Starting your own side business can be a great way to make extra money. You can use this cash to pay down debt, build a savings, go on a trip, or save for your children’s college education. But, one thing that holds a lot of people back from pursuing a side business is a lack of time.

Many people have great ideas on ways to make extra money, but it’s hard to get started when you’re managing a job, a household, and possibly kids too! So, below are four ways to find time to start a side business, even if your life already feels full.

Create a Time Block Schedule

All of us have the same 24 hours in a day, but many don’t use those hours as effectively as possible. In today’s digital age, it’s easy to spend hours each evening scrolling on your phone. However, with a time block schedule, you can take an hour or two on a Sunday to plan out your entire week hour by hour.

This might seem like overkill, but a time block schedule can help you organize your time to include the things you love most. You can block out time for leisure, exercise, and of course, working on your side business.

If you’re currently working a full-time job, you’re likely going to be building your business on the side, which could mean working on it early in the morning or late at night. Even though it might sound exhausting, remember it’s only for a short period of time. The beginning is always the hardest, but once it becomes habit, things get easier.

A time block schedule helps you to feel in control of your day, while still allowing you time to enjoy your family, hobbies, and more.

Get An Accountability Partner

Most people thrive when they have accountability. If you want to start a side business, try to find someone else who is working on a similar goal. For example, I own an online business, and over the last 10 years, I’ve been a part of many mastermind groups that help keep me accountable. Other business owners can help you reach your goals, learn about new technologies that can help you, or help keep you motivated when you want to quit.

If you don’t want to participate in a mastermind group but you just want someone to work with, you can try to use a company like FocusMate. FocusMate pairs you with a partner who is a stranger. You state your goal at the beginning of the call, work silently, and then tell the other person whether or not you accomplished your goal at the end of the session.

Pre-Plan Your Dinners

Having a meal plan for the week is a great way to create more time in your schedule. Spend a few hours on Sunday deciding what your meals are going to be for the week. Then, you don’t have to spend time wondering what to make, forgetting to defrost chicken, or running through the drive-thru at the last minute when you’re starving. Having a meal plan in place ensures that your schedule runs smoothly and it can help save you money too.

If you want, you can also plan your breakfasts and lunches as well. Keep things simple during this time while you’re building your business. There’s no need to create elaborate five-course dinners. This is about developing habits that give you more time, not take it away.

One of my favorite lunches to meal plan is a simple chicken and rice dish. You can also add black beans to it. This keeps well in the refrigerator and can be very filling too. Look up easy meal planning ideas online to help you mix things up, all while fueling you so you can work on your business.

Set Up a Reward System

If you’re motivated by rewards, a reward system can help you to stay excited and motivated to work on your side business. For example, you can write down revenue goals on paper and a corresponding reward.

If you make $500 in a month, maybe you get to buy a decoration for your office. Perhaps you take a weekend retreat when you make your first $5,000 month. Make the rewards bigger and better for each revenue goal to help encourage you to continue working hard towards your dreams.

Have a Competition

If you’re competitive by nature, a bit of friendly competition can also help you find ways to start a side business. Work with a group of other entrepreneurs to set goals together. Write them down and compete for who gets there first.

Your goals can be things like making your first $1,000 in business or getting your first client. Whoever reaches the goal first can owe the other person a Starbucks gift card or lunch out.

Keep in touch with these other entrepreneurs over text and make it fun.

Final Thoughts

Starting a side business takes a lot of focus and effort. Often, people who start side businesses still have to work around their regular 9-5 jobs. Because it can be hard to stay motivated when you’re working a full-time job, it’s important to connect with other like-minded individuals who also own businesses. This can help with accountability, especially on the days when you don’t feel like working. Use the tips above to help you stay motivated and focused on building your side business successfully.

start a side business

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