Stealing Time For Yourself

When you make the decision to start your own business on the side or in conjunction with other commitments you have, one thing that you are tacitly doing is giving away some of your own personal time.

I’m always fairly surprised when I hear someone that’s taken on a side hustle project or become as I like to call them, a Casual Marketer, complain that they don’t have any time to do the things they like to do anymore.

That’s the deal you signed up for, you should have known that from the get-go.

I was talking to a lady who is a Casual Marketer Monthly Newsletter subscriber the other day and she said something really interesting on this topic.  She’s a stay at home mom who started a business doing some very niche Human Resources type services for companies.

She said that her two kids, both under 5, are like a full-time job and she’s taken on more or less a second full-time job when you consider the business she’s building not only requires her doing some of the work, but also all the marketing and sales.

I asked her how she was coping and she said that she has learned in the last month or so that she needs to “steal” some time during the day whenever possible for her to just do stuff for her.  She gave a great example, the other day the kids were out playing in the backyard so she turned her phone off, left her laptop in the other room and went out on the deck to watch the kids.  While she was there, she rolled out her yoga mat and did some yoga while watching the kids.

She gave an example where the younger one was having a nap, so she decided the older child would have bath time and while the child was in the bath, she cracked open her iPad and read a book on her Kindle.

She told me she enjoys cooking dinner because her husband looks after the kids and she gets to cook (which she enjoys) and while working away she watches things on Netflix on her laptop.

I really found it fascinating how she had figured out that to maintain some semblance of sanity and balance, she needed to figure out how to introduce things specifically for her mental well being in amongst everything else she does.  She referred to it as stealing some time.

For me, it was another case of just how well women multitask compared to us men – I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time, the idea that I could be cooking dinner and watching Orange is the New Black is entirely foreign to me unless you wanted burnt dinner or for me to chuck a sad because I missed some important dialogue delivered by Crazy Eyes.

But the reality is though, the “how” she steals the time for herself is maybe a little less important than the fact that this is something that we all just have to do.  Taking on two or three major things concurrently like starting a business while you have a full-time job or are the primary caregiver for your young kids is a lot to have on your plate.  It can swamp you mentally and emotionally if you’re not careful, so the key is, find a way to set aside some “you” time to give your brain time to recover!

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