9 Ways to Create More Time for Your Business

By Alexis Rodrigo | Entrepreneurship

Sep 25
Productivity Make More Time

What’s the biggest challenge that’s keeping business owners from creating their own products? They said, “No time.”

I call BS on that! 

(Pardon the swearing)

Watch this video to learn why the lack of time is not a legitimate reason but merely an EXCUSE we use to let ourselves off the hook.

You will also learn:

  • The 3 reasons that are *really* behind your words when you say “I don’t have time”
  • 9 practical solutions to turn time from a scarcity into an opportunity

Prefer to read? Here's the transcript:

"I Don't Have Time" and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Hello there. Hey, let's talk about time or rather the lack of time. Do you ever hear yourself saying, oh, I don't have time to do this or that, even when it comes to a task that's really important and that, you know, you have to do in order to build your business?

Well, if you do, then you're not alone. I am certainly one of those people who I've always said a lot of times, oh, I don't have time to do this. I don't have time to do that. So you're not alone.

And in fact, when I've been spending like I spent a month speaking with business owners of online businesses to ask them, what is your top your biggest challenge when it comes to creating your own product?

And the top answer was: 

I don't have time.

So this is a very common challenge. And if it's something that you experience yourself and something that you want to address, then I hope you'll stick with me for the next 30 minutes or so because I have some ideas for you and say hi in the comments, because that's the only way I know who's watching.

Even if you're watching the recording and especially when you're watching the recording, I don't know that you are watching. So say hi in the comments because I want to say hello back and if you have any questions, of course. So if you're ready, let's get started.

All right, so no time for product creation, nine ways to create more time, so it comes to creating your own product. What is challenging for you? This is a question that I asked some business owners and or people who are who want to build an online business.

And the top answer was — it feels like Family Feud, right — I just don't have time for it. So this is really common. Like this was this came up several times in the interviews.

And there are several variations, too. Like they say, I'm too busy doing client work because a number of the people that I spoke with are service providers.

And then another variation is well I set aside time to create my product. But then this family thing came up and so I had to attend to that first and put off creating my own product or yes, I made time to create my product, but I just couldn't keep it up. I couldn't sustain it. And I only did it for a few days.

And another one is it's just it's taking longer than I expected. I thought I'd be done by now, but I'm not.

So, guys, you know what I am just calling B.S. on this on this excuse. And I'll tell you later on why I'm saying it's B.S. and pardon the profanity. If you know me, I, I hardly ever swear, but this time I think it's warranted.

9 Ways to Create More Time for Your Business

So what we'll be going through is the three real reasons that I think are behind that statement when we say we don't have enough time and nine ways that you can transform time from being a scarcity into an opportunity. So I want you to stay with me to the end of this presentation.

And so I'm totally shamelessly, you know, hanging this carrot in front of you. And it's a bonus. It's a cheat sheet. 9 ways to create more time for your business. That's just it's a simple handout that's just going to help you implement the ideas that I'm going to share with you today. So I am shamelessly bribing you into sticking with me for the entire presentation. OK, you'll find out later on how you get this bonus. So in case you are listening, watching me for the first time, I just want to introduce myself.

But First, An Introduction

I am Lexi Rodrigo. And why should you listen to me?

I have been an online business owner since 2008, 10 years. Can you believe it? And what I've been doing is I've been a copywriter, content marketer, either as a service provider or as a full time employee of six and seven figure businesses. So I have been behind the scenes of a number of these very successful businesses and I've learned a ton from seeing behind the scenes. And I also offer coaching and consulting services to business owners who are building their businesses.

And finally, I am co-author of this cute little book that you're seeing. It's called Blog Post Ideas. I co-author with Danny Iny and Jim Hopkinson. And that's my cute family over there. Oh, my husband took the picture and so he's not in that picture. Those are my three children and all of them are now taller than I am, which is not saying much. If you've met me in person, I am not tall at all. So it's just right that they should all be taller than me, including the twelve year old boy.

