When You Work Full-Time and Run a Business: Productivity & Sanity Tips

April 25, 2022

Reading Time: 9 minutes

How I Work Full-Time and Run a Business: My Best Productivity and Sanity Tips

How do you do it all without losing your mind in the process? That’s the question I’m answering in this episode as I reflect on the last six+ months of having a full time job, running a business, publishing episodes of It’s About Time and loving on my family.

Running a business and working full-time requires a lot of time management and a clear plan to stay productive. Here are my best tips.

Back in Episode 97, I shared that I’d joined an amazing company called Clockwise as their full-time Head of Community. For about the last 6 months, I’ve been working full-time, releasing a new podcast every week, and continuing to support people as a time management coach. Of course, this has all been a true test of my own time management and productivity skills. I thought you’d all like to see how I’m making it all work, so I’m pulling back the curtain to share how I manage my time across a full-time job, my coaching business, the podcast, and my family. I always love hearing about how others are making time for what matters most, so I thought it’d be fun to share what that looks like for me these days.

So today, we’re talking about

  • How I structure my days with a full time job and a business
  • The three biggest changes I’ve made this year to redefine my time
  • The support systems I’ve implemented that help me get things done
  • And finally, how and what I’m delegating to others so I can spend more time doing what I do best

A Recap of the Last Six Months

At the end of March, I hit my six-month anniversary as a full-time employee with Clockwise. They’re an amazing startup on a mission to help the work make time for what matters. It was and still is a perfect fit in so many ways because of how it matches up with my core values. In addition to starting this new full-time role with Clockwise, I continued to serve clients as a time management coach, give keynotes and workshops and of course, and publish episodes of It’s About Time.

But just like I tell my coaching clients, I’m not just a business person or a professional person, I’m a whole person — we’re all whole people — and we’ve got life to live, too. 

In addition to my work, I’m wife to Scott and mom to two little girls, three-year-old Camilla and one-year-old Elizabeth. And if you know anything about kiddos at those ages, you know that I’m not always the most well-rested person because of middle-of-the-night wakeups. 

So it’s safe to say that the past 6+ months have unlocked an entirely new frontier in time management for me, and I really feel like I’ve gotten into a good groove, but it certainly didn’t happen overnight. Saying that I was heading into a full-time role with a little apprehension was an understatement, but I truly wanted this new opportunity to be a success.

So here’s what I did first to make the transition smooth.

Evaluating My Coaching Business

First things first, I took a good look at my coaching business and clarified what my bare minimum looked like. And maybe you’re gasping at that and thinking, ‘The bare minimum?! I could never do the bare minimum!” Well, the bare minimum looks different for all of us, and a lot of times when we look at how we’re spending our time in our businesses or our full-time roles, even in our personal lives, there’s a lot of fat that can be cut. There are a lot of things we’re doing that just aren’t necessary. 

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, as you’ve probably heard it called, states that 80% of outputs are a result of 20% of inputs. In everyday terms, this basically means that 20% of the things you do in your business are creating 80% of your results. So 20% of your marketing efforts are probably bringing in 80% of your clients or customers. 20% of your clients are probably responsible for 80% of your revenue. 

Anyway – before day one of splitting my time as a full-time employee and a business owner, I took a really close look at how I was spending time in my business and zeroed in on the 20% activities that were really creating results and I decided that those 20% activities would be my new bare minimum. The highest impact activities and that’s it. No fluff. 

Then, my next step — again, before day one — was to determine where I needed help.

Getting Help!

In my business, I hired a marketing assistant to help me get the podcast out the door each week. I’d love to tell you that I’ve got this amazing batch system and that all of my episodes are recorded months in advance, but that’s just not my reality right now. Batching content is amazing — and I highly recommend it if you’ve got large open chunks of time to dedicate to it. I don’t have that right now. However, I highly recommend listening to Amanda Warfield in Episode 56; she is an amazing resource for content batching. 

In my personal life, we hired a housekeeper. This was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, since now my time looked completely different. We also took advantage of Hampr* (save 50% when you click that link and use promo code “ABOUTTIME50”!), a laundry service that would pick up our laundry and bring it back freshly washed and folded in 24 hours. 

Also, before day 1, I tried to map out what my new ideal week would look like, knowing that it would change and evolve along the way. I talk a lot more about ideal weeks in Episode 48, but an ideal week is basically a template of how you want to spend your time each week. It’s not meant to be a measuring stick for perfection, it’s just a guide so you’re making time for what’s most important and you’re not winging it week after week.

My ideal week has definitely evolved, and there are always surprises — which is just a part of working with a team where time is a shared resource. Make sure to tune into the full episode if you want to see a breakdown of my schedule and ideal day!

Adjusting to Curveballs

One of the biggest changes in the past six months came in January 2022. My husband Scott left his full-time job in early January and joined my business full-time as my podcast producer and Head of Operations. This shift has been amazing and challenging in so many ways. I love working with Scott and having him on my team. It’s really shifted our perspective of It’s About Time, changing it from “my” business to being a family business and that’s been a very meaningful shift. 

