The problem with earning extra money while you start or change your career, or even while working a full-time day job, is that free time is not easy to come by. Whether it’s starting a side business (with ambitions of becoming a full-time gig), or moonlighting as a freelancer to support your family or start up your new career, it can be an unending juggling act to balance multiple income-bearing activities with the rest of your life.
However, it can be done.
On Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich website, there are multiple depictions of people who have defied the odds and developed routines that include high-earning side jobs despite the stress and time requirements of being full-time students, parents, or full-time workers. One particular approach stands out for its simplicity and sensibility.
The idea is centered around a core three-step outline: daily preparation for the day ahead, balancing predictable income opportunities with more risky earning possibilities, and protecting the time when you are most productive from being hijacked with other tasks.
In order to routinize these core ideas, prioritize, and better organize your limited spare time, it is helpful to setup a small collection of “triggers” to help you stay on task. Three useful triggers to consider when constructing your new routine may include:
- Creating a nightly to-do list that describes everything that needs to be accomplished the following day. Place the list near your “area of productivity” such as your computer so that it is one of the first things that you encounter at the start of your day. Over time, once the list becomes a part of your normal routine, it will act as trigger to motivate you to start your tasks instead of distracting yourself from the daily chores.
- Keeping your computer on and immediately accessible. By allowing your computer to be available for you to immediately begin working, you can avoid falling into the trap of distraction that can develop during the time it takes your computer to start up. Leaving the computer on acts as a trigger to get started working right off instead of filling your time with less necessary tasks, like checking your emails or social sites from your
phone and other potential time sinks.
- Not all triggers are productive triggers. An important aspect of the trigger model is to remove the bad triggers that can derail your efforts to stay on task. It is crucial to
eliminate triggers that can start you on the wrong task. One approach to doing this is to remove items from your work area that could trigger you to work on low-priority tasks.
- Don’t just rely on yourself to set deadlines. Create some amount of accountability by taking on projects that require you to work under deadlines.
The goal here is to develop time management skills and learn how to avoid distractions by creating your daily routine around the tasks that will bear the most fruit, allowing you to be more productive and produce income.