Why Lack of Time is Total BS

All right. So when you say I don't have time, if I hear you saying that, I'm going to tell you that's B.S. We all have 24 hours in the day. And don't worry, I'm going to tell that to myself as well from now on. But some of us do get more things done than others, right? They are able to go farther and faster in their businesses than I am. I'm just going to use myself in this example here as an example, so it's not too painful.

So I know that even with the 24 hours in a day that I can do a lot of things, a lot of meaningful things. So I'm hoping by the end of this presentation that we can just remove this sentence from our vocabularies. And I have an idea for what we can replace that with and I will share that with you later in the end of this presentation. So another reason for you to stick around.

Now don't hate me, please, if you are one of these people who see all the time, I don't have time. I know like I'm not making light of your busy-ness. I am not making it sound like your life is not important. Like all the other different things that are keeping you busy are not important. Not at all. Like, I understand. Like maybe you're like me, you have a family. You have a full time job maybe and you're building your business on the side, maybe even have two part time jobs, two full time jobs.

I don't know. Somebody like you have you have children who have young children. So I'm not trying to make light of that. You are busy. I get it. We are all busy. But so what I want to share with you is I just want to encourage you that no matter how busy you are, there is a way. OK, and I I want to encourage you to just open your mind to the possibility that even though you have all these other things going on in your life, that you can you can absolutely move forward in your business.

So truth number one when you say I don't have time, what you're really saying is that you're not making time and this is a symptom that product creation or whatever this task is that you want to do in your business is not top priority for you. And that could be due to a number of things.

It's probably not important enough, maybe maybe because you have a job, a full time job that is providing your bread and butter, then growing your business is not important enough. And especially if that job isn't particularly a job that you hate, you know, then having the successful business is just not important.

Maybe it's not urgent enough. You feel like, yeah, you know, I can put it off. Right, because I don't have to have this successful business right now.

And I'm reading this book and I just forgot the it's called The Achievement Habit. And the author says that in order to do anything, unless it's a habitual thing that we are doing automatically in order to do it any task or behavior, we need both intention and attention. So if you're not making time for product creation or for building your business, usually it means you have the intention that you want to do it. The will is there, but there's the attention is not there.

And attention means that you bring to bear all all of you, your resources, your attention, your time, their energy into something.

And you need both in order to accomplish something. So when you put off working on your business, then the attention is not there. And the result is that we procrastinate. Right. So we say, I'll do it tomorrow, I'll do it next week. So it just keeps getting pushed back. So what what can we do about this? So I have three suggestions.

1. Sacrifice something in your calendar.

The first one is that you really just have to to sacrifice something.

Something's got to go. And excuse me, I just I realize I have to fix something because my thing is actually blocking the slide. So let's just make this smaller there. All right. I also heard. Sorry, sorry, I am trying to Hi Linda so I did hear somebody posted a comment, but I couldn't see it.

I didn't set it up properly so I could see. All right. So the first solution, as I was saying, is to sacrifice something in your calendar or your to do list because time is a finite thing. Right? And now, even though I said you can create more time, I actually don't know how to give you 25 hours in the day or even 24 and a half hours. We just really have 24 hours. That's it. So if you want to do something new or in addition to what you're already doing, you have to give something up.

Okay. And it's amazing how many people, you know, sign up for a course. And I've done this myself, so no judgment, OK? You sign up for a course and then you don't actually make a plan for when exactly are you going to go through this course in the first place? And in the second place, when are you going to implement whatever it is you've learned in the course? So any time that you add something new, you have to let something go.

It's like, you know, it's like your closet, right? Let's pretend that your closet is full to the brim. Before you can buy new clothes, then you have to donate some of your old ones, get rid of some of your old ones that make space in your closet because it's the same thing with your calendar year to do list, you have to make space for building your business.

2. Treat Yourself as a Client

So the second solution is to treat yourself as a client. If you're a service provider, you know what I mean? Right. Just pretend you are your own client and you know, whatever you do for your clients, do it for yourself.

Do you have an onboarding call? Do you have like a special folder for all the client documents? Do you clear a certain time of your day for each client? Then do the same thing, but this time it's for yourself.

