Many times those of us starting creative endeavors (starting a new business, writing a book, etc..) can only afford to do them while still at our day jobs. I mean, someone has to pay the bills, right? Plus there’s the cost of getting a new project up-and-running.
And in addition to setting aside time to work on your new project, you need to set aside time to work on the website it needs, the social media marketing it needs, the blogging it needs – and you need to sleep.
So, when people ask me how to juggle this in a limited amount of time, here’s my advice …
- Delegate When Possible: Sure, you *can* do everything, but at the end of the day it’s about the success of the project, not whether or not you did absolutely everything yourself. Delegation can be small things like ordering in dinner all the way up to hiring someone to manage your social media marketing for you. Spend a week and look at where your time goes. And make sure to notice that time “being lazy” isn’t necessarily wasted — that hour watching TV after dinner may just be what’s keeping you sane — but there may be places in your schedule where you can combine two activities into one, or temporarily pay someone else to do (like clean your house or bring your groceries) until your new project is off-the-ground. If you can find just 2 hours a week, that’s a substantial amount of time in which to get things done.
- Use Technology to Make it Easier: You may not know all of the ways technology can save you time, but there are numerous ways to save time with a little know how. For example, WordPress blogs can be scheduled in advance. So you can do all of your week’s blogging on a Sunday afternoon, scheduling posts to go live at various times straight through to the next Sunday. The same is true for posting to Facebook or Twitter — you can use a free application like HootSuite to schedule out your social media marketing. If your blog is integrated with your Facebook page (through NetworkedBlogs), each time one of your new blog posts publishes, it’ll automatically update your Facebook page without you lifting a finger. This way you can seem to be everywhere all the time, offering valuable information to your clients/customers, but working with a schedule that fits your life.
- Forget About the Row of Ducks: I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be organized, thoughtful & strategic when it comes to your new endeavor, but you don’t need to have every bell and whistle in play before you get started. Figure out a priority plan for yourself. If you don’t have time to devote to a blog right now, or even a full website, then just get a single landing page up there with your critical information on it and a way for people to get in touch with you (or join your mailing list). Not only does this allow you to get started in stages, but it also lets you adapt and learn as you go.
- Adapt Your Schedule: Similar to delegating, when analyzing your weekly schedule you may realize that by bringing your personal laptop to the office, then catching up on your new project in a local cafe with internet access during your lunch hour is possible. Or that getting up a half hour earlier gives you time over breakfast in the morning to get some emailing or writing in. Perhaps you can take public transportation to work rather than driving — leaving you time to read or write over coffee without worrying about traffic. What if you’re able to work-from-home on Fridays & use the time you would have used in your commute to get some project work done? You may need to be creative, but it *is* possible.
I’m not here to tell you it’s going to be easy, but I am here to tell you it’s worth it. And the skills you acquire while balancing a day job and a new endeavor will serve you well in the long term!