If part of your strategy to improve your finances includes bringing in some extra money, then you’ve surely asked yourself, “when am I going to find time to do this?”
Our lives aren’t getting any easier. We have our regular jobs, our families, our friends, and not to mention all that social network time we have to work in. We really are expected to do more with less time.
That’s why I think more and more each day that it’s going to be the people who can manage their time effectively, and curate the vast amount of information coming in, who will be able to get ahead in the future. Here are some strategies for finding time in your day for extra income earning activities:
Extra Money the Easy Way
Seek out income producing activities that don’t take you out of your normal routine. Is there something you can do on your commute to work? I know a podcaster who recorded his now popular online podcast while on his daily commute. He would get in his car, press record, and he’d have a 30 minute show produced when he got to work.
In this recent video by Farnoosh Torabi, she explains how you can rent out your car to make easy money when you’re not using it. She also mentions Airbnb.com (rent out your home/apartment) and mystery shopping, which you guys know I’ve tackled here before.
These are just examples though. You know your schedule or routine. What’s something you could do “on your way” so that you could bring in some extra cash?
The “Crushing-It” Hours
I have to give credit to GaryVee for this term. But let’s be honest. Many of us were crushing-it long before he said it.
What is crushing-it? To me, it’s doing whatever it takes to find time to grow your side income, land your dream job, or build your small business, etc. With the average American person, this involves giving up your TV time at night to work on what it is that you love.
Most of us work at our day jobs till 5 or 6. Then we spend a few hours with the wife and kids at dinner and bedtime. Then we normally veg out for at least 2 hours. Some even more. 8pm to 12pm is primarily when I built PT Money.
If you’re not already using those hours to build something you love, then start taking advantage of them. Turn off the TV, log out of Facebook and get cracking on your ideas.
Downsize Your Day Job
If your day job is leaving you little time to explore other income producing activities, then consider reducing your involvement there. Back in 2007 I made the conscious decision to leave a management position to take a job with fewer responsibilities and a bit more pay.
No brainer, right? Well, some people thought it was foolish to reduce my title like that, especially since there were no guarantees of moving up in my new job. But I knew I would be happier with more free time and less stress.
Plus, and here’s the kicker, I had time to start a side project. The same month I took that new job I started PT Money. I didn’t waste the free time on more TV or video games (Well, maybe I did for a little while. Darn you, CIV3.).
I used it to build a second income. One that I was passionate about, and one that eventually turned into a full time business.
Kids? Invest in Daycare
I’m all about investing in your kids. But I don’t see anything wrong with outsourcing this duty a couple of hours a day so that you can spend some time creating. The trouble with this, of course, is that you need to be making enough money to justify the expense, right?
My advice is to wait until you’ve found what it is you want to do using free time at night (I know it’s not much, Moms. But I bet you’ve got some Facebook time you could give up). Then, once the ball starts rolling and you’re producing, start shifting some of your workload to the day and find an inexpensive, reliable place to take care of your kids for a couple of hours.
Work as a Team
If you’ve got a spouse or significant other, enlist them to help out in the process. Having them on board (at least in a supportive role) will serve two purposes. For one, you’ll have their buy-in for all the leisure time you’ll be spending away. You might even convince them to give up their down time as well.
Second, you’ll be able to do much more if you’re using both skill sets and natural abilities. I think of Steve Chou, who I interviewed a few months ago. He and his wife built an online store together using their spare time. Steve handled a lot of the technical aspects, while his wife did much of the product work. Now they have a full-time business and his wife can stay at home with their kids.
If you’re making extra money on the side either through a business or through other methods, how do you find time to do it? How do you fit it all in?