3. Turn It Into a Habit 

So the third solution is to turn it into a daily habit. If you make it automatic that every let's say every morning at 6:00 a.m., I'm going to wake up at 6:00 a.m. and before anything else, I'm going to spend 30 minutes, 45 minutes, whatever it is, an hour even better.

But that's to say 30 minutes a day, six o'clock to six thirty. I am going to spend that building my business. And I don't mean doing client work. It's building a business, doing things that will build your business, such as creating your own product.

Truth number two, when you say I don't have time, what you're actually saying is I don't have enough energy. Example, I'm a very good example of this. I say I don't have time, but I can actually spend one, two hours or even more at night watching Netflix. Last night, I think I just spent two hours watching Grey's Anatomy last night. So how can I say I don't have time? Well, the truth is I had the time, but I don't have energy.

Like if you tell me at 9:00 p.m. every night, I'm going to be doing like writing, let's say, to create my own book. I'm not going to be able to do it because the truth is, by 9:00 p.m., I my brain is just fried. I'm just too tired.

And sometimes you can push yourself when it's absolutely necessary. I have absolutely written at night late at night, but it's something that's not sustainable. You can't keep it up every day. So and there's some solutions for this as well.

4. Maximize Your Energy 

The first one is really to learn how to maximize your energy. So I hope that you have enough self-awareness to know your own productivity cycles. Like when are you when is your prime time for doing deep work? And, you know, when is when is your energy really low? So then you can plan your day around that so that your prime time for deep work is you set aside some of that time to work on your business.

And then for the time of the day when your energy is really low, you can use that time for things like doing transactional stuff, things that don't really require a lot of thinking. And that's when, for example, you watch the videos of that new online course that you signed up for. Right.

And when I see maximizing your energy, it also applies to your environment. Like, I hope, you know, what kind of an environment is most conducive for your productivity? Do you like complete silence or are you more effective when you're when you have a little bit of white noise, like in a coffee shop? Do you work best when your desk is empty or when all your documents are outside? Do you work best when you're all by yourself or when you're with other people not necessarily talking to each other, but just near other people?

So if you don't know the answer to these questions, then find out. Just observe yourself and know what makes you most productive so that you can engineer and design your work day to to really make the most of your productivity without forcing yourself into something that doesn't come easily for you.

And also it when when we talk about maximizing your energy and your productivity, it also means the tools that help you the best to become more effective and efficient. For example, lists. Do lists work for you? I practically can't do anything without lists, so I need to have lists for everything. Do calendars work for you? Journals, worksheets? Are you a pen and paper kind of a person or you need everything to be digital or on the cloud. So find out and and and use  your self-knowledge to really maximize your productivity.

Another thing to consider is are you the type of person that needs to be held accountable? Do you need somebody nudging you along a lot or are you the type of person that can self-motivate and self start?

5. Address Underlying Conditions that Hamper Your Productivity 

OK, so the second solution is to address the underlying conditions you might have that might be causing you to have low energy. 

For example, for a long time I did not know that I was very anemic until, you know, my doctor ran blood tests. And I think it was I wasn't even complaining about having low energy, but whatever she found out that I was very anemic.

And she said, how are you getting anything done that she was so shocked that I have a full time job and I have my children, three children. And she thought that my iron level was so low, I think she was wondering how I could have even driven myself to the clinic. But so, yeah, if if you are feeling like you, you should have more energy. Maybe there's a medical condition. So go to your doctor and find out and so that you can fix it. Right.

Maybe you're not getting enough sleep. So if it's not enough sleep. Then get more sleep. So when you address these conditions, like your life will change and you will get so much more done.

6. Energize with Your "Why"

And a solution for another solution for not having enough energy is just energize yourself with your why. Just remind yourself, what is your ultimate reason for wanting to have a successful business? It's not an easy thing to do. Why are you subjecting yourself to this goal?

So just keep, you know, dig deep into yourself and and just discover what is the underlying value that's motivating you to have a successful business.