But with any new team member — especially a full-time team member brand-new to the industry — comes some friction. Suddenly, we were trying to integrate Scott into processes that I’ve handled on my own for years. Delegating meant teaching and coaching and being patient as he got the hang of processes and new software. Things felt slower and sometimes I felt like I’d be better off just doing things myself. But patience pays off.

As a result of Scott joining the team and taking a lot of day-to-day operational responsibilities off of my plate, I’ve been able to spend my time on an exciting new project that I’ll be sharing in the next few weeks. In addition to Scott joining the team, there are 3 big decisions that we made this spring that have helped me manage my time. 

Making Big Decisions

Decision 1: Revamping Business Systems

The first big decision when it came to adjusting to full-time work for me and full-time employment in our business for Scott was revamping our business systems. One thing that was absolutely necessary when Scott joined the team was revamping and tightening up our business systems. 

When you’ve got solid workflows and systems in place, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you do something. Plus, everyone on your team is on the same page about how and when to do what. To revamp our systems, we grabbed Alexandra Beauregard’s Fresh Start Systems Course and Asana templates. In Fresh Start Systems, Alexandra has already laid out exactly what you should do in your business every day, week, month, quarter, and year to stay on top of literally everything. It felt like having a cheat code or a shortcut to have all of these systems listed out and ready to go, instead of having to create them from scratch. 

Decision 2: Refining My Speaking Workflow Experience

The second decision was to refine my speaking workflow. In addition to our general business systems, I recognized a need to improve my speaking system, too. Speaking — virtually and on stage — is one of my top five favorite things ever, but I started getting so many speaking requests this spring that they were hard to manage. Definitely a great problem to have, but I was worried about things falling through the cracks because I didn’t have a great system in place to capture all of the details. 

So I reached out to the speaking expert, Jessica Rasdall, for help. We worked together — and are still working together — to refine the experience that I create for speaking clients from start to finish. Having a better speaking system in place, with templates and workflows, means I’m spending less time bogged down in the details and more time on what matters. 

Plus, having these easy-to-follow systems in place will make them easier to delegate and it creates an amazing experience for the organizations and meeting planners I partner with along the way. If you’re looking for a speaker for your organization, your conference, or your team, I can promise that I’ll make working together easy and fun. Click here if you want me to speak at your event! 

Decision 3: Redefining My Vision

And last but not least, I started working with a business coach again. I realized a few months into the transition to being a full-time employee and a business owner that I wasn’t quite sure what the future of my business looked like. I knew I needed help redefining my vision for the future. My business needed to change, but I wasn’t quite sure how or what it could look like moving forward. 

Katie Wussow has been a huge help in crystallizing my vision and defining actionable next steps to get there.  Yes, I’m a coach with a coach. Anytime you want to work on something specific, whether it’s casting your vision, growing your business, getting a new job, or managing your time, I highly recommend working with a coach. A great coach asks powerful questions and creates space for you to work through things, like mindset shifts and imposter syndrome, so you can take the steps forward that get you where you want to go. 

Cutting Down on Time Spent

I’m not a huge fan of productivity hacks in general, but as someone who works full-time, runs a business, and is raising small kids, I’m all for saving time where I can. That’s why I shared a few of my time-saving tips in this episode, too. These include: 

  • Turning a meeting in an email, Slack message, or Loom wherever possible. 
  • Creating templates for everything I can, so it’s easily replicable later.
  • Using automations and tech to make things less manual (I use Zapier to connect scheduling programs to Slack and Asana so tasks and notifications are sent automatically)
  • Here are 21 time tips that you can take and run with!

Sticking to My Values

I won’t lie; a lot of things have changed about the way I manage my time in this new season of life as a business owner and full-time head of community. But here’s what hasn’t changed:

  • I still do a weekly planning session every week. 
  • Timeblocking is still my BFF.
  • I still rely on a community of women for support. 
  • I’m still committed to banning busy as a badge of honor and helping you stop feeling overwhelmed and start spending time on what matters most. 

Having this mission and this purpose keeps me going. Every time someone tells me that a podcast episode made a difference for them, or a coaching client has a major light bulb moment and experiences a huge transformation, I can’t tell you the joy it brings me. Every time someone DMs me and says that they’ve been working on their routines, or that they’re starting to timeblock, I know I’m on the right track with how I’m spending my time.

To Sum Things Up

So if you’ve got a lot on your plate right now — whether you’re working full time and you have a business, or maybe you just have a business or just a full-time job — I encourage you to listen to this episode. I also encourage you to locate your 80/20 actions, meaning get clear on the things you do that drive 80% of your results. I also want you to know it’s OK to ask for help! Whether it’s hiring a housekeeper, delegating to your partner, outsourcing laundry or meal delivery, or whatever. Get help

Last but not least, find a community. Having a group of people to support you, help you talk through things, work through challenges… It’s a game-changer. I’m so grateful for my community and can’t wait to see how these relationships continue to flourish. 

Links & Resources Mentioned in Episode 121

Related Episodes

Want to hear more about how it all started? Check out Episode 97, What Matters Most: A Behind-The-Scenes Look At My Newest Adventure In Time Management

What will it take you to get from chaos to calm?

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