online business that gives you the freedom of time and location you dream of, there are many options to choose from. Not only do you have choices of a business model, you also have an enormous amount of choices on courses to take to learn how to do it well.
Sometimes you need help deciding which one suites you best. How do you even know what you need? Which ones will be worth your time, effort and money?
Believe me, I've been going at this for 4 years now. There have been a lot of training courses I've taken, some useful and some just an outright waste of my time.
Through it all, if there's anything worth sharing with you, it would be that what you really want is to be spending less time learning and more time doing!
That's where leveraging other people's knowledge comes into play. Instead of a course that takes a week, or even 10 weeks, I choose programs. Ones that keep going for as long as I decide to use them and have a community of other like-minded people who I can mastermind with regularly. Also, if there are coaches to lead you through challenging times, that's even better.
Talking to others that have gone through what you're going through gives you quick and worthy insight into experiences they've had that may take you months or even years to run across yourself.
Lastly, they may have already tried several ways to overcome challenges and know the best route to take so you don't have to try multiple ones yourself.
Imagine the amount of time that could save you!
Earn while you learn
There is, of course, still learning involved even if you are leveraging other's knowledge. Learning does take time and time is money which most of us don't have to waste either, especially in these uncertain times.
So my last tip would be to find a job out there doing what you want to be doing so you earn while you learn.
I've tried many different jobs. I really wanted to learn how to connect to shoppers as a retailer so I went to work for a retail store selling active women's wear. Since that's my style anyway it was the perfect store for me.
It was fun for a while but it also taught me a lot about the retail business, which was priceless knowledge in helping me choose my own business model.
Then I tried working for a digital marketing company so I could get a better understanding of how it works on a day-to-day basis. That showed me a lot of the options that were out there as possible new careers, which I figured out really weren't for me.
I also worked as a social media manager to get an idea of what does or does not work on different platforms. This experience taught me how to become a more efficient content creator too.
All of these jobs killed two birds with one stone. I thankfully was earning in order to pay some bills while I was learning how to create my dream online business that can be fulfilling enough to last the rest of my lifetime.
Bottom line, we all have the same amount of hours in a day. If you're feeling like you just don't have the time to make your dream a reality, there are choices you have to make time work on your side.
If you're anything like me, you're probably feeling like time is ticking away rapidly and there's not much more to waste. You want to settle on something that will work inside your dream lifestyle and that could last the rest of your life.
For me, that choice has become clear. It's building a business around being myself so while I'm working I'm also doing things I love to do. This choice also gives me that opportunity to earn while I learn, saving me money and time!