In my case, it was my children, my children and my husband. That was the reason why I could drag myself out of bed every morning in spite of my very low iron levels and and work and do housework and take care of everyone. So, yeah.

What is your why? You'd be surprised at how much you can overcome with a big enough reason why.

7. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

OK, so truth number three, when you say that you don't have time, in reality, it's your negative thoughts are getting in your way and keeping you from doing what you know you have to do. So it's it's like we say we don't have time because it gives us a good reason that makes us feel good about ourselves. Right. When, oh, I'm too busy, I don't have time. It makes us feel first of all, it makes us feel important. Right? I'm this important person. I'm so important that I have all these things happening at the same time that's making me busy.

Secondly, when we say I don't have time, it's actually it sounds like a very legitimate reason to not do something, right? I don't have time. I've got a family, duh. That sounds completely rational and acceptable. But in fact, it may be if you really thought about it, you'd realize that actually you're using time as an excuse because there's something else going on.

Some of these negative thoughts might be, you know, this is too new, it's too overwhelming, it's too complicated. I cannot do it. I've never written a book before. Oh, my God. What am I thinking? I don't even know how to complete this entire book. So I'm just not going to do it or I'm just going to look like a fool. I'm going to fail. No one is going to buy this stupid book that I'm writing and I'm just going to look like a fool.

Or I'm not good enough. Like, who do I think I am to be writing a book or creating an online course? What do I think I am anyways? Why am I even doing this?

And something that's related to that is I don't have anything new to say. I don't have anything new to teach. I don't have anything new to offer. There's so many other books that have been written on this topic. There's so many other people already teaching a topic that's similar to this or courses that are similar to this or around this topic.

And those people are they seem so much cooler, so much smarter and so much prettier, taller, richer or whatever than me. So why should I even do this? Why should I even try?

And the other one is, oh, my gosh, if this thing is not perfect, I'm not even going to put it out into the world because it's just going to destroy my reputation. It's just going to make me look bad. It's going to make me look stupid. So, no, I am not even going to say this book is done right.

Those are all the different negative thoughts that can get in our way. And fortunately, we can do something about our thoughts. We can control our thoughts. And I'm not talking about saying affirmations. And I mean, if that works for you, absolutely keep on doing it. But there are alternatives.

So the first one is to reframe your negative thoughts. Just start questioning your thoughts. Don't accept them blindly. You know, when you have a negative thought, be aware of it and ask yourself, wow, is this even true or is this even accurate or am I just being overly dramatic? Am I exaggerating things right? Is it true that if my book fails, I am going to look like a fool and everyone will laugh at me behind my back or even in to my face?

No, probably nobody's even watching to see how many copies of my book sell. Well, they won't even know, right. Nobody's watching. And nobody's going to think, Oh my gosh, that book was a flop. They'll probably think, wow, you wrote a book.

So reframe your negative thoughts. And so instead of thinking if this fails, I'm going to look like a fool. You can think, OK, this might fail, but if it fails, it's not going to kill me. I'm going to get over that and I'm going to move on.

8. Do Something About Your Limitations

Now, what if the negative side is true? If it's true, then do something about it. So maybe it is true. I've never written a book before. It is so overwhelming. It sounds so complicated. There are a gazillion steps. And yes, that's true. There are a bazillion steps to publishing, writing and publishing your own book.

So do something about it. Get help. This was an example for if you feel like you're not good enough, then get good enough. What do you need to do so that you will think that you're good enough to do something?

To write that book, I need to be certified for something, then get that certification. If it's true that something is complicated, then and overwhelming. Break it down into smaller parts so that it's they're not overwhelming anymore. Get help, outsource some of it or learn from somebody. Right. If you don't know how to do something.

If you're a bad writer and you're trying to write, then don't write. Create something else like create a different product. There are so many different products out there. And also there are different ways that you can actually get something written without writing. And I think I have a separate video about that.

9. Experiment 

And finally, the solution number nine is to just treat everything as an experiment. So your product creation, think of it as an experiment.

