We hear from people all the time that they want to start a YouTube channel or have a social media presence, but they don’t have time. Whenever I hear this, I laugh on the inside because we have ZERO time. My husband works a full time job and until recently worked 60+ hours a week and I am a full time traditional stay-at-home mom. Our kids don’t go to daycare, I am room mom (for our sons classroom), our kids are active in sports, etc….. you get the point.
Clearly, I am great at making excuses! Staying motivated is also something I struggle with. I tend to get distracted very easily and have a hard time focusing. I will have a week where I am super excited and all-in and then something happens and I lose focus. So how do we do it? What’s the magic? How do we squeeze in the time?
- Set Goals. Setting weekly and long term goals are crucial to me. Once you set the goal, write it down and put it somewhere you will see it every day. Go watch The Secret and this will make sense.
- Time management. My youngest is only in preschool four hours a day so this is super important. I try to respond to emails, outline blogs or videos on the notes section of my phone whenever possible. I jot down ideas waiting in car pool and while laying with my kids at night (I still lay with them both to fall asleep at night🤦🏻♀️). It’s about finding those slivers of time and utilizing every minute. I would love to do a time audit of myself because I am sure that I am still wasting time doing pointless things. I’ve read that successful people actually map out their time in 5 minute increments.
- Accountability. Find someone to hold you accountable. A spouse, a friend or a life coach. You need someone other than yourself to keep you on track and give you discipline when you fall behind or get stuck.
- Put in the work and be realistic. This means sometimes you stay up late after your kids go to bed or you cancel going out with friends because you didn’t meet your personal deadline. Be realistic about the work and time management. Don’t tell yourself your going to post a video on Monday and only start editing the night before. Quality videos take a lot of time! My husband always says for every minute you see it takes an average of 1 hour to edit! Schedule the time and commit to it. We choose to put out high quality videos, but only post once a week. Some YouTubers don’t care as much about quality and post more often. Or if you are a high roller, consider hiring an editor. Just be realistic and willing to put in the time.
- Set specific hours. Usually Thursdays are a good work day for me to put in a few solid hours. My youngest has an after School activity and I have 5 hours! My husband weekend starts on Thursday, so I can get his help that day too. We try to film every Thursday. Sometimes we do hire babysitters or use iPads if we need extra time. Setting a productivity schedule for your weekly goals will help you achieve them. This is something I’m still working on, but ideally this would become a ritual. For example, Monday would be emails, Tuesday accounting, Wednesday blog, Thursday Film, Friday edit, etc…
- Cut out distractions. We don’t watch TV. We do listen to podcasts while driving and YouTube while multitasking. We try to listen/watch while cooking dinner, cleaning the house, folding laundry. Try to watch/listen to stuff that gives you knowledge and use everything else like a special treat for meeting your goals. For us, watching a movie together would be a great way to celebrate getting to 90 thousand subscribers!
- Make a list. I struggle from shiny object syndrome. I’ll go on Instagram and watch a fashion vlogger and suddenly feel inadequate and want a whole new wardrobe. I need to focus my energy on other things that give joy. I recommend writing a simple to do list and checking it off. Henry Ford said “nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” For me, physically checking off a list gives me joy and a feeling of accomplishment. This helps me stay focused.
- Have an idol or mentor. Obviously Elon Musk is my number one, but there are a lot of YouTubers and Bloggers I admire and like to follow. When I watch them I feel motivated. Having quotes from people I admire also help me stay the path. That is why I wanted to make shirts and accessories with Elon quotes.
- Outsource. If you have money, hire people to save you time. An occasional babysitter, housekeeper, grocery delivery, and Uber-eats all help us out. Time is the only thing in the world that you can never buy back, so sometimes your time is more valuable than the money you spend on hiring people that will save you the time. We’ve had to outsource help on this website and our boutique, but giving up a piece of the pie is worth it when you know that it couldn’t be done otherwise. Eventually, we’d love to hire an editor too, but at this point it would probably cost more than wemake on our videos.
- Take down time. The YouTube burnout is a real thing. Sometimes I choose to go out with friends, hire a babysitter for date night or go on a family vacation and not record. There have been days where my husband is home and the kids are in school and we take the time to go to lunch instead of film. Taking this time for yourself and your relationships renews your energy and creativity. It is also important to keep some stuff private, not everything we do or every struggle needs to be publicized. It is so important to stay in the moment and enjoy our family. If I am watching my son’s basketball game, I don’t want to be reading twitter or instagram. Our kids are young and I want to enjoy this time with them.
My house is not always organized and I end up doing grocery delivery more than I’d like to admit. I am not perfect and I have weeks I don’t follow these tips, but I don’t throw in the towel. Just forgive yourself and start over. What other tips do you use to be productive? Please share in the comments below. Thanks for reading!