If your online business hasn’t replaced your full-time income yet, how can you juggle both working and running a business effectively? The secret lies in good time (and energy) management, along with outsourcing all non-essential functions.
Time and Energy Management
If you’re working from 9 to 5, that means you’ve still got a good five+ hours you could work on your business if you could muster the energy. But between a social life, grocery shopping and other chores, chances are working an additional five hours a day is unrealistic.
A much more realistic goal is to shoot for working at least two hours a day on your business. The key is consistency rather than long periods of hard work at once. My favorite quote is “Slow and steady wins the ace” and it’s so true in this case.
Managing burnout is a key factor to managing your energy. Don’t work too hard that you burn yourself out energetically or emotionally, no matter how excited you feel about your projects at the present moment.
Try experimenting with various time management systems, such as the Pomodoro system or the Getting Things Done (GTD) system. Both of these systems, as well as others, can help you increase your efficiency with the time that you spend on your projects. It can also help you do your full-time work more effectively.
Outsourcing All Non-Essential Functions
In the beginning, it might not make sense to outsource much of your business. Unless your business is bringing in a profit, it can be hard to justify spending money on outsourcing tasks that you could do yourself.
However, once the business is bringing in revenue, spending it on removing yourself from the equation is often a very good investment. This is especially true if yourpersonal bandwidth is limited because of your full-time job. Since you have such a limited amount of time you can spend on your business, it’s crucial that all the time you spend there is spent on the highest leverage tasks.
What can you outsource? In “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferris advocates outsourcing just about everything: checking email, answering phone calls, booking flights and just about everything else in your personal life and your business life. He does this through hiring a personal assistant in India, which costs about $3 an hour, give or take a dollar.
(Though I loved his book and thought it was good ‘in theory’ I would suggest going with a personal virtual assistant (VA) who specializes in calendar management.)
This leaves you with two hours a day to just manage projects, marketing your business, direct key activities and do the things that actually make your business money, rather than menial tasks that could be done by someone else.
In short, the two most important things to running a business while working a full-time job is to :
- learn how to manage your own time and energy so you can work consistently without burning out,
- learning how to unload all the tasks that can be done by anyone else.
About the Pomodoro System: http://ryanwaggoner.com/2008/12/the-pomodoro-technique/
More about Getting Things Done System: http://www.davidco.com/about-gtd
Find a Virtual Assistant: http://www.ivaa.org