As I’m sure you already know, building a side business while working a 9-to-5 job is challenging.
It’s bad enough your daily routine of waking up, brushing your teeth, suffering through daily mind-melting commutes, and 8 hours of work feels like a never-ending cycle of “ugh”—on top of that you have to figure out how to generate more revenue, position your marketing, and optimize your sales funnels.
Unfortunately in the early stages of business, hiring help to lighten your workload isn’t really an option.
So you say to yourself, “I’ll just have to find the time.”
But do you even know how much available time you have to work on your business?
When I talk to people who just can’t seem to find the time to get started or feel frustrated with their slow progress, the first question I ask them is:
“How much time do you spend working on your business each week?”
And without fail, every time I ask this question I get blank stares and hear crickets!
The truth is, most people don’t know how much time they spend on their business each week because they aren’t actively tracking or scheduling time to work on their business.
Here’s what most people do…
They work on their business whenever they get a little free time, maybe an hour or two after work, or a few hours on the weekend, or 30 minutes in between tasks while they’re on the clock.
If so, I’m here to say—there’s a better way to work on your business!
If you want to find the time to build a business that generates enough income for you to finally quit your 9-to-5 job, you must first know how much available time you actually have.
To start, you must calculate what I call your Available Business Hours (ABH).
Your ABH are the available hours you have each week to work on your business without distractions.
This is dedicated time that you block off on your calendar to work on the most important parts of your business that give you the greatest return, for example, income generating activities.
Knowing your ABH will help to shift your perspective on your weekly/daily available time, while giving you an exact amount of time you can expect to dedicate to your business.
In other words, you can:
Continue to work on your business when it’s convenient for your schedule while slowly chipping away at your goals with hopes to quit your 9-to-5 job in a few years.
You can figure out how many hours you really have available each week, schedule dedicated time to take meaningful action that moves the needle in your business, allowing you to spend time doing the things you love guilt-free!
Here’s how you do it…
First let’s start with the facts.
We all have a total of 168 hours a week (24 hrs/day X 7 days/wk).
To find your ABH, subtract the time you spend working, sleeping, and doing other important things that demand your time.
If you don’t know the exact time you spend doing these things, use conservative estimations.
Step 1: Calculate your weekly available hours MINUS hours spent at work
For example, if you work 8 hours a day at your 9-to-5 job for 5 days a week for a total of 40 hrs a week.
168 total hours – 40 work hours = 128 hours
Step 2: Calculate your weekly available hours MINUS hours spent sleeping
For example, let’s say you sleep approximately 8 hours a day for 7 days a week for a total of 56 hrs a week.
128 hours – 56 hours = 72 hours
In this case, you’ve got 72 hours left in your week outside of work and sleep.
Step 3: Calculate your weekly available hours MINUS hours spent on other obligations
This step in the exercise requires you to think about all the little things that require your time.
For example, time spent doing routine housework, with your family, working out, commuting, walking the dog, or down time.
Remember, if you don’t know the exact time you spend doing these things, use conservative estimations. Done is better than perfect!
Once you calculate the amount of time you need each week for other important things in your life, subtract it from your total hours left outside of work and sleep to get your ABH.
Now, depending on the demands of your time and lifestyle, your ABH will be unique to you so don’t compare your available time to anyone else’s.
Keep in mind that the point of this exercise isn’t to scrutinize how you spend every minute of your day.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the type of person who tracks every single minute of the day! Not only does that seem way too tedious for me, but it would drive me nuts.
What’s most important here is that you get a rough estimate of how many hours you have left in your week to work on your business after doing major activities that demand your time.
From here it’s critical that the dedicated time you schedule to build you business is spent maximizing your efforts by focusing on activities that are either helping to generating revenue, driving traffic to your content, or creating new content to build your audience.
You don’t want to spend precious hours polishing your social media profiles, or making meaningless customizations to your website!
Getting the most out of your ABH means focusing on bang for your buck activities that really move your business forward.
So what is your ABH?
Do you have more or less time than you thought you’d have?
Let me know in the comments!