Welcome back to the Slay Girl Slay podcast. I hope you had a beautiful weekend. Happy Monday, and welcome to a new week. As we say on our Instagram and Facebook channels – new week, new goals! So I want you to be mindful today of what needs to get done this week, and prioritize your schedule around those goals. I have a few things that I’ve been putting off week after week, so this week I am dedicating myself to getting the job done!
Plan It Out
This week I wanted to talk with you about the most difficult form of multi tasking in my opinion, which is balancing your 9 – 5 job, and also a brand or business that you are working on. I have always had a 9 to 5, and when I was building my first personal blog ever, Her Royal Highness, I did everything while working over 50+ hours a week. I know a lot of women now balance a 9 to 5, plus whatever their passion project is but I also know there are a lot of women who do not, in fear that they can’t balance both – and still just relying on creating that one stream of income. So I hope that with a few tips I’m providing today that you can either tweak the system you have with balancing, maybe your system is perfect and if that’s the case don’t touch it. But I just know that the more I knew how other girl bosses out there were working and getting it done, the better it helped me – so again use this as a resource. And if you aren’t one of my girls that’s currently balancing a passion project, but really want to, and not sure how – this one is for you boo.
I think that there are 3 key components of balancing your 9 to 5 and your brand or business or passion project, that truly can make it work, and that’s with sufficient planning, staying organized, and of course probably the most important to me which is having a system. Some of you are like, well Ash I don’t know where to start, I don’t know how to balance something like this with my job – and first thing I would say would be to look where there are gaps of downtime where you aren’t working right? So weekends, nights if you work business hours. Mornings if you work nights. Lunch breaks, 15 minute breaks throughout the day – everyone has a set amount of downtime every week that can be utilized to work on your brand or business. The caveat is – the downtime will no longer be downtime and you’ll have to work. So there will be a sacrifice that you will have to make.
What was once your Friday night drinks with the girls, might now have to be Friday night over your computer cranking out work for your brand or business. What Sunday brunch use to be, can now be Sundays spent with some food at home, getting work done. So it’s not pretty, it’s not fun, there is nothing fun about working 2 jobs really – but I was never one to quit one job without having some financial security in my next job. My 9 – 5 funded all of the expenses for the blog, like photo shoots, and clothes, and events, and I needed to work that 9 – 5, but I had to sacrifice my downtime to make the blog work.
So once you have your downtime identified, you need a plan. What is your end game for this year, this month, this week? What steps do you need to take, let’s say if you are writing a book, or a script, or maybe you are looking into launching an online boutique, what are all the steps that need to be taken, from start to finish, and write that down. Don’t worry if you forget something, because there’s a 100% chance that over the course of time you will be adding things to that to do list that you didn’t even know you needed to be adding in the first place – so write down as far as you can think, and start thinking of how you can organize that.
So for example – If I wanted to get 9 blog post done within the next month, I knew I needed to book photo shoots, purchase new looks, brainstorm and write blog post topics, generate links that produce income, create a marketing plan for each blog post, and then a post marketing plan for after everything was posted.
So based on my list of things I had to do, I prioritized what needed to come first. Once you can gather what you need to do in order, then break it down by the amount of time you need to get it done.
So if I knew I had to shoot 9 looks, I would book my photographer, probably in two sessions, and do 5 looks in the first session and 4 looks in the second session. Knowing that, that will take several hours I tried to do those on the weekends. Then knowing I needed to actually sit down and do some writing, I tried to utilize my weeknights to get a few blog post done every week. I knew that I valued my free time during the week, a little more than my free time during the weekend – and that’s just me personally so I tried to book my weekend time up as much as I could, then started to add lighter task to my week nights.
So if you prioritize the tasks you need to get done, and the downtime you are more likely to actually get those task done, and now you have a schedule. Next, you 100% need to stay organized. Your real work life, can not spill into your brand or business or passion project, and vice versa. So you have to be able to stay as organized as possible. One major thing I do is use a white board at home. I also have used planners and notebooks, which I love but I just do a better job of seeing what my week looks like if I can actually see it in my line of vision when I’m in my apartment. So based on what I have coming up for the week at work I write that down, and then for the blog I would write that down in a different color so I knew that they were separate. And I would break it down by day which essentially becomes my system.
