4 time blocking tips to start your halal online business this week

4 time blocking tips to start your halal online business this week

September 9, 2023
Assalamualaikum!

If you’ve been asking yourself “How will I make time for my business, especially since I’m working full time?”, today’s newsletter is for you.

A big reason why you may have been procrastinating on getting started or taking the next step for your business idea is probably because you feel overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed thinking about all the new activities and to-dos that will be added to your workload. You are busy enough already and don’t know if you can really get successful working on an online business part-time.

You don’t want to make time for business by cutting out things like going to the masjid for Salah, or time you spend on the Arabic course you’re enrolled in or time with your spouse.

 

I know because I, too, have felt that way when I was working on my business with a full time job.

 

If you’re wondering how you can make it work despite your responsibilities, goals and full time work – today I’m sharing a secret shortcut time management system I call, Flexible and Focused” scheduling system.

I’m sharing with you this tiny time blocking system I’ve used over and over again, and have used with my clients to help them make proper time to start their business, without the overwhelm or burnouts.

This is especially for you if you do not have the time right now to take an entire time management course and set up all your goal-setting, project management and task management systems.

And you really really want to get started today. Not 6 months from now. Not a year from now. Today.

This is a shortcut that you can take to finally commit and get started!

🚨Word of Warning: It’ll be a long read but totally worth it, I promise.

Let’s do this! 🙌

When you’re starting your online business activities, most of the stuff you’ll do is going to be new to you. You haven’t done it before.

In that case, you’ll probably need to keep your schedule flexible and not too rigid with fixed time blocks. Here’s how you do that:

 

⏰ Step #1: Create a list of all activities you have to do to get started on your online business

 

The first step I would do is I would take a look at the steps I’d have to execute to start an online business and see what I need to do (watch this video to take note of the exact steps you’ll be taking when you’re starting out).

Here is a helpful list of your very first activities:

  1. Writing your business vision (where do you want to be in the next 12 months, what type of business model you want to implement and why, how does that connect with your personal life story)
  2. Conducting Market research to discover and nail your online business idea

    • Brainstorming ideas based on your existing knowledge, skills, experience 
    • Typing keywords for each idea into search engines to see if there’s demand for those ideas in the online market
    • Typing keywords for each idea into social media platforms to see demand
    • Finding the right fit people online and from your in-person network to talk to
    • Getting into conversations with your best fit potential clients each week to understand them better
  3. Creating a profile of your ideal client 
  4. Writing who you help, what problem do you solve for them and how (the niche statement for your business) clearly_

 

⏰ Step #2: Track your time using a time log and find underused free time pockets.

 

The next step I would do is a quick time tracking exercise.

Helpful resources:

✅ TIME TRACKING ACTIVITY VIDEO

✅ TIME LOG PDF

You can also use an app for time tracking. Here are some helpful recommendations by Forbes.

You’d be surprised when you discover how many time pockets are being underused and wasted on mediocre things (scrolling through whatsapp groups/ instagram feeds) that are adding no value to your life.

Here are the mini steps from the time log exercise:

  • I will first take a long hard look at how I’m spending my time currently using a time log (you can use this time log I’ve been using with my clients) 
  • I’ll mark my mandatory work hours and other fixed time blocks (like commute, masjid time, Arabic course time, etc.)
  • Once I’ve spotted time outside the fixed time blocks, I’ll note down the free time pockets and also note my energy levels in each of those free time pockets.

 

That’s how you track your time.

The next step is to set aside a time block just to dedicate to your business activities.

 

⏰ Step #3: Dedicate a time block for your business action items.

 

Now, you probably don’t know how long it’s going to take you to implement each activity correctly since you’ve probably never done it before.

How can you set aside fixed time blocks to complete each activity when you don’t know the estimated time for completion? You can’t.

#1) I would just give an arbitrary time block, one or two hours per day, as much as I can give according to the time and energy that I have.

You could also break it down to one 1-hour block in the morning, one in the evening. And if you cannot do that, you could just give a single 1 or 2-hour block at any time of the day.

#2) You will then decide which days of the week you can make time for business. For example: you can give time to business only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays – these become the designated days.

