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How to fit more hours in the day according to someone with a full-time job and two side hustles

Trying to write about managing time while leading a very busy life is far more challenging that originally envisaged! Oh, the irony of it all! 

I am energetic, a morning person and definitely a ‘doer’! Procrastination is not foreign to me, but I accept that I am responsible for me, and am the only one who will make things happen for me. Those qualities have come in handy as I moved from my home in Canada to start a life in Sydney with my now ex-husband.  I love my life here so staying is the only option. 

I am a single mum to a teenage son, I work full time, have 2 side hustles (word-of-mouth businesses), a partner, and a full and active social life – time is critical as I have a lot to fit in! 

My full-time job is being Office Manager & EA for a global, top-10 brand in a growing and innovative industry.  Whilst my career has given me extensive experience in admin and event marketing, the learning curve for this role is not flattening yet. This role is all the things I love doing and I’m grateful to have the opportunity (I started 2 weeks before Covid) to work and grow with our team. It’s incredibly busy and staying as organised as possible is critical to success. 

One side hustle is baking unique and personalised decorated cookies – this fulfils not only my creative side but also my love for baking. Experimenting with new cookie ideas is fun and carefree, but the finished product always needs to taste as delicious as it looks because it’s not worth the calories otherwise, right?! Being organised in this business allows me to bake and decorate orders of varying sizes and deadlines. 

The other side hustle is organising and decluttering and this too fulfils my love of not only helping people but also helping them feel better too. 

Given all the above, it’s also handy that I’m a ‘planner’ and love logistics. I use many of the well-documented tips and tricks to stay on top of (well most of the time) everything. 

Check them out below: 

  • Making lists: I keep a pen and paper by my bed so I can capture those golden nuggets of ideas and thoughts that come only at night. 
  •  Time blocking in calendars and using colours consistently to easily identify  
    • what I need to do 
    • where people need to be 
    • what needs to happen (including reminders to do things – even if they get moved around on the calendar, they will eventually get done) 
    • for my cookie business I block time (and include the order details) for:
      • Baking 
      • decorating (including designing the edible print) 
      • Packaging
      • Delivering 
    • for my organising business I block out not only client time but travel time too if needed 
  • Planning and making plans (social and other) – earmarking the time to see someone or do something so I can really enjoy the experience when I get there 
  • Keeping my physical space organised – this subconsciously promotes a logistical way of thinking and doing 
  • I outsource the tasks I really don’t enjoy so not to waste valuable time on being grumpy about having to do them (house cleaning is absolutely outsourced, but I’ll clean the air con filters when my calendar reminds me) 
  • My mental and physical health are extremely important to me, so I exercise a few times a week and try to eat healthily too (I’m a fan of the 80/20 rule).  

Thinking of how I plan and organise my life reminds me of the late Stephen Covey’s concept of Big Rocks  – I know what my priorities in life are and I plan and make time for them first.   

But even with all or the planning and organising, there are still times when I have to sort out clashes or takes some time rest and literally do nothing. So, I swear a bit more than I should and then shuffle things around. I’m far from perfect, but I do make an effort and hope that every day I’ve helped to make someone’s life better in some small way. 

So, when do I find time to bake and decorate?  In the evenings and on weekends – I find it relaxing, plus I catch up on watching TV or listen to podcasts or music. 

I choose to lead a busy life and the tips above are some of the things that really help me manage. Perhaps something I’ve mentioned will resonate well for you. 

And speaking about cookies…you can check out my Instagram page rosetreestory and contact me through there or on the Business Chicks website.  I would love to create unique and customised cookies for your upcoming occasions.   

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