In addition to running my Content Marketing Agency, I also have a full-time job as a Software Engineer. Although managing a business and working a full-time job can feel really daunting, I have found a few hacks that allow me to seamlessly run a business and work full-time while still allowing some space to have a solid work-life balance. If you want to know some of my tips to running a business and working full-time keep reading.
- Plan out each week and each day
- Block out time
- Create degrees of separation between your business and your 9-5
- Set up systems
- Make some sacrifices and manage your time efficiently
Plan each week and then each day
Every Sunday I try to plan out what I plan on getting done for the week. I outline both my personal tasks, my business tasks, and my tasks for my 9-5. Once I’ve figured out what I want to get done that week, I map out what I want to do each day. It’s important that when you plan for each day you take into account all external factors that you may come up during the day like meetings, dinners, or other appointments you may have. It’s important that when thinking of your to-do list, you categorize all the things that are going on both professionally and personally because everything is connected to one another. Here’s a break down of how I plan for the week:
- Using my weekly planning template, I outline what are my good, better, and great goals for the week
- I then look at my running task list and mark what tasks I want to complete this week
- I then map each task to the day I want to complete them
- Repeat steps for personal life, and my 9-5
Block out time
Managing a business requires you to get work done. In order to get work done, it’s important that you block out time to actually get the work that you need to get done. When I get into a flow state of getting work done, I like to set a 35-45 min timer while I do work. I do this because it allows me to zero in my focus which helps me get a lot more done than if I just tried to knock things out without having the focused state. Depending on what you are trying to get done you can classify them as deep work or shallow work. Deep work are tasks that may not be able to be completed in one setting or require at least 3 hours to complete. These tasks are also tasks that I have to complete with little distraction such as, editing a YouTube video, creating a content plan, or writing code. Shallow work is something that requires not as much focus to complete and can be done potentially with little distractions if there are any. For more shallow work tasks, I’ll play a podcast and maybe set a timer for 20 mins so I can get it done. When you block out time to get your work done, you’re allowing for opportunity to really get some good focused work in which will help you manage your business a lot easier.
Create degrees of separation
Treat your business as a separate entity from your 9-5 jobs. That means, getting a separate laptop, separate software, etc that allows you to operate independently from your business. This not only legally protects you but it also allows you to separate your different work streams in your mind. In the times that I’ve tried to jump into something for my business and then jump into something outside of my business I find it really difficult to make the switch seamlessly. However, having my business stuff on one laptop and my work stuff on a different laptop allows me to create that separation which allows me to get work done both for my business and my job both efficiently and effectively.
Set up systems
Automations are key when it comes to running a business. When you have automated systems in place, it allows your business to run and be managed on autopilot without you having to do as much manual label. Having systems in place for your marketing, operations, and sales are really key to allow things to run smoothly and efficiently without you having to always be within your business.
In addition to saving time, systems can really help you see where you’re spending the most time. For example if you group the things that you need to get done as projects and relate those projects to specific areas of your business, if you’re keeping a digitally managed to-do list, you can see where you’re spending the most time and decide what you want to change if any. Learn ways how to streamline your business processes and workflows in this post.
Make some sacrifices
Managing a business does require you to make some sacrifices. Especially when you have a full-time job. For example, some of my weekends are spent indoors so that I can dive deep and focus on my business. My days are a lot longer as well because of the fact that I have obligations to my 9-5 job that doesn’t allow me to work on my business during the day. Sometimes when I’m going on a trip, I end up working on the flight because I want to finish up all the work so that I can truly enjoy my vacation which usually means paying for the wifi. These are the temporary sacrifices that you need to make that will no longer be an issue once your grow and scale your team and run your business. However, if you think that by quitting your 9-5 you’ll have more time for your business, you are going to sorely mistaken. Manage the time that you have now to manage your business even if it’s a little bit so that when you have more time you can do more a lot more efficiently.