Not many people know I have a day job, which is somewhat by design. I don’t feel that talking about my day job adds much to the aims of Write Right. I have a day job; it’s in marketing; it’s what I do and where I am from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. every Monday through Friday.
I mention it now because it’s a relatable detail for people who are trying to go full-time with something other than what they currently do from 8 – 5 or 9 – 5 or any other sort of time frame such as night shifts. For me, the detail has meant trying to be more realistic with my time and goals and an understanding that slow and steady, perhaps with some different work experience, is the way to move toward what has become my goal: working full-time as Write Right and developing it into something much larger than just myself.
How do I get things done when I work all day and am trying to build a side business? I won’t share everything I do – it would take a very, very long time – but I’ll offer some insights I have.
- Plan big projects. Once I have my big project in mind or have one assigned by a client, I write down all the tasks associated with it. What information do I need to gather? What writing do I need to compile? What art might I need? Do I have to do any writing? How many hours do I expect the work to take? I prepare, prepare, prepare before I do.
- Plan the mundane. I not only plan my big projects, but I also plan the mundane. That is, I write down when I need to go to the grocery story, and I schedule when I plan to clean my house, pay certain bills, do laundry, and mow the lawn. I write down those things so that I don’t have to think about them, so that they don’t distract me from the larger and ostensibly more important projects.
- Set aside time for fun. I don’t have a television, but I have a few shows I sometimes try to catch online, so I set aside time for that. Going to a movie? Same thing. Going salsa dancing or having a board game night or even regularly attending CrossFit? All those things are incorporated into my schedule so that I can allot my time as best I can, where I can.
- Take time to rest. It is very, very hard for me to rest, but I try my best. Sundays usually are my rest days. If I need to sleep late, I do (I’ve quit worrying about being late to church as much I can.). I go to church. If I run into friends at church, I talk with them. I read and write poetry. I read a book. I avoid the internet; actually, I avoid my laptop almost altogether except to write my poem or anything else that comes to mind. I take a nap if I so choose. I talk with my mom or with friends.
- Allow for flexibility. I often say that my penchant for planning two to three weeks in advance gives me the ability to be flexible. It may be true. What I do know is true is that life happens. An unexpected doctor appointment comes up. A client needs to move a deadline for whatever reason. A relationship blooms or dies. A friend asks for a guest post. I could say “no” to those things – with the exception of the doctor and client deadlines – but I’ve reached a point in my life where relationships are more important. I choose to focus on them.
How do you get things done when you have multiple responsibilities pulling you every which-way?
Image: Stephen Ticehurst (BY NC 2.0)