#3) Then you’ll use your best judgment to choose the time block for each of days of the week where most of the following conditions are met:

  • When you are somewhat fresh, well-rested and not mentally drained. 
  • You have the highest probability of staying consistent in that time block each day/ designated days of the week.

 

It means that the time block is not going to be affected by external variables. Such as guests coming in, work meetings, etc.

You want to pick the time block where you have given yourself the maximum chance to maintain your focus and therefore, will have the highest probability of staying consistent for most days of the week.

  • You can attach your business time to a constant activity that you’re used to doing consistently as part of your daily routine. The constant activity will serve as a “trigger/ reminder“ to kickstart your business work for the day.

 

For example: Let’s say you wake up at 5.30 am for fajr. The first thing you do is you make your bed. Then you brush your teeth. After that, you make yourself a coffee and then there’s an empty 1 or 2 hour time pocket that’s being wasted.

So making coffee could be the trigger for your business time block.

You could start right after you make your morning coffee at 6:30 am (a habit you’re used to doing consistently) and attach your business time after that habit. So that means you’d be blocking the next 2 hours (6:30 am to 8:30 am) for your business.

  • Your business time should not be a restrictive time block, meaning, there should be some white space (empty time pocket) after the time block.

 

For example: if you decide to give 7am to 8am to your business activities but you have to commute at sharp 8am, it’s not the best time block.

That’s because sometimes your activities might take a bit longer to execute. And the first 15-20 minutes are usually spent trying to get in flow state of the task.

So if you’re stuck in a 1-hour restrictive time block, by the time you’re in flow state your time block is nearly over and you have to commute!

Instead, if you choose a more flexible time block, then even if your business activities take a bit longer, you can let your work dribble over a bit and continue till you finish. By just making this small simple tweak, you’ll get real work done consistently!

  • You will enjoy working on your business in that time block. This increases the chances of you staying consistent in the long run!

 

For example, I personally dislike working between 5pm to 6pm. I want to spend that time reading a book or with my family or going for a walk. It just depresses me to be sitting behind a screen at sunset. So I wouldn’t set that time for the business.

  • Once you’ve decided the time block, you’ll protect it as if your business outcomes depend on it – because they will!
  • And you’ll use your downtime (time spent on routine activities like commuting, evening walks, cooking, cleaning, organizing the house, etc.) to educate yourself on how to do the next step activity for your business.

 

You will not use your business time block to surf through the web reading free articles and telling yourself you worked on your business that day! (we’ve all done that 😉

 

🧠 Step #4: Get focused.

 

  • As you sit down to work in the focused time block you’ve set aside for business, remove all distractions beforehand. 
  • The night before or every Sunday, you’ll note down all next action steps that are relevant to what you’re supposed to be working on at that time in your business.
  • Store these steps in the most sensible order of execution in a simple notepad or bullet journal or a to do list app. 
  • No need to assign strict timelines to any activity just yet as you’re probably doing them for the first time and you’re not sure how long they’d take you to complete.
  • As you sit down to work, first review your #1 next step from your notepad. Dig into it and forget about everything else.
  • Each time you sit down to work on your business, you’ll pick up from where you left off. 
  • Soon enough, you’ll begin to see patterns and understand how long it’s taking you to execute each of the routine business tasks. At that point, you can assign fixed time blocks to each activity. 
  • At the end of each day before you wind up, take a look at the next step you need to focus on. This way, each time you sit down to work on your business, you don’t waste your precious time block deciding what to do. You just start on the next task on your list and get into flow state as quickly as possible.
Bottomline: Remove all friction to getting started on your business. Make it as easy as possible to stay consistent, and trust me, you will.

“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari 8/421

He (SAW) said, “Lose no time to do good deeds before you are caught up by one of seven calamities awaiting you: a starvation which may impair your wisdom; a prosperity which may mislead you; an ailment which may damage your health; an old age which may harm your senses; a sudden death; the Dajjal (Antichrist); or Doomsday, which is indeed the hardest and most bitter.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Let’s wrap it up with a helpful resource for getting more barakah in your days:

✅ Sources of Barakah

 

🌟 Over to you!

 

I hope these newsletters are helping you get one step closer to designing and living your best life – a life of financial freedom to spend your time creating impact with your full potential.

If you’ve learned something today that helped you get closer to living your vision for impact, then I’ve done my job with this newsletter.

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