Looking for ways to improve your side hustle but don’t have much time?
This article will show you a time hack that can make that happen by adding time back into your day (not literally, but it will feel like it!) and help you improve your side hustle.
Reclaim Unused Time for Your Business
As a working mom of little ones, it can feel like you have very little time to put toward your own business ideas.
What if I told you that there is a chunk of your day that you have been wasting that could’ve been used to help you pursue your business goals?
Ready for it? It’s your commute to and from work.
Yep. You read that right.
That dreaded commute during rush hour traffic that drives everyone crazy is actually one of your biggest assets that is likely being untapped.
Turn Frustration Into Productivity
If you’re like me, I would get so frustrated with having to sit in rush hour traffic.
Not just for the normal stress of crazy drivers thinking they are more important than others, but it can be really frustrating inching along the highway when you have so many things on your to-do list.
You’re already working full-time, and trying to get your own business off the ground is NOT easy.
What should’ve been a 30-minute drive to work would turn into a 1-1.5 hour commute.
The thought of losing that time that I could’ve used to work on my business used to eat me up so that by the time I got to work, I was already stressed and this would just alter my mindset for the rest of the day.
Wouldn’t you know it, when I actually started working from home full-time, rush hour actually became the thing I missed the most (weird huh?).
Now, I don’t actually miss crazy drivers, but I miss that time to myself.
Working from home means I rarely get that kind of time to just sit and reflect or to listen to a podcast and learn something.
I didn’t realize how much I missed this part of my day until recently when I went to visit family.
On our 5 hour drive there, I was so excited to be able to listen to podcasts and reflect on all of the different things going on in my life and business.
For me, my commute was about an hour each way. That was 2 hours a day that I was now losing by working from home.
Use Your Commute to Fuel Your Business
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For me, driving to work was my chance to learn more about my business niche, be exposed to new online business techniques, explore both personal and professional development, and plan, think and expand on all of the things I was learning.
This was amazing for my mindset to keep me moving forward as I worked on my side-hustle.
Then as I was approaching the transition from working full-time in a “normal” job to working for myself from home, it was even more important for me to keep that momentum and focus on the end goal.
Even if I wasn’t able to actually get much done on my business, preparing mentally like this was enough to keep me motivated and focused on pursuing my goals and dreams.
Here are 6 things you can do tomorrow to reclaim your commute time
I LOVE podcasts (in fact, I’ve got an idea for one myself that’s brewing in my mind right now)!
I have been listening to them for years because they’re a great way to listen to something really meaningful without having to sit and watch it. Not everyone has time to just sit and watch video.
Having this long commute for the past 7 years has given me plenty of hours listening to some amazing podcasts.
While I love podcasts that explore interesting topics just for the sake of knowledge, in the past 2 years I have found a whole new world of podcasts out there that focus on business, making money, mindset, etc.
I have learned SO MUCH by listening to these podcasts. Everything from how people make money to what the mindset of a millionaire is.
It has truly been eye-opening and is 85% responsible for my big goals and dreams.
I’ve created a roundup post of my favorite podcasts if you want to check those out here, or you can listen to podcasts through iTunes or apps like Overcast (I prefer overcast myself) and just search for podcasts that focus on your interests.
Listen to Audiobooks
This is along the same lines of podcasts except audiobooks go much more in-depth with a topic.
Most audiobooks I’ve listened to are at least 5 hours long.
This is great if I want to know a lot about something or stay on the same topic over multiple drives.
I have always loved to read, but it seems the older I get, the less time I have to sit down and actually read.
I would always have all of these books saved on Amazon (such as my Business Development Books – Need to Read List) to buy someday when I felt I would have time to actually read them.
Let’s just say it’s been awhile since I’ve bought a book.
Then I found Amazon’s audiobook service Audible.They have thousands of audiobooks for you to choose from.
Many of them being read by the author themselves, which I love.