Mondays – I had team meetings, but Mondays were also my day to generate links
Tuesdays – I had a bunch of administrative task to do in my inbox for work, but that was also my day to create my marketing plan.
Wednesdays – This day was light at work, so since i knew I wouldn’t have much to do at work, I piled on a little more for the brand and did a little extra than what I normally would do.
Thursdays & Fridays – Extremely busy in the office so one of those days I’d do nothing and give myself time away from the band, but the other I dedicated to drafting blog post.
Weekends were spent photo shooting, social media planning, and making sure my next week was as organized as it could be.
The thing with staying organized is, there are so many moving pieces when you’re working a 9 to 5 and your business. You don’t want to start slipping up at work because then your performance will go down. You don’t wan’t to half do your brand, because then what’s the point of doing all this work anyway if it won’t be your best right? So staying organized is key, and knowing where everything is at once is important because you don’t wan’t to slack on either ends.
Create A System
Systems are important because it leaves little room for excuses to not get it done. If you know every Monday is dedicated to this certain task – then without a doubt every Monday you should be working on this task. If I know every Sunday is dedicated to putting up a podcast , then Sundays are my podcast day…and when something else comes up, say I get invited out to brunch, or a friend invites me out to dinner, or let’s just say I’m tired and I don’t feel like doing anything. I know going into the week that by Sunday, a podcast needs to be up, so if a friend is inviting me out Sunday, or Sunday I need a break, I’m going to do my podcast on Saturday or Friday, so that by Sunday regardless if I’m working or not- the podcast is done and it’s up.
There is no task to small when it comes to your game plan you should have created a few months ago, and if you are working full time, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to knock that game plan down in smaller chunks and start achieving some small goals, while still working a 9 to 5.
Let’s be real. You will be tired. You will be frustrated some days because you just wan’t a break, and some days you just don’t feel like doing it, some days your 9 to 5 will be so taxing that all you want to do is get into bed, under the covers and watch a Netflix movie. But the beauty in it all , is that you can absolutely do that. It won’t be perfect. Some days you’ll be super organized, and everything will be planned, and your grooving with your system and it’s great! But then there might be a week, where it’s just not working the way you planned, and things keep coming up at work where you can’t get your other task done the way that you wanted to – and that’s okay too.
As long as you can stay committed to it, and on those off days you’re like okay, didn’t get this chapter done tonight, but I need to get this chapter done within the next two days – you’re good. “Gosh I didn’t get the application done for this last night, but I have some downtime today to get it done so I’m not backed up on my work”…you see the commitment? No matter what happens, no matter how many times I don’t hit my actual mark that I set out to hit – I’m still going to get the job done. I’m still going to excel at work, I’m still going to get the work done for the brand – and then before you know it, your months into this and you’ve really found your groove, and you now know how to make balancing a 9 -5 and your brand, or business, or passion project work for you.
Just this weekend, I had several things I needed to get done for Slay Girl Slay but I was really tired. I had nothing to give. So I did what I could, turned the computer off, and laid on the couch and watched me a movie. Got some good sleep, woke up the next morning, and cranked out the rest of the work I needed to get done.
My last piece of advice I just thought of, small piece of advice but will carry you a long way.
Keep your mouth shut.
Don’t go telling everyone at work what you’re doing in your free time, and that you have this amazing thing that you’re working on, no. Keep your mouth shut. The people you work with shouldn’t even know you have a side hustle, or that you’re working on a business in your free time, until it’s really time for them to know, which in my opinion is when you’re leaving that 9 to 5 to work for whatever it is you are working on full time. The less people know about you, the better. The less people can say about you, the less your name comes up in conversations of gossip between people who really don’t know what they are talking about anyway. Keep it quiet. Move in silence, and get the job done.
It won’t be perfect boo, but it will be done.
You will be tired, but can always sit it down and catch a nap. Some days you’ll be feeling like a boss, other days you’ll feel like a crazy person – but this is the sacrifice you need to make because success is nothing without hard work, commitment, determination, and the sacrifice of putting in the time to getting it done. We all want the big bills in the bank, and the bragging rights to say we did it, but nobody wants to do the dirty work. This is the dirty work boo.
So don’t be afraid to get dirty & let’s do this.
Featured Image: @sadesolomon