Many people today harbor a dream of starting a business. The idea of a “side hustle” has captured the imagination of those working a traditional job. The Flying Elephant team is going even further to show how to make that “side hustle" purposeful!
Yet, for every person who launches a purposeful hustle from their garage or bedroom, there are dozens of others who only dream of doing so. Those who only dream cite the problem of not having enough time to work on yet another project.
Indeed, when you think of the obligations outside of work that you have -- commuting, taking care of children, housework, being involved in church or community activities -- it does seem like there is no time for an extra project. How does someone already going 24/7 make time to hustle?
The fact is that you do have the time to make your dreams happen. You just have to commit to actually launching your dream.
Get Clear on Your Objective
What is your Purpose?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are you uniquely positioned to do?
- What problem do you want to SOLVE?
The first thing you need to do when deciding to add another project into your already busy life is to know why you are doing it. If the reason is clear and persuasive enough to you, you will be motivated to continue even when you are tired, want to do something else, or come up with another excuse.
Your “Free” Time
The reason you feel you have no time to do something new is that you already are filling all 24 hours of the day with something -- even if what you are doing is not satisfactory. A new project will require you to replace what you are doing in those hours with a new activity.
So, finding the time to HUSTLE with PURPOSE starts with acknowledging that you are going to substitute what you are doing now with your new project. Where can you find the time? Consider the following:
- Your Morning “Magic” Hour - Many entrepreneurs launch their businesses by getting up an hour earlier and devoting it to their enterprise.
- Lunch Hour - If you work a typical office job, you probably are given a lunch hour. Most workers use this time to talk to friends, go to a fast food restaurant, or run errands. The nice thing about the lunch hour is that it comes at a designated time. So, devoting the hour to launching your business can fit neatly into your day. The lunch hour option is also helpful for those whose new businesses require phone outreach during the day.
- Vacation Time - Fewer than half of all Americans take all of the vacation time their companies offer. If you have vacation days that you’re not planning to use for a trip, consider taking that time off anyway and using it to launch your business. That will give you several uninterrupted days to make big progress on the project.
- Holidays - Most people have some free time during national holidays. This is why big sports games and major sales at stores are scheduled around people’s days off. Why not take the day after Thanksgiving or your Christmas Eve half day to work on time-intensive tasks for your purposeful hustle?
- Dual-Use Time - There are many tasks in our daily lives that take up time, but not our full attention. For instance, when you are commuting to work, could you listen to a podcast that strengthens the skills you need for your business? When you’re cooking the family dinner, could you make some phone calls while your casserole is baking? When you have to visit the doctor, could you take a small project to work on during the inevitable wait in the lobby?
- “Wasted Time” - Even very busy people will admit there are times when they default to non-productive activities. The average American adult watches four hours of television per day and spends almost three hours on social media daily. While there may be activities that you really want to do, say, watch Game of Thrones, the reality is much of our time in front of the TV or on the computer is spent in “default mode.” You reach for the remote by habit rather than choice.
- Learn to Say “No” - Are you currently spending time on activities for someone else and resenting it? Many people could free up the time for a side hustle by learning to say “no” when asked to do things. This does not mean shirking all work or community duties, but it does mean that you do not have to take on additional work that is not connected to your purpose. That gives you time to work on things that you do care about -- like your purposeful hustle. Additionally, as an entrepreneur, saying “no” (to employees, to salespeople, to customers) is part of the job, so saying no to the people already in your life is actually good practice for the future.
Do What Only You Can Do
When you’re clear on what you want to do and you’ve carved out the hours to do it, you probably still won’t have time to do everything. That’s great! You should spend the precious hours you work on your business on things that only you can do.
You bring a unique genius to your project, but that does not mean you have to do everything. If you want to start a coaching business, the curriculum and consultations should come from you. The website design doesn’t have to.
In this day and age, there are professionals who are happy to work for you on a contractual basis. You can find people to do your bookkeeping, design, writing, and translations online. Make use of the resources that the internet has made available.
On that same note, are their time-consuming low-value activities in your normal life that someone else could do? If you bring in a housekeeper once a week, you suddenly have two hours to spend on your purposeful hustle. If a neighborhood kid mows your lawn twice a month, you now have free time on a Saturday to work on your project.
Every CEO Has the Same 24 Hours
While the things that fill your day are unique to you, it’s helpful to remember that we are all given the same amount of time each day. That means everyone who has ever succeeded in following their purpose was working with the same constraints. Finding the time to work on a new project is not easy, but others have done it before, and you can too!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.