Think about what it takes to create a holiday meal for your family.
- How many people are coming?
- What will you serve?
- How will the table look?
- What recipes do you need?
- What ingredients do you have on hand?
- What ingredients must you buy?
- How much time will it take to cook everything?
Once you’ve answered all the questions, you have a blueprint in front of you to follow, and you’ll quickly have your completed dinner in no time. Everyone will rave about how it looked and tasted … you’ll be the hero!
Like planning a holiday feast, a lifestyle business takes a similar amount of planning and production. Yet while most people understand what to do for cooking a holiday meal, they freeze up when it comes to planning a lifestyle business. Especially when so much is happening in your life already.
Starting With Your Hours
To plan a holiday meal, you first have to evaluate what you have and what you’ll need.
To plan a lifestyle business, it requires similar structure.
The most common reason people don’t start the process is they always use the excuse “I have no time.” Yet time is easy to find when you structure it. Don’t give yourself unlimited time – in reality less time is more in the beginning.
Remember when you had an assignment in school? Did you work on it the minute you got home … or did you procrastinate until the day before? You procrastinated, right? We all do it.
But in some cases, procrastination leads to efficiency. When you worked on deadline, you knew it had to be done. You put everything else aside and put all of your focus where it belonged.
Growing a lifestyle business can work the same way.
The more time you give yourself, the less gets done. Lets say you give yourself one day a week to work on it. 8 hours of time to spend working on what matters most. Chances are that 8 hour period comes and gos, and the only thing you have to say about it is “where did the time go?”
That’s because it’s easy to get lost in the minutia of activities that simply don’t matter. You so a little research, which leads to a little online surfing, and pretty soon your day is over and you aren’t anywhere closer to accomplishing what you set out to do.
In the beginning, work in short bursts instead. One hour per evening during the week can sometimes make you much more efficient that allotting an entire day or two instead. Because smaller time slots make you more productive. You don’t start out with a huge list of to-do’s. Instead, you focus in on what needs to be done right now.
- Finish the proof and send it into the printers.
- Finish the blog post and post it on my blog, Twitter and Facebook.
- Download the form for my tax ID number and fill it out and return it.
Sounds great, but what if one task takes longer than the time allotted?
In many cases it will. Especially if you are only working one hour per evening. But once you get started, it’s easier to put things on your list to finish.
For instance, when I first started writing blog posts, one 400 word post could take me several hours. Now I can write over 800 words, including editing time, in well under an hour, depending on the topic.
I’ve refined my skills and know exactly what I need to do.
The same applies to you.
You will refine your skills over time, especially on the things you do over and over again. That comes naturally. Doing the same thing again and again makes you approach it differently over time, and quickens up the process. You figure out the shortcuts and apply tips that help you do things better.
And overall, you’ll be putting one foot in front of the other, accomplishing task after task … and they really add up over time.
Compare that to “I’ll start on my business idea when I find the time.”
Its easy to see why the 5 hour a week plan can really add up.
Now its your turn. You don’t need to find a ton of time every week to accomplish your goals. Just shoot for 1 hour a day in the beginning. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.