And so if it fails, then you have like in science when when an experiment fails, that's a finding, right? That's a finding. It's it's not a complete waste of time because you just found out what doesn't work. So then you can move on and test something else. It's a test. So it's not failure, it's feedback. And that's another way of reframing failure by the way. So, instead of thinking of it as failure, it's feedback. 

So to summarize, these are the nine ways that you can create time for your business:

  1. Sacrifice something
  2. Be your own client
  3. Turn working on your business into a daily habit
  4. Maximize your energy
  5. Address underlying conditions that zap your energy
  6. Remember your why
  7. Reframe negative thoughts
  8. Do something about negative thoughts that are true
  9. Experiment, just treat everything as an experiment.

What to Say Instead of "I Don't Have Time"

So now instead of so this is my suggestion, instead of saying I don't have time when you catch yourself that you're about to say, I don't have time. Here's my suggestion. Say,

I choose to do something else because... 

And I want to give a hat tip to behavior designer Shirley Rivera. I was having a wonderful call with Shirley yesterday, and she gave me this idea to add that because.

So when you say this, I choose to do something else because then you are being very intentional with how you're spending your time. It's a conscious decision and you know why you're doing it.

So let's say I'm about to sit down to write my book. And then I think, oh, you know what, I, I think I'm going to go watch these TED X videos instead. So I'm like, I'm not going to say I don't have time to work on my book right now instead of that. I mean, they choose to watch TED X videos instead because and then, you know what I mean, thinking about it, I might either change my mind and decide my reason is not good enough.

No, my reason to not work on my business is not good enough. So I am going to work on my business or you might decide, yeah, this is a good enough reason. Maybe I choose not to work on my book right now because my daughter really needs my attention right now. So that's a good enough reason. So if you decide to go ahead and that reason is good enough for you not to be working on your business right now, then the next step is you reschedule.

So I'm going to say I choose not to work on my book right now because my daughter really needs me right now. So I will work on my book in an hour, OK? Does that sound good? Does that sound like a good idea for next time so that we will never say I don't have time again.

So thank you for watching to the end. You've done it. You've earned your bonus. Go to AlexisRodrigo.com/time to sign up for that bonus.

I need to know how to send that to you. So fill out the form on that page and you will get the PDF immediately.

Hello, Eileen. All right, yes, Eileen. OK, let me get back to here and first of all, hello, Eileen. And yes, you are correct, my summary list, I think I made a mistake number four, I missed number three, but I came in at number four. OK, let's go back to the list.

Can I can I see that? My summary is go back to my summary. OK, work with your productivity cycles, OK, Eileen. Number three is turn it into a habit, turn working on your business into a habit, no forced work with your productivity cycles. Number five should be and your right is address your underlying conditions that are zapping your energy. So thank you very much. That is correct.

All right. Any any other questions?

Thank you, Eileen. Any other questions? Or did I go too quickly or it was too fast that you can't even register your questions, so while you're thinking of your questions, I'm just going to get a sip of water.

So I'm reminded of a story of I forget this particular entrepreneur's name, but he launched a line of hair care products, luxury hair care products, they're very expensive shampoos and conditioners and so on that he started selling on Amazon. And when he got started, he had a day job, a full time office job. So what he did was he woke up at 5:00 in the morning every day to work on his business until, you know, it became extremely successful.

He was able to leave his job and work full time on his business. So just a little inspirational story there, just to remind you that. Yes. We can make time, absolutely. When if there's a will, there's a way. Right, and if the will is not there, then there's a hundred different excuses. For for not doing it so.

I'm on the, I've just passed the 30 minute mark, so I'm going to let you go. When you do think of your questions, please type them below or beside the video and remember to grab your bonus, go to AlexisRodrigo.com/time.

Let me know how to send you this cheat sheet and you will get it as a PDF. So thank you very much for spending the time with me. I hope it has been useful. Please give me your feedback, positive or negative, I'm open to all of it. You can argue with me. Disagree with me. Just let me know what you think, OK? Enjoy the rest of your day. Bye!

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About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.