Twenty-four hours often doesn’t feel like enough time to do everything you need to do—especially when you ‘re building up your new copywriting career. So, short of bending the rules of time, what’s a person to do? Maximize what you’ve got. Read on…
Today’s question comes from Anders T. who asks, “Probably like the rest of the world, I’m so busy all the time that I feel like I’m not devoting enough time to building my business. Are there any tips you can offer for…adding five more hours to the day?”
While I can’t add extra time into the day (yet…I’m working on it), I can offer you some suggestions for maximizing your time. A lot of time management coaches will tell you to put everything on your To Do list in three boxes: do, dump (don’t do it; cross it off you list), or delegate. I can’t help you with doing or dumping your tasks, but I do have some advice for delegating.
The time you spend building your business and/or working on copy projects for clients is very valuable. You can probably calculate its literal worth, but it also has worth for the relationships it builds and the work it many help you get in the future. So the key to maximizing your time is to spend more time on these tasks and less on tasks that are necessary, but that don’t earn you anything now or in the future.
What kind of tasks am I talking about? Tasks like grocery shopping, housecleaning, chauffeuring the kids to soccer practice, and that sort of thing. (Note: quality time with your kids is important, but driving them somewhere probably doesn’t count as quality time for most families.)
1. If it can be done online, do it online.
Pay your bills online, schedule appointments online, purchase things online—it all goes much faster online than doing it in person. If you need to purchase something and you don’t need it immediately, might I recommend a little site called Amazon? You’ll probably get it at a discount and you’ll get it delivered right to your door. (And if you have Amazon Prime, 2-day shipping is free.) Coffee filters, swim trunks, live ladybugs (really): There’s very little you can’t get online.
2. Get over the guilt.
I know a lot of people feel guilty about hiring house cleaners, thinking that if they’re able to do it themselves, they should. Well, get over it. If you can pay someone $30 an hour to clean your house and you can use that same time to earn $50 you come out ahead—and with a clean house.
3. Let a stranger do it for you.
With sites like Instacart (a personal favorite) for same-day grocery delivery, TaskRabbit for all kinds of personal tasks like Ikea furniture-building and errand-running, and Fancy Hands or Zirtual (among others) for all kinds of virtual personal assistant tasks, there are a plethora of ways to get things done without doing it yourself. A stranger can pick out just as nice of a zucchini as you can—let them do it and continue with your work.
4. Go old-school.
If driving or chauffeuring or even commuting is on your agenda, start up a good old fashioned carpool. Share the task of driving the kids with other parents and you can spend more time on your work while knowing they’re still getting to dance class. If you carpool for your commute, you can get in some valuable work time while someone else drives.
5. Make a change as soon as you notice a struggle.
Just when you start to find that cleaning your house, setting up your new printer, getting groceries or anything else like that is exactly the time to find a way to delegate it. The longer you wait to get it off your shoulders, the more it will weigh on your mind—and you need that clever and creative mind to be fresh for writing copy. Don’t wait until you’re burned out to get help. Treat your career with respect and delegate what you can as soon as you’re able.
Your turn! Do you have any delegation tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below!