If you’re trying to grow an online business while raising a family, making the most of your time is essential. You need time to focus on your business, your family, and yourself so you don’t burn out. Work life balance is essential, and having a time management strategy is key to not feeling overwhelmed with everything on your to-do list.
The good news is that you can do many things to grow your business in just a couple of minutes. You don’t have to wait until you have a solid hour of uninterrupted time before making progress.
These little pockets of time are easily overlooked because they’re often short. They might occur when your kids decide to play a game with each other. Or when you’re waiting for soccer practice to finish up, or for your meat to defrost before dinner.
To take advantage of these moments, you must be prepared. To start putting them to use, make your own list of quick tasks now. Then, whenever you have a couple of minutes to spare, pick something from your list. You won’t have to waste time trying to figure out what you can do.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Two minutes isn’t a ton of time. But, it’s all you need to complete one of the following tasks. Each will help you clear the clutter in your business, set the foundation for future projects, or help you market your online business.
Sort Your Email
You can’t read and respond to emails in two minutes. However, you can do a quick sort to help keep your inbox from being filled up. Use this time to do one of these tasks:
- Move any emails you don’t need to read directly to the trash
- Mark any spam emails as junk or spam
- Pick one email list you don’t want to be on any more and unsubscribe yourself
- Flag any important emails so you see them later
- Move any emails you don’t need to respond to into an appropriate folder
Market on Pinterest
Pinterest algorithms are changing, but it’s still a solid source of traffic for many bloggers and small business owners. If you have a Pinterest account, take a couple of minutes to tackle one of these tasks:
- Repin one of your posts to a relevant group board
- Follow an influencer in your niche
- Pin another person’s pins to one of your board
- Check your stats
Write Down Your Ideas
I don’t know how many times a great idea pops into my head when I’m not expecting it. Too often, I make the mistake of telling myself I will remember this and don’t need to write it down. I am wrong every single time.
Have a running list of ideas you can add to quickly. Or better yet, have a couple of them so a list is always handy. You can add ideas to a:
- Magnetic notepad stuck to your fridge
- Note file on your smartphone
- Notebook next to your bed
Think about where you typically are when ideas fly into your mind, and get those areas prepared. Just having a pen and piece of paper nearby helps keep those ideas from being lost.
Note: Make sure you aren’t just using scraps of paper or the back of a receipt. These papers typically end up thrown in the trash. Have a dedicated spot for writing down your ideas and tell your family members NOT to throw your list away!
If you have five-minutes, here are some things you can do to grow your business.
Create a Rough Outline for a Post
Pick one of your ideas and start turning it into a blog post. Jot down the main points you want to cover, any affiliate links you could include, and any internal blog posts you could link to. Taking a few minutes on your outline will make the rest of the writing process go more smoothly.
Brainstorm Social Content
No matter which social platforms you use for your business, you should have at least a basic idea of what you want to share. This helps you quickly create content that’s on message and post consistently to help grow your reach.
Take five minutes and think through what you want to share. What can you post that will help your audience?
Once you know what to post, you can also draft or schedule a couple of posts.
Source Some Pictures
The days of completely text driven content are gone. Your audience expects images. As a bonus, images make your content more shareable.
But, you can’t just do a Google search for an image and stick that into your post or social feed. You must use images appropriately and abide by the laws in this area.
If you have five minutes, you can source a couple of images and save them to your computer. Then they are there when you need them.
My favorite places to find pictures?
- On my computer (do you know how many digital pictures the average person has? You never know when you’ll find the perfect image already there!)
- Pixistock (This is a paid membership site but has high-quality pics. You can also sign up for the mailing list and get free images each month!)
- Unsplash (Free)
- Pexels (Free)
I recommend having a folder on your computer for each place you download images from. That way it’s easier to keep track of which site you got them from.
Review A Goal
Goals help form the framework of your business. They help you measure progress, decide which tasks are worth your effort, and ensure you stay on track.
Note: If you don’t yet have goals for your business, get some. (This will take longer than five minutes, but it’s well worth the time!) Sally has an excellent post to get you started setting goals.
When you have five minutes, pick one of your goals and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the goal still relevant, or does it need revamped?
- What have I done recently to make progress on this goal?
- What can I do in the next month to work towards this goal?
- Does this goal need broken into smaller chunks?
Look for an Affiliate Program to Join
Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can leverage affiliate links to make an income. If you offer a service-based business, consider creating your packages around affiliate products you honestly recommend. Create pins for the affiliate programs you use. Share about these awesome finds on Facebook.
There are tons of possibilities for boosting your affiliate income. But first, you must be an affiliate. Spend five minutes researching one product or service that you LOVE and see if there’s an affiliate program.
A quick Google search for “the product name + affiliate program” often turns up the information you need. Look and see if you meet the requirements, then sign up if you are able.
Your approval might not be instant, but at least you’ve taken the first step.
With ten-minutes, you might decide to tackle a couple of smaller tasks from the lists above. Or you can take a big project (like writing a blog post) and pick one portion of it to complete.
You can also:
Write a Pitch
If your business requires you to look for prospects, send out an email pitch. If you have a template, you might even be able to send out two before you’re out of time.
Make sure to customize them for the person or business you’re emailing. Also, always double check that you send each pitch to the correct place.
If you’re a blogger, you can grow your blog through guest posting. Use this time to brainstorm other bloggers in your niche you could write content for. Then, send them an email with your proposal.
Draft Your Content Calendar
Pull out your list of ideas and the calendar. Are there any upcoming holidays or special events that you should prepare for?
Start assigning your ideas to dates on the calendar. This is when you plan to publish the article.
This is a quick form of a content calendar. You can make it as fancy or complex as you’d like, but the goal is to know what you are publishing ahead of time.
Following up with clients and potential clients is a good way to grow your business. But, it’s one of those tasks that often gets overlooked.
Spend a few minutes reaching out to former clients to see if they need additional work. Or find out if a prospect has any questions. These follow up emails help get your name back in the mind of the people you work with and can lead to more work.
Create a Process or Procedure
The less you must think about a task, the more quickly you can get it done. What in your business or home life can you streamline?
Take some time to:
- Create templates for emails you send often
- Make a checklist of everything you need to do before publishing a blog post
- Use Excel or Google Sheets to create a profit and loss template
- Make a meal plan (I create an annual meal plan every July and it saves so much time!)
- Create a chore chart
- Use Canva to create pin templates
Create Social Content
What social platforms are you active on? You can use your time to create the content you planned earlier.
Make a new pin for an old blog post. Schedule a week’s worth of content for Twitter with Buffer. Create a couple of image-based Facebook posts and schedule them.
Using schedulers can help ensure your content goes out without you feeling like you’re constantly on social media.
The Key to This Time Management Strategy
Now that you have a list of things you can do in just a couple of minutes, it’s time to learn the key to this time management strategy.
Having a list won’t do you any good. You must implement it.
So, the next time you find yourself with a few minutes of down time, pull out your list. Pick one task and get to it. If you do just a couple of different tasks each day, you will see some movement on your business.
Just keep being consistent, and the small steps will add up.
If you’re looking for other ways to grow your blog or business as a busy mom, be sure to check out the book Sally and I wrote, Make Money From Blogging: How to Start a Blog While Raising a Family.