How a Busy Newbie Makes the Time!
One of my top goals with joining WA was to engage with the community here as much as possible. Help where I can, while learning everything I can. And in my short start - it's been invaluable. I have quite a few notes building up just from little tidbits I glean while engaging in the comments here at WA. I've also noticed a motif amonst many new members.
They state they are dedicated, but how do I do this and make money now. Or, I'm dedicated but I have no time.
Making time work for you has a learning curve for most people who have not worked for themselves, and based on my experience as a small business consultant, many people who do work for themselves still struggle with it. And that's OK!
How I Do It
I have an MBA in Project Management. I was a high volume Proposal Manager and still consult in this arena. These are trades which revolve around the concept: time is money. But really; it should be: time is valuable and value is not only monetary. Every resource has value, as does every minute. Defining the value of the resource, helps to align them with the right time and the correct tasks to maximize value.
For you, as your own boss, you are a resource, and you have the power to define your time. Start by recording your day as you go through. Every single minute. Don't script it or change it more than you normally would. "Cheating" will give you the same accuracy of results as when a nutritionist asks you for a food log and you eat the healthiest you ever have in your life for 24 hours.
Be Yourself. It will help you to define the value of your time.
At this stage, you aren't looking to get quicker or more efficient at anything you are doing; you are just defining your time and making it start working for you.
Now, as you look at your day, you need to first highlight the aspects of your day that make you feel great; fulfilled, happy - whatever is your personal IDEAL way to feel. Put stars by those bits of time.
Next, put upward arrows to the parts of your day required to fulfill basic human needs. Food, shelter, etc. If you got bills to pay, and you have a job paying them today, don't quit your day job! I have worked with A LOT of business owners. Unless you have 6 months minimum of savings to pay all of your bills plus a 10% windfall, don't quit your job to pursue another venture. Instead, plan to replace valuable time as your income from your new venture increases or as you are able to reduce your expenses. Time is valuable, and sometimes that value is the money to meet your basic needs.
Now, we are going to put smiley faces next to our static obligations. Static obligations are things which don't necessary fit into the first two categories, but you are responsible for them, and today, you need to do them. These things often contribute to the first two categories.
For example, picking kids up from school would be a static obligation. Now, is carline fulfilling? No. Does it help me pay required bills? Nope. Does picking up my children mean they don't have to take a bus, get home earlier, and ultimately I get to spend more quality time with them (a Fulfillment for me), YES. Static obligations might also be things like chores.
This is one area where you are going to define it with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 8 hours. If you are sleeping more than 9 hours, you need to determine why - nothing wrong with a lie-in one or two days a week, but studies show there is a such thing as too much sleep. So, based on your own personal needs pick a spot on the scale (6-8) and schedule it in your day. Shade it. If it overlaps with other time slots, write those items off to the side; only if they fall into one of the above categories (Binge watching Netflix til 2 am might disappear).
Tip: My boyfriend works remote for a software company. He works scheduled hours and is a night owl. He gets his 8 hours a day (that's his sleep need) by sleeping 7 hours at night, and using his lunch for a 1-hour nap. vary my sleep from 6 hours 4 nights a week, 7 hours 2 night a week, and an 8-hour lie-in on Sundays. Do what works for you within your needs.
When you reach the end, what you have left will vary significantly based on your personal lifestyle. But this is where you find your affiliate marketing time.
This time often includes things like "Internet," "TV," XYZ activity you do from some external influence, even though it doesn't fulfill you, meet a need, and isn't required. What you do here is personal. I am not saying to get rid of all of your TV or Internet Rabbit holes.
When you establish what is most valuable, and you schedule your time for your website(s), that time holds precedent value. After you schedule your WA time, (I put a leaf next to them to signify growth), then you put The Rest back in where it fits.
A Newbie Schedule
This is a summary of a piece of a methodology I use personally and in practice. I know it works, and I hope it will help you. Now, I am a WA newbie too. So I will share with you my Wednesday and Thursday. I've marked activities as (F - Fulfillment, BN - Basic Needs, SO - Static Obligation, S - Sleep, R - The Rest, WA - Wealthy Affiliate/Affiliate Marketing)
- Wednesday: (Please note that anytime I am traveling, I am listening to Audiobooks - usually fiction, I usually "read" nonfiction history, I schedule client calls during carline if I need computer or often while driving if just statuses. I often work on my laptop in carline).
- S - Awake: 545 (Goal for 1145 to bed the night before)
- SO - Inbox Clearing: 545-600
- SO- Put in Laundry, Put away dishes from dishwasher, Shower/Get Dressed: 600-630 (I don't wear makeup or do my hair unless I am client facing or going on a date)
- F - Help Kids Ready for School, Eat Breakfast, Get Out the Door, Engage with Kids: 630-730
- SO - Kids DropOff (4 kids at 3 schools) and back home: 730-850
- F - Read: 850-930 (that's right, reading for fun before I work; If I have an urgent project, I skip this or save for later)
- BN - Client Work: 930-1230
- BN/R/WA - Lunch Break/Internet (WA): 1230-115
- SO - Pick Up Kids: 115-245
- F - Homework/Afternoon Chores/Time with Kids: 245-415
- SO - Take Kids to Dads/Go To Partners House: 430-600
- R/WA - Dinner/Blog Research: 600-700
- F - TV/Games with Partner: 700-930
- BN - Client Projects (if needed): 930-1030
- WA - WA/Website: 1030-100 or 130
- S - Sleep: 130
- S- Awake: 730
- SO - Emails/Rush Out the Door: 730-745 (yep, I literally roll outta bed and go)
- BN/SO - Go Home/Chores/Shower: 745-900
- BN - Client Work: 930-115 (I work through the lunch and only get to WA if I have time)
- SO - Pick Up Kids: 115-245
- F - Homework (Kids)/Time with Kids: 245-345
- BN/WA - Work while they Play (Client Work if needed otherwise WA): 345-445
- R/BN - Make Dinner/Eat: 445-545 (I often start or prep dinner in advance)
- F - Park with Kids: 545-630
- F - Ready Kids for Bed/Time with Kids: 630-730
- WA - Work while they Play (WA): 730-815
- F - Storytime/Bedtime: 815-830
- BN - Client Work (if needed): 830-930
- WA - WA: 930-1200
There are time when the client work really ramps up, and my weekend schedule as my kids are often not with me during the weekend - sad, :-( - I will usually get in 6-8 hours of work on each weekend day, starting when I get up.
So, am I spending 40 hours a week working on WA? No. I do work about 30-40 hours a week for clients. And this is really focused working hours. 30 hours working as a consultant from home, is much different from in a corporate landscape, but that's a topic for another day, maybe. :-)
Before anyone chimes in and says they wish they didn't have to work a 9-5 - I've done it. And I started my consulting practice while I shifted away from corporate America. I've lived the advice, and feel your frustration. I chose two random days, and these are guidelines; My days fluctuate based on need-to-dos. But the guideline keeps my life in perspective, and enables me to adjust to make room for growth, new opportunities for fulfillment, and new ventures.
Time is a Valuable Resource and So Are YOU!!