After your 9 to 5, you still have to make dinner, clean up and put the kids to bed. After all that, you’re probably too exhausted to work on your blog. If your day is already so full just trying to juggle everything, how on earth do you find the time or energy to even build anything online?
I’ve been asked this question a lot and here are some of the things I practice that really help me stretch time and get traction on things that matter to me.
Get enough sleep
Make sure you get enough sleep. I can’t stress this enough. When you’re well-rested, you think clearer, you make better decisions that will end up save you time. When you’re sleep deprived, every area of your life will suffer, let alone building a thriving business.
I’ve experimented with nights where I will go to sleep at 9:30 pm when I know my body needs the extra rest. The first day I will wake up at 7am which is my normal wake time for my kids (which is too late for any morning routine for myself). The second day, I will start to wake up earlier as my body is getting the rest it needs (6 am without an alarm, which gives me an hr of morning routine) and the third day, I start to naturally wake up at 5am (my preferred wake time for meditation, journaling etc). It’s an amazing feeling when you’ve had enough sleep. You have more patience with people around you, especially your kids.
Communicate your desire clearly
Make it very clear what your desire is for your business to your husband and other loved ones. For an example, using statements like “I’m hoping to do this thing online.” doesn’t sound confident and rather vague. People won’t take you seriously. However, if you tell your husband, “For the next 6 months, I’ll be working on building a [X online business] that will generate [ideal income].”, he will take you more seriously. It’s a clear goal stated with confidence. You’re communicating clearly what you want. Next step would be to communicate how you’ll need him to support you. For example, it might be that “…2 nights a week I will be working on my blog and every other Sunday mornings, I will need 2 hours of quiet time to work.”
You can’t do everything
Get over the myth that work life balance exists. Perhaps it exists if you only have a day job and a family. It really doesn’t when you want to build something meaningful on the side. Instead, I like to look at life as having ebbs and flows. Some days you really have everything together – kitchen is clean, laundry is done, everything look in its place. Most days – laundry is always a pile on the floor. Stack of dishes on the kitchen counter. And that is OKAY.
I’ve personally gone from being really annoyed that I can’t seem to wrangle our laundry to making peace that if it’s been a few weeks that our laundry is piling up and we just haven’t had the time to fold and put them away, that’s actually okay. It doesn’t mean I’m failing or am a bad mother. I’m choosing to spend my time on things that are important to me.
There’s no one to judge or please. And if there’s your mother or that judge-y friend that’s visiting – hide your laundry. That’s what I do! My kids aren’t complaining. They have clean clothes to wear. Some kids don’t even have clothes. So by all accounts, they are very lucky. All they want is my time and presence.
Really understand and accept that you can’t do everything. Focus on the most important and impactful. Do that well and consistently, over time it will compound.
This one is so important that it probably deserves a whole book on its own. Know deep inside that you deserve the success you want and it will happen. Act as if you are already there. Think and speak like you are already successful. Don’t doubt and don’t overthink it.
I know it’s easy to say and very difficult to do. But doubting yourself, second guessing and going back and forth only make things worse for your business. Do it anyway even if you can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I like to imagine it like a seed in the soil I’m waiting to sprout. I’m consistently giving it the care and attention but nothing is quite happening on the surface. But deep beneath the soil, it is starting to sprout, ever so slowly. It is getting all the nutrients it needs (the foundation) before it breaks through the soil and grow.
Give it time
Like the seed that is growing, give it time. Give yourself time to get used to the idea that you are already successful. Give yourself time to get used to blogging consistently and sharing your ideas on social media. Everything in nature takes time to grow. Babies take time to be fully form before they are born but we expect success to be overnight. If we keep going back and forth with our belief that we will be successful, our business will be going back and forth too.
Be ok with going slow
This is something I’m learning myself as well. When I’m in the zone, it’s hard to slow down or I get frustrated when things are not happening faster. All I want to do is to go, go go and get things done quick.
One summer afternoon, I was siting on the dock watching my 5 year old, kayaking for the first time by the shore. Initially, she tried to paddle really fast. Her oars were skimming the surface of the water and going fast left and right. Even though her arms were going fast, she wasn’t really moving anywhere. And when we coached her to put her oars deeper into the water which seemingly slowed her down, she started taking off.
Side note – this is why sometimes working with a coach, you wonder why you’re doing things that seems to slow you down. That’s because to “take off” you need to dig deeper and slow down.
Over to you:
Which of the techniques above resonate with you most? Which one will you try first?