One of the questions I get asked the most is how I manage my time. I love this question and it is often something I wonder about other people all the time.
So I'm going to break down for you what my ideal schedule looks like (and why you need one too!), and what an actual day in my life looked like in comparison.
What is an ideal schedule?
An ideal schedule is when you map out how your "ideal day" would go. I actually have an ideal schedule for my entire week since I utilize block scheduling, but before you start doing that, knowing exactly what time you have available in a single day is the best place to start.
Why do you need an ideal schedule?
When you sit down to work on your business, do you feel lost? Unsure of what to do? Waste precious time "researching" and "planning" instead of actual creating?
I know I've been a victim of that before.
And that's why an ideal schedule is vital to being effective and strategic with the limited time you have to work on your business!
If you're going to try to build and run a successful business while working a full-time job, being effective is crucial.
You need to look at your day, honestly, and see how you can fit it all in.
If you know you have to work 8 hours, commute for a total of an hour, workout for 30 minutes, and sleep for 8 hours, you've only got 6.5 hours left for that day. And that doesn't include any time for personal hygiene, eating, or relaxing.
By looking at your day objectively, you'll be able to see how many hours you can carve out for your business. And if you need more time, you'll have to sacrifice something in order to achieve it.
I'm all about big dreams, but when it comes to 24 hours, there's no fooling yourself!
How did I create my ideal schedule?
First, we need to make a list of what all you'd like to do on a daily basis during the week. Don't be too detailed, just think about what all has to done and list it out.
Here is my list:
- Full-time job - 8.5 hours
- Workout - 30 minutes
- Business - as much as possible...
- Dinner - 1 hour
- Unwind - 1 hour
- Get ready for work - 30 minutes
So pull up your Google Calendar or write it down the hours in a day on a piece of paper - whatever is easier for you. There's no right or wrong way as long as you're looking at approximately 24 hours.
Start by dropping in your full-time job. Most likely, you have standard working hours so you'll want to put that in your schedule first.
Now drop in everything else around it. Don't forget to include your commute, getting ready for work, getting ready for bed, and any other obligations you have on a daily basis.
I wanted to try to work out for 30 minutes every day and it seemed like the best way to do that was by doing it in the morning. I could try to do it after work, but that would cut into the valuable evening hours where I like to work on my business. So if I want to workout, this is my best bet.
You may have had some flexible areas like I did. I wanted to work on my business "as much as possible" in a day so I built out everything else first and tried to see where I could fit in the most hours while still getting a good night sleep.
I came up with the plan that on an ideal day, I'll be able to work 3 full hours on my business.
And that's how I mapped out my ideal schedule. By starting with the biggest parts of my day and arranging them to work the best with all the little things.
A real day in the life of a side hustler
Like I said, the above schedule is an ideal one. It doesn't happen every day. Sometimes I have fun plans with friends, other times my favorite TV show has the season finale, or sometimes I get sick. Life happens and it is important to give yourself a break and be flexible.
In order to show you what a real day in my life might look like on any random day, I decided to log what I did for a full day so you could see what happened in comparison to what I had hoped would happen.
6:13 AM - Overslept a little bit, so I just woke up and now I'm getting ready for my workout. Drinking some pre-workout so I can have more energy.
6:29 AM - Walking to the gym in my apartment complex so I can start my workout. Right now I'm doing Kayla Itsines's BBG. So challenging, but I love it!
7:14 AM - Heading back to my apartment to get ready for work. Running short on time, so I've got to hurry. Looks like I'm wearing a ponytail to work today!
7:46 AM - Time to say bye to my puppy and head to the office. Luckily, I live really close to where I work!
8:00 AM - I'm at my desk and start checking emails.
8:15 AM - 4:35 PM - Working coffee working coffee working.
4:35 PM - Leaving work and running a quick errand on the way home while I talk to my mom on the phone.
5:26 PM - I'm eating a frozen pizza for dinner tonight (fancy) but it is so yummy I am not the slightest bit embarrassed. Technically running a little behind on my ideal schedule, so I don't get to relax as much as I'd like.
6:00 PM - Time to head to my desk at home and start working. Tonight I don't have any client work that I'm doing, but instead focusing on writing some blog posts and working on getting the new website ready to launch. I'm listening to the "Dinner Lounge" playlist on Spotify while drinking a glass of red wine. I could get used to this whole "being my own boss" thing! ;)
9:23 PM - I should've been in bed for almost 30 minutes by now but I was on a roll, so I kept going anyways. Now I'm finally making myself stop (it is so hard sometimes!) to get ready for bed.
9:39 PM - I'm in bed and just started watching a TV show I recorded. I'm also cuddling with my dog Peaches, so life is great.
10:35 PM - Cutting myself off from watching any more TV and turning the lights off! I don't like silence, but I try not to sleep with the bright light of the TV any more, so I turn on the "Hypnotic Ocean Waves" playlist on Songza and try to sleep.
So now that you've seen my ideal schedule and a day in my real life, its your turn to figure out what your ideal schedule is! Remember, this is a flexible and fluid process. As your goals, life, and job change, so will your ideal schedule.
P.S. I'd love to see what your ideal schedule looks like! Drop it in the comments below so we can encourage one another and maybe feel a little more motivation to try to make our ideal schedules happen more often than not! :)