To align my mindset and expand my business knowledge and get me moving toward my goals, I choose to listen to business, personal and professional development books such as Abundance Now by Lisa Nichols or Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk, and My wishlist on there is getting longer the more books they add!
If you are new to Audible, you can try it free for 30 days (this is awesome!).
So you can try it out and choose some books that will really help you move your business forward.
If you like it after that, they have a monthly fee and you get to pick a new audiobook each month. That’s 12 books a year! You can also buy extra books if you just can’t wait another month.
Meditation and Reflection
This is a huge thing that I didn’t realize I would be losing by working from home with a toddler.
I love podcasts. So much so that often I would listen to too many back to back without taking the time to let it sink in and figure out how I could actually apply what I just learned.
To help with this, I would use some morning commutes to just turn off the radio and all of the podcasts that I love and just let it all sink in.
If you’re like me and have ADHD, it can be a dangerous opportunity for the mind to just wander to all of the random thoughts flooding in.
To help focus myself, I found that talking out loud a bit can be a huge help.
Taking the time to just reflect like this would often lead to great business ideas, new plans of things I would like to try and very often things about myself that I didn’t realize and would force a lot of introspection.
So give this one a try. It is definitely worth it.
Plan and Organize Thoughts
This sounds a lot like the last one, but this is different because you aren’t just reflecting on all of the things you’ve learned but rather are hyper-focusing on all of the things you need to do.
Be careful about letting this stress you out as you realize you are stuck in traffic and can’t’ start tackling these tasks.
I used to think of all of the most pressing things that I needed to accomplish that week or that day. I would also try to think of where I was going and what tasks I needed to do right out of the gate.
So if I was heading to work, I would think of what needed to be taken care of there. If I was on my way home, then I might be thinking of how I need to make dinner before I can get started on this given task for my business.
Organizing your thoughts can really help diminish overwhelm, but we often feel like we don’t have the time to just sit and think like that. Rush hour is the perfect time for this!
Think of New Business Ideas
While this is related to the other ones, what I mean by this is that I would specifically focus on some aspect of my business and just brainstorm ideas.
The blog for instance. I would think of new material to write about or new freebies I should create. For ebay, I would think of the items that I need to photograph and think of how I might be able to speed that process up to increase productivity.
By doing this focused task, I would often gain a newfound excitement about the task at hand and would always have new ideas for how to move my business forward.
Just listen to some music or a fun podcast instead of a business related one.
Every minute of every day doesn’t HAVE to be super productive (this is waay easier said than done for me). I know that it’s hard to just give yourself a break sometimes and just relax.
If you’re like me, the only time you have to relax is while you’re sleeping or while you’re driving to work kid-free.
But self-care is a HUGE deal and will really impact the success of your business (not to mention your own mental and physical health).
Give yourself permission to just sing your heart out to your favorite songs on the radio. Or if you are an Amazon Prime member , you get access to Amazon music which has a large selection of free music.
They also have Amazon Music Unlimited which is Amazon’s music streaming service with 10s of millions of songs at your disposal (try it for 30-days free).
This can be a great way to eliminate any stressors you may have from a long day at work. Or maybe this is your way of mentally transitioning from working for someone else to going home and working for yourself at night.
If you’re stressed about what happened at work earlier today, then you can’t be the best business owner when it’s time to finally work on your own business ideas.
Free your mind from the clutter of life and let the music wash away the stress.
It’s been proven to reduce stress so crank up the volume and sing your heart out.
With these 6 strategies, I hope you can see how commuting no longer has to be a pain but instead an asset.
Use that time to listen to a podcast or an audiobook, reflect on the amazing knowledge you gained from those podcasts/audiobooks, plan/organize your thoughts to increase productivity, brew up some amazing new business ideas, or practice self care by jamming out to your favorite songs.
This is just a season as you are doing all of the things, but with these strategies and your hard work, you will make this season short because you will transition your side hustle into your